Coconut Curry Mussels

Looking for a mussels recipe with wow factor? This is it. Fresh mussels cooked in and served with a spicy coconut curry broth.

Coconut Curry Mussels recipe

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

When Garrett McCord told me he had the best mussels recipe in the world I was skeptical, that is until I tried it. Yikes this is good! ~Elise

When I need a good party food or want to impress some friends I usually turn to mussels cooked in coconut milk and curry. It's affordable, easy to prepare, and has a definite wow factor.

mussels in coconut curry sauce in a bowl

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

These mussels take on the flavors of the broth which is spiked with lemongrass, pungent red chilies, and makrut lime leaves leaving them with a distinct Thai flavor.

The mussels themselves infuse the broth with a light salty brine that cuts through the richness of the coconut milk. This recipe will feed four people happily or make an excellent appetizer for a group.

Serve with beer and crusty bread.

Buying and Prepping Mussels

Before buying live mussels, check them for freshness. Fresh mussels should have closed shells, or if the shells are slightly open, they should close when you tap them. They should not smell fishy but they should smell like the ocean.

Use the mussels as soon as possible, storing them in the refrigerator covered and on ice (refreshing the ice as needed) for up to 2 days. If they begin to smell fishy, discard them.

To prepare for steaming, remove the inedible "beard" from each mussel. Pull off the somewhat furry piece sticking on the side of each shell. If a shell doesn't have one, it's okay. Finally, rinse them well in cold water.

More Delicious Ways to Enjoy Mussels

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Coconut Curry Mussels

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings

*Makrut lime leaf: a key ingredient in Vietnamese, Thai, and Hmong cuisine; can be found in Asian Markets, though many markets now carry them in the produce aisles with other fresh herbs. The taste is very distinct and can't be substituted. However, you can make this dish without the leaves and the mussels will still taste great.


  • 2 pounds mussels, cleaned and debearded

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 Thai chili, finely chopped (can substitute good pinch chili flakes)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped into 4 pieces and smashed

  • 3 makrut lime leaves* (optional)

  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  1. Soak the raw mussels in cold water, then de-beard:

    Place mussels in a bowl of cold water so the mussels will spit out any sand or mud. Let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain and repeat. Toss any mussels that are open as these are dead.

    Debeard the mussels, pulling out their byssal threads (aka: their "beards") and place them in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.

  2. Sauté the onions, chiles, ginger, curry powder:

    Heat the oil in a pot (large enough to hold all of the mussels) on medium high heat and add the onion and stir for a few minutes until they become soft and slightly translucent.

    Add the chilies, ginger, and curry powder and stir for a minute until fragrant.

    Onions sautéing in a pot

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  3. Add the broth and reduce, then add coconut milk, salt, lemongrass, makrut lime leaves:

    Add the chicken broth and reduce half. Add the coconut milk, salt, lemongrass and makrut lime leaves if using and bring to a boil.

    coconut broth for mussels in a pot

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

  4. Add the mussels:

    Drain and add the mussels, reduce heat to medium and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the mussels open.

    mussels being added to the coconut curry broth

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    mussels in coconut curry sauce in a pot

    Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

    Discard any that are closed as these were dead before cooking. (Some may only be slightly open, if you have to debate on whether it's good to eat or not, toss it.)

    Spoon mussels into bowls and pour over with broth. Garnish with chopped cilantro and juice from lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
669 Calories
35g Fat
33g Carbs
58g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 669
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 20g 102%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 930mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 58g
Vitamin C 45mg 224%
Calcium 137mg 11%
Iron 21mg 116%
Potassium 1109mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.