Thai-style Mussels

I don’t have a lot in common with Nigella Lawson, sad to say, but from what I recall from one of her TV programmes, like her, I always keep a tub of Thai curry paste in the fridge. I am also fortunate in having a fishmonger who will deliver to my door, which during lock-down is an absolute boon.

It’s Spencer from Spen’s Fish, who for anyone in my part of Suffolk and beyond can be found via Twitter or Instagram. He’s brother to Chris from Maximus and they come from an old east coast fishing family, so they know their ling from their codling.

Spencer delivered some beautiful, plump mussels from Brancaster in Norfolk this week and as it’s chilly outside, the central heating has conked out again and I’m craving comfort food that’s not too lardy, I cooked them in this Thai-style broth. It’s the work of minutes, jammed with minerals and vitamins and it’s deeply, warmly satisfying.

Thai-style Mussels


Approx 1 kg mussels

2 tbsp Thai green curry paste, or to taste

1 tin coconut milk

2 spring onions, thinly sliced, both white and green parts

A big handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

1 small medium hot chilli, finely sliced

Limes, to serve


Clean the mussels, removing beards and barnacles and discarding any with broken shells or that don’t close when given a sharp tap.

Dissolve the curry paste in the coconut milk, add the spring onions, and simmer for five minutes. Add the cleaned mussels, put on a lid and cook for five minutes, or until the mussels have opened and are cooked. Discard any that haven’t opened.

Divide between two bowls, scatter with coriander and sliced chilli and squeeze over some lime juice, providing extra lime wedges on the side. Eat with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.


19 thoughts on “Thai-style Mussels

  1. Mussels in Thai ‘curry’ broth surely is one of the most beloved dishes in Australia – so glad you had the chance to enjoy ! You do not state whether you used red or green paste: this naturally makes a vast difference. I do not use any pre-prepared pastes at all, but, like most of us create a favourite balance of shallots, lemongrass red chillies, fish sauce, lime rind and juice etc and in addition to coconut milk add variable chicken stock, white wine etc to the mix . . . commercial Thai pastes somehow do not allow the precious flavour of fresh mussels to shine . . . oh, wish I had a big pile at my disposal at the moment . . .

    • Hi Eha, good point, I used green and I’ve amended the ingredients list accordingly, thanks. While I agree that freshly made paste is nicest (and there is a recipe for it elsewhere on the blog) this is a) about nearly-instant gratification and b) we’re in lockdown again here in the UK and it’s not always easy for people to get the ingredients rather than reach for a tub of the ready-made stuff. I favour Thai Taste, which probably isn’t available in Australia. Cheers, Linda x

  2. I could scoff bowls of this! As one person said to me: “You’ll eat anything that swims or sticks to rocks”!
    Unfortunately, we’re nowhere near a fishmonger, and Tesco mussels are puny.
    But eat a few bowls for me…and I’ll bask in the warmth of my central heating 😉

    • Haha, great description! Me too and I’m lucky living in a coastal county, even if I’m an hour away from the sea itself. One good thing that’s come out of lockdown for me is my growing address book of producers and food businesses who’ll do deliveries, an absolute blessing. As a local farmer said to me recently, it’s like having a a virtual High Street of online, mostly local shops. Lx

  3. Do you want to trade homes? Come to glori-arse Cheshire.
    We have the revered “Mersey Trout”, two chippies and Pizza Hut deliveries.
    To misquote your acquaintance, “It’s like having a virtual cardiac arrest of local fast food deliveries” 😂
    (And if you don’t know what a Mersey Trout is, I can categorically state that you wouldn’t want it in your mouth! 🤢)

    • OMG I just googled Mersey trout! Haha and bleugh! So it’s not all footballers’ wives up there, then? 😀 I’ll pass on the home swap if you don’t mind, Alison, although I’d actually love some decent fish and chips I haven’t had to make myself.

      • The WAGs are over in Cheshire East – the Beckhams lived in Alderley Edge and Roy Keane is in Altrincham. We did have Gary Barlow’s parents a few miles away, though!
        The best thing about being in WAG county is the plethora of designer clothes you can get at the charity shop 🤣
        I must admit – the Lime Avenue Supper Bar, run by a lovely Hong Kong Chinese family, make THE best fish & chips I’ve ever had. I’ve actually been craving a fish supper for weeks!
        And they don’t use Mersey Trout 😉
        (I am being extremely unfair to my parish, to be honest.
        It’s actually a beautiful village. It’s just some of the Yoof who spoil it)

      • I’ve always struggled to get my head round the Beckhams living (formerly) in Alderley Edge as to me it’s Weirdstone of Brisingamen country and the two just don’t … gel. Beautiful county though, as you rightly say. Have some fish and chips for me (hold the trout).

  4. I really like all the eggs lined up.
    When we had students with us I bought mussels for the first time and the one student, who was taking chefs training, prepared them. What a feast!

  5. I’m so envious Linda! You have a personal fish monger. Incredible. And the mussels are beautiful. I can just (only) imagine them in a Thai broth. Slurp slurp.

  6. we are lucky to be able to get de-bearded, vacuum-packed mussels from south asutralia here in queensland. i do love a tasty Thai broth!

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