Mussels in Spicy Coconut Broth

Last week I tagged in on my sister and her husband’s holiday to Noosa, Queensland.  Happily third wheeling for some free accommodation and world class surf, oh and good food of course.  Getting into the ocean vibe we decided to cook this delicious, quick, mussel meal, which is great with some crusty bread.  Bring this one out as a starter for your dinner party and everyone will be mucking in and getting their hands dirty.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or any other oil for that matter)
  • 1 lemon grass stem, bashed and finely sliced (use only the pale part, and peel off any coarse outer layers)
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 Thai chillies, diced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 1.5 kg mussels (scrubbed clean, de-bearded and rinsed under cold water)
  • 1 bunch of coriander, root and stems finely diced, leaves torn
  • 2 spring onions, sliced for garnishing
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 loaf crusty white bread

Always ensure your mussels are scrubbed well and de-bearded as you don’t want any grit in your meal.

IMGP4241Begin by frying off your onion, garlic, coriander, chilli and lemon grass in oil over high heat in a large saucepan.IMGP4244Once opaque and cooked, about 3 minutes, add coconut milk and stir. Add ginger, kaffir lime (if using) and fish sauce and simmer for 1 minute.

IMGP4247Throw in your cleaned mussels, place a lid on and shake vigorously for a couple of seconds to coat everything.  Steam mussels in broth over medium heat until all the mussels have opened, approximately 3 minutes. If most are open, but not all, the closed ones may be dead and need to be discarded.  Once cooked, add juice of one lime and taste broth for seasoning, adding more fish sauce if needed to enrich the sauce.

IMGP4248Garnish with coriander leaves, sliced chilli, spring onion, lime cheeks and serve with some toasted crusty bread. Don’t forget to dunk that bread in the broth either, good times.


IMGP4249Mussels in Spicy Coconut Broth w/ crusty bread