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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.
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.
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.