Traditional recipes

Red Curry Mussels

Red Curry Mussels

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You can also make this dish with littleneck or cherrystone clams instead of mussels.


  • 1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, julienned
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Toasted country-style bread (for serving)

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring coconut milk, tomatoes, wine, curry paste, and 2 Tbsp. basil to a boil in a Dutch oven or other large pot, stirring to incorporate curry paste. Reduce heat and add onion, carrot, and celery; season with salt and pepper.

  • Bring liquid to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a medium bowl and set aside.

  • Return liquid in pot to a simmer. Add mussels to pot, cover, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until shells open (discard any mussels that do not open), about 4 minutes.

  • Divide mussels and cooking liquid among bowls, top with reserved vegetables, parsley, and remaining 2 Tbsp. basil, and serve with bread alongside.

Recipe by Shelly Cusmina, Aqua Restaurant, VA,

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 410 Fat (g) 26 Saturated Fat (g) 19 Cholesterol (mg) 50 Carbohydrates (g) 18 Dietary Fiber (g) 4 Total Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 24 Sodium (mg) 600Reviews Section

  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, or canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, (see Note)
  • 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Note)
  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see Tip)
  • 6 cups trimmed watercress, (1-2 bunches) or trimmed spinach
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish

Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallion whites, lime zest and curry paste to taste cook until fragrant and the paste is sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes. Add lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add mussels, return to a simmer, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Spread watercress (or spinach) over the mussels, cover and cook until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes stir into the mussels. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Serve garnished with scallion greens and basil.

Note: Red curry paste and fish sauce, typical Thai ingredients, can be found in the Asian food section of large supermarkets.

Tip: To clean mussels, scrub with a stiff brush under cold running water. Scrape off any barnacles using the shell of another mussel. Pull off the fuzzy &ldquobeard&rdquo from each one (some mussels may not have a beard).

Red Curry Mussels with Ginger and Cilantro

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 2 as a main dish

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1 to 2 pounds mussels
  • 1 cup homemade fish stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish


Rinse the mussels under cool water and, if necessary, remove the beards.

In a large pot, combine the stock, coconut milk, curry paste, Sriracha, ginger, and coconut aminos or tamari and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to mix well.

Once the mixture is simmering, add the mussels and cover the pot. Cook until the shells open, 5 to 10 minutes. You may have a few mussels that don’t open remove and discard them.

Transfer the mussels to a platter or individual shallow bowls and ladle some of the cooking liquid over the top. Garnish with the cilantro.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Mussels are always good, but this recipe makes them good in a special way. The combination of the curry, ginger, and coconut milk makes the broth smooth, subtle, and just plain delicious. The cilantro adds that pungent taste that's offset by the Sriracha. A perfect blending of lots of great flavors.

I bought and used 2 pounds mussels instead of 1. I had the fishmonger (I love that word) weigh 1 pound so I could judge how many that would be. The shells looked more like the size of our Gulf oyster shells rather than the small ones I am used to. Two pounds was just enough for 2 main dish servings. I used shrimp stock from a previous recipe so that was a bonus time-saver for me. Also, these mussels were the largest I have ever seen, so if mine took a bit longer, that might be the reason, as being bigger should make them lazier and slower to open, right? I cooked the mussels for just under 10 minutes so that they all opened and were cooked.

In less than half an hour, this was done, from start to finish. A loaf of crusty French bread is perfect to finish off the great broth. And I have no chickens to clean the shells, so they went into the driveway to the barn!

Weeknight dinner winner! Since weekdays are the best times to buy fish, how about a quick stop at the fishmonger on your way home from the office? Trust me! This recipe is done and on the table in less than 30 minutes flat. I used the homemade chicken stock I had in the freezer and store-bought Sriracha. All of my liquids went into a sturdy 4 quart enamel pot first thing and I set out to rinse and clean my mussels while the pot came to a boil. This took about 10 minutes. I turned the heat down to a simmer, added the cleaned mussels, and replaced the lid to steam.

While waiting, I minced up the cilantro for the garnish and checked the rice I was working on as a side. When I checked in on the shellfish at 5 minutes, the bivalves on top seemed to need a bit more time so I turned over the whole lot so the top mussels where now at the bottom in the sauce. I let that go another 2 minutes. The extra time was perfect. All were open and tender. Time to eat. I served the mussels with a side of jasmine rice, whose job it was to drink up the crazy delicious sauce.

Let me say up-front you will need 1 pound of mussels per hungry adult. Otherwise mutiny may ensue. Don't worry about doubling the recipe for the sauce. There will be plenty of sauce to go around even with a couple pounds of mussels.

We love curry but don't serve it often so the mussel recipe was a nice change from our ordinary menu. Simple ingredients, quick recipe, and yum! The sauce was gingery with a little heat but I felt it needed a little kick from something salty although my tasters loved the sauce as it was. The mussels were perfectly cooked. I served the mussels with rice. I would make this again but add some fish sauce and maybe a touch of lime.


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Step 1

Bring coconut milk, tomatoes, wine, curry paste, and 2 tablespoons basil to a boil in a Dutch oven or other large pot, stirring to incorporate curry paste. Reduce heat and add onion, carrot, and celery season with salt and pepper.

Bring liquid to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a medium bowl and set aside.

Return liquid in pot to a simmer. Add mussels to pot, cover, and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until shells open (discard any mussels that do not open), about 4 minutes.

Divide mussels and cooking liquid among bowls, top with reserved vegetables, parsley, and remaining 2 tablespoons basil, and serve with bread alongside.

‘Curry’ up and try these mussels!

Curry is a flavor profile indigenous to India that, quite frankly, scares a lot of people. Actually, a ‘curry’ is a blend of spices and herbs, usually including turmeric, cumin, and coriander. There are hundreds of different combinations, some spicy from chilies and some mild. Curries come in a variety of colors including red, green, and yellow depending on the spice blend.

The yellow curry spice blend or what is commonly known as ‘curry powder’ is a commercially prepared blend most common here in the States. You just might have a bottle in your spice cabinet!

This mussel dish uses yellow curry powder and is a great way of introducing curry into your diet without an overwhelming or intense flavor. It is mellow, warm, and slightly smoky. Many of my friends and family were staunch ‘anti-curry-activists’ until they tried these mussels!
Mussel Mania in Curry Cream!
3-4 pounds mussels, beards removed and soaked in water for 30 minutes to remove any debris
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6-8 large garlic cloves, chopped

1⁄2-pound kielbasa or chorizo (precooked) sliced into rounds and then cut in half moons
1-pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup corn (best off cob, but frozen works too)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 beer (or 1 cup dry white wine)
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup fresh basil or parsley chopped
French baguette or other crusty bread, cut into rounds

While mussels are soaking in cold water, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they become soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the kielbasa or chorizo and cook until they begin to brown, about 4-5 minutes more, stirring
frequently. Remove this mixture from pan and set aside.

Related Video

I made this for a special New Years Eve meal and it was a huge hit. Mussels are not something I've ever made at home, and I can't believe how easy it was. This dish was flavorful, fragrant, delicious, and so much fun to eat with friends. I served it in a huge bowl to share and ladled it in to our own bowls. Two pounds of mussels was more than enough for 4 people--you could get away with less if you're serving this as an appetizer and not a full meal. I've never put wine in any coconut milk based sauce and wow -- it was to die for! Will make this again for sure--a real crowd pleaser!

Very quick to make. Loved the veg in here-the slightly crisp veg was a great contrast with the mussels. I thought this could use a tad more red curry paste, and a little less of the crushed tomato myself, but it was was good just the same. Thai basil would be great in this dish.

Made this to the letter of the recipe - it was fabulous.

Yummy recipe. Followed recipe pretty close. I did use my own tomatoes instead of canned then when I tasted for s&p I found my red curry paste was on the wimpy side so added rooster sauce. We enjoyed it and now have leftovers. I will probably make some rice and enjoy it again tomorrow.

Great recipe, followed everything except for the celery. Would of course recommend adding some garlic, using the whole onion, and perhaps a bit more of heat spice. Will definitely use this again, it was super easy.

With rich flavors and colors, this was all the rage in my family, which is used to eating exotic, high-quality cuisine (especially Thai). I used Thai basil (more of the anise flavor and aroma) and substituted coriander (cilantro) for parsley for more authentic flavor of southeast Asia. Make sure you have plenty of fresh bread for sopping up the broth. Perfect dish as appetizer for 4. Add salad to make it a light meal. Accompany with off-dry Riesling, Gewurtzraminer or other wines with tropical notes. A pale lager would also be ideal.

Aside from de-bearding and scrubbing the mussels, this recipe is super easy. Loved the Thai flavors.

This was very good. I had so many fresh tomatoes available that I used them vs canned crush tomatoes. No red onions on hand so used shallots and omitted celery. No real significant changes. I will certainly make this again soon.

  • 1 (9-ounce 255g) package vermicelli rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) coconut oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup 75g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 20g)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 60ml) Thai red curry paste, depending on your taste
  • 1/2 cup (115ml) dry white wine or lightly flavored lager or ale
  • 1 (15-ounce 450ml) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 to 2 limes, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) palm or brown sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds (1.1 to 1.35kg) mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed
  • Small bunch cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • Small bunch sweet or Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped

Boil a kettle of water (or use very hot tap water). Place noodles in a large bowl and pour hot water over until they are covered. Separate strands with a fork and leave to soften, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven (or heavy pot with a fitted lid) on medium-high heat until shimmering.

Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine or beer, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar and bring to a simmer while stirring.

Add mussels, cover pot, and let steam until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Once mussels open, add cilantro and basil. Season broth to taste with more fish sauce, lime juice, or sugar as desired. Divide noodles into individual bowls, spoon mussels and broth on top, and serve.

Thai Red Curry Mussels

It's hard to get enough of mussels in the summer. Pretty much everywhere I go these days, there's some sort of mussels special on the menu, whether it's a large appetizer for sharing or with a pasta or seafood casserole entree.

When I make mussels at home, they're usually steamed with a minimal number of other ingredients, such as wine, shallots, and ginger. But sometimes I like to spice things up a bit (pun fully intended) by cooking it Thai-style with red curry paste. Store-bought mild red curry paste adds a bit of a kick, while the coconut milk and lime make this the quintessential summer dish. A bit of light brown sugar creates a lip-smacking sweet-and-sour curry.

You'll need several changes of water to clean the mussels (a clean brush comes in handy for scrubbing the shells) and to pull the beards from the shells. But the cooking itself takes all of 5 or 6 minutes, which is all the time you really want to spend in front of the stove in July. I think the curry itself contains plenty of flavor already, but feel free to adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if you choose at the end of cooking.

There will be plenty of delicious curry left, so be sure to have plenty of white rice to pour the broth over or crusty French bread for dipping.

Thai Red Curry Mussels

  • 3 pounds mussels
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Rinse and scrub the mussels under cold water, changing the water several times, to remove any grit. Debeard the mussels by removing the stringy bits in the seam where the two shells meet as best you can. Discard any mussels with cracked shells or any with open shells that don’t close when you gently tap them against the counter.
  2. Heat a deep sauté pan, wok, or medium pot over medium-high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates contact. Add the oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the garlic and ginger and cook briefly until aromatic, about 20 to 30 seconds. Add the curry paste and cook for another 30 to 40 seconds. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, and brown sugar.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil. Add the mussels, cover, and steam for 4 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Uncover and add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
  4. Discard any mussels that have not opened, then transfer to a serving dish. Spoon the curry over the mussels and add lime wedges to the dish (for squeezing at the table.) Serve with rice or crusty French bread.

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  1. Remove mussels from the bag. Scrub and clean mussels. Throw away any mussels that are open or with cracked shells.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add oil. Toss in garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Next, add onion, ginger to the garlic and stir to combine. Ensure there is enough oil on the bottom of the pan to prevent burning. Add more oil if needed. Sprinkle with Kosher salt to bring out the flavours.
  4. When garlic, ginger and onions are softened, add tomatoes and carrots. Stir to combine and allow to heat for a couple minutes until tender.
  5. Pour in can of coconut milk and add curry paste to pot with the veggies. Cover pot with a lid to bring the liquid to a light boil on medium-high heat.
  6. Gently add mussels to the red curry and veggie broth. Cover the pot to allow the mussels to steam in the liquid. Set timer for 5 minutes to cook the mussels.
  7. Finally, transfer mussels and Coconut Red Curry broth to a serving bowl. Then serve with a crusty baguette or on top of rice or Asian noodles!

NOTE: If any mussels do not open, throw them away. This means they are not fresh.

Leftover Coconut Red Curry Mussels Sauce?

Here’s what I did with my leftover Coconut Red Curry Sauce from the mussels. I brought it to a boil in a small saucepan and added noodles and green peas to make a soup!

These Easy Red Curry Mussels Will Transport You to the Pacific Northwest

Seafood is undeniably synonymous with the Pacific Northwest, a region overflowing with a treasure chest of the stuff: salmon, trout, shrimp, crab, and oysters, among much more. Living in this part of the world means plenty of meals starring seafood—from fresh oysters just plucked from the sea to prawns swimming in a creamy bisque—but even if you don’t call the west coast home, there are still plenty of ways to replicate that taste of seafood at home.

The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook, $19.56 on Amazon

Enter “ The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook ,” a fish-forward cookbook by food writer Naomi Tomky . The Seattle resident uses her breadth of knowledge of the region to dream up the kinds of seafood recipes you’ll want to include in your cooking orbit. Try a recipe for crispy-skin halibut, paired with creamed minty peas and morel mushrooms, or recreate the essence of summer with shrimp rolls—bay shrimp squeezed into soft, buttery bread. The book is also filled with guidance on how to buy and store seafood, how to fillet salmon and remove bones and skin, and is rounded out with a brief history of seafood in the Pacific Northwest.

Shellfish Steamer Bags, $29.99 on Amazon

Ahead, find a recipe for red curry mussels, a Thai-inspired dish that can be devoured year round. A pile of mussels is steamed in a mixture of coconut milk and curry paste for about five minutes, then garnished with ribbons of cilantro and Thai basil. The hot mussels are ready to be snapped apart to reveal plump meat that’s both spicy and tangy and should be shared among friends and family.

Excerpted from The Pacific Northwest Seafood Cookbook. Text copyright 2019 Naomi Tomky. Photographs copyright 2019 Celeste Noche. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press. All rights reserved.

Red Curry Mussels Recipe

The Thai curry pastes that can be found at many grocery stores are miracle workers on seafood. When I was a kid, my mom would use them to dress up shrimp and serve over rice. This version uses mussels, but really, this recipe is more forgiving than maternity leggings. Use what you can, use what you have. If you can’t find an ingredient, leave it out, use something else, don’t stress. This is an anti-stress recipe.