Mussels in spiced broth

Mussels in spiced broth

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 10 mins


Serves 2

Creamy coconut broth with plump orange mussels makes an easy but impressive starter for two

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal623
  • fat55g
  • saturates47g
  • carbs14g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre0g
  • protein17g
  • salt4.07g


  • 5 coriander sprigs, leaves and stems separated, plus extra for serving
  • 400ml can coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 2 lemongrass, halved and bruised, plus a thumb-size piece ginger, thickly sliced (or galangal if you have it)
  • 6 lime leaves, crushed
    Lime leaf

    Lime leaf

    ly-m leef

    Lime leaves are obtained from the kaffir lime, which is not a true lime at all but rather a…

  • 2 small green chillies, crushed
  • 125ml coconut cream
  • 500g mussels, scrubbed



    Once regarded as the poor relation of the shellfish family because of their small size and…

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice


  1. Crush the coriander stems in a mortar using a pestle, then put into a large pan with the coconut milk, lemongrass and ginger. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 mins. Add the lime leaves and chillies, then stir in the coconut cream.

  2. Add the mussels and fish sauce, then cover with an ill-fitting lid or baking tray so that the mussels can steam, but the broth won’t boil over and make a mess of your stove. Bring the liquid back to the boil, then simmer for a few mins, shaking the pot every so often so the mussels move around and open up – this should take about 3-5 mins.

  3. When all the mussels are open, add the lime juice but don’t boil again. Taste, and if you like it, good – otherwise add more chilli for heat, more lime for sourness and more fish sauce if you think it needs salt. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the coriander leaves to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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7th Feb, 2011
Superb! I really didn´t fancy this to begin with but I am so glad I made it as it was delicious. I would definately make it again. I used half fat coconut milk and I never had any lime leavesand it was fine.
30th Apr, 2010
I couldn't get mussels at short notice and made this with big prawns insead; the broth was really great. TRY IT!
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