Steamed Mussels with Thai-Style Coconut-Curry Broth

Recipe courtesy of J. Kenji López-Alt

Total Time: 20 mins
Yield: 3-4 servings
Special Equipment: Mortar and pestle


  • • 8 sprigs cilantro, leaves and stems roughly chopped and reserved separately
  • • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • • ½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • • ½ teaspoon dried Thai chilies or red chili flakes
  • • ½ cup heavy cream
  • • 1 teaspoon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime (plus additional limes for serving)
  • • Kosher salt
  • • 1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk (do not shake before opening)
  • • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • • 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
  • • 1 tablespoon brown or palm sugar
  • • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • • 2 pounds Thimble Bay Blues Organic Mussels
  • • 1 small Thai or Serrano chili, thinly sliced


In a mortar and pestle, combine cilantro stems, half of garlic, half of shallot, coriander seed, dried chili, lime zest and a small pinch of kosher salt. Pound and grind until a smooth paste is formed. Set aside.

Scoop 2 tablespoons of thick cream from the top of the can of coconut milk and add to a large saucepan. Add your vegetable or canola oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering and sputtering. Stir in remaining garlic and shallots, pounded paste, and the store-bought curry paste. Cook, stirring and scraping the paste around the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes (until very aromatic). Add remaining contents of coconut milk can, sugar, and fish sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook until rich and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with more fish sauce as desired.

Stir in Thimble Bay Blues Organic Mussels, cover, and cook, shaking pan constantly and peeking every 30 seconds to stir. As soon as all the mussels are open, stir in chopped cilantro leaves, fresh chili, and lime juice. Serve immediately, with additional limes at the table.

Mussel Recipe

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