Cook/ Easy Weeknight/ Weekend Feasting

Thai Mussels

December 10, 2019

Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Slow The Cook Down

Thai mussels are packed full of flavor and can be served as an appetizer or main course. They take around 30 minutes to make and the dish is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Cooked in a simple Thai sauce, this easy seafood dish is a real crowd pleaser!

Close up of Thai mussels served in a white bowl

Mussels are such a great shellfish, sustainable, cheap, quick to cook and freaking delicious.  The natural saltiness of the mussels deeply flavours the Thai sauce that they are served in. I guarantee you won’t just cook them once!

The flavours in these Thai Mussels balance so beautifully together. The creaminess of the coconut milk offsets the heat of the chilli and sits as a perfect pairing for the natural flavours of the mussels.

How to make Thai mussels

Prep the mussels first by de-bearding them and scrubbing the outside – this is the most labor intensive part of the recipe!

Grab a large pan, heat some oil and add in the chili, ginger and garlic. Cook until softened before adding the wine, lime juice and lemon grass and bring to a boil.

Add in the mussels and pop the lid on the pan, cook for 3-4 minutes until the mussels open. Strain them and keep the juices.

Put the mussels to one side and heat the juices you strained in the large pot with the coconut milk, fish sauce and cilantro. Don’t boil, just heat it through, before adding the mussels for a couple of minutes. Serve!

How do you serve Thai mussels?

You can serve these Thai mussels as a starter for for four people or 2 people as a main dish. Either way, be sure to pair with a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc and some warm crusty bread, so that you can mop up all those delicious juices! If you like, you can turn these into a fuller meal by spooning them over noodles. Garnish them off with a chopped red chili, scallions and fresh cilantro for a hit of freshness.

What are Thai flavors?

Hello, my name’s Betty, and I’m addicted to Thai food! Thai is that perfect balance of sweet, sour, savory and spice and I find the flavors so comforting! The main ingredients in these mussels that are commonly used in Thai cooking are:

  • Canned coconut milk
  • Red chili
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Lime
  • Lemon grass 
  • Fish sauce
  • Cilantro

If you love Thai cuisine, be sure to check out my Chicken Coconut Thai CurryChickpea & Spinach Curry and Beef Curry Stew.

Thai mussels garnished with fresh chili

How do you clean the mussels?

If you are using fresh mussels for this recipe (recommended, but you can use frozen), it’s important you clean them well to remove any grit. Place the mussels in a colander under running water. One at a time, give the outside of each mussel a good scrub with a brush or scouring pad and pull out the beard (the threads coming out of the shell) if it’s got one. 

Top tips to make Thai mussels

  • If any mussels are open before you clean them, give them a tap. If they don’t close, discard them.
  • Discard any mussels that are closed after you have cooked them.
  • Use the freshest ingredients you can for the best flavors.
  • You can use frozen mussels if you can’t find fresh, but thaw them thoroughly before cooking and inspect for broken shell and any beards that haven’t been removed.
  • When cooking the mussels, use a see through pan lid if you have one, so that you can see when the mussels have opened.

For more easy appetizer recipes:

Thai Mussels in a white bowl

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Thai Mussels

Thai Mussels

Thai mussels are packed full of flavor and can be served as an appetizer or main course. They take around 30minutes to make and the dish is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. Cooked in a simple Thai sauce, this easy seafood dish is a real crowd pleaser!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 appetizer servings or 2 large servings
Calories: 367kcal

Ingredients

  • 35 ounces mussels (1kg)
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1 inch ginger (very finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • Olive oil
  • 8.5 ounces white wine (250 ml)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 stem of lemongrass (halved lengthways)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 27 ounces canned coconut milk (800ml) (2 cans)
  • Handful of cilantro (coriander) (finely chopped)
  • 2 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 1 red chilli (finely sliced)

Instructions

  • First off, de-beard and scrub the outside of the mussels (this will take about 15 mins) and leave to one side.  In a large, deep pan, heat a glut of olive oil over a medium high heat and add the chopped chilli, ginger and garlic.  Cook for around 5 mins until the ingredients start to soften, stir occasionally.
  • Add in the wine, lime juice and lemon grass and bring to the boil.  When ready, add in the mussels and put a lid on the pan.  It will take about 3-4 mins for the mussels to cook.  Once they are all open, drain them, but keep the juices.
  • In a large pan, heat together the juices with the coconut milk, fish sauce and cilantro. Stir until the mixture has heated through.  Add the mussels into the pan for a couple of minutes, gently stir them so that they are all coated with the Thai sauce.
  • Spoon the mussels into bowls, and then pour the sauce over the top.  Sprinkle the sliced onions and chills over the top and serve with a load of bread.

Notes

  • If any mussels are open before you clean them, give them a tap. If they don't close, discard them.
  • Discard any mussels that are closed after you have cooked them.
  • Use the freshest ingredients for the best flavors.
  • You can use frozen mussels if you can't find fresh, but thaw them thoroughly before cooking and inspect for broken shell and any beards that haven't been removed.
  • When cooking the mussels, use a see through pan lid if you have one, so that you can see when the mussels have opened.
  • Be sure to serve with crusty bread to mop up those delicious juices!
  • Nutritional values are based on one of four appetizer servings and are an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 647mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 645IU | Vitamin C: 45.9mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 5.6mg
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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Marlee
    April 13, 2018 at 3:04 am

    5 stars
    I am so glad that I got to make these! One of my favorite ways of eating mussles!

  • Reply
    Mary Ellen
    August 16, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I am wishing I liked mussels because this looks SO good! My husband would love them, and then I could sop up the juice with some bread 🙂

    • Reply
      bdaunter@hotmail.co.uk
      August 17, 2016 at 10:33 am

      The juices are just as good as the mussels! In fact, probably the best part 😉

  • Reply
    bdaunter@hotmail.co.uk
    August 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    wow! For 55?! You are brave! Maybe do half this and half a classic moules mariniere 😉

  • Reply
    bbqbastard
    August 16, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Mussels are one of my favorites… only problem is my wife can’t eat them… Luckily for me I can make some this weekend! I’m thinking of using this recipe. Only thing that makes me doubt is the ingredients that for some people might not be what they want (it’s for 55 people …).

    I’ll let you know if I picked these haha

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