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These juicy Thai Mussels are quickly cooked in coconut milk and flavorful Thai spices. Dinner doesn't get any easier than this delicious recipe. I love to serve some crispy baked fries on the side for a Thai-fusion Moules Frites.
We're going a little Mother's Day rouge here today.
I know I'm supposed to be sharing recipes that are light and fluffy and full of flowers. For some reason, all of us with access to the internet have decided that moms only want crepes and strawberries for our special day.
What about a nice juicy Mother's Day steak covered in blue cheese? Or a big plate of pasta and a glass of red wine? Or some Thai Mussels with crispy fries to sop up the sauce?
That's more like it.
I can't eat mussels without thinking about my mom. She would always make them for us as a special treat when we were kids. My sister and I were those weird kids who got excited about things like mussels. #strangekids
I blame (in the best way possible) my mom for opening my mind to new food. Eating played a central role in almost every memory I have growing up. Sometimes mom would take us out of school in the middle of winter to go to on a hike and have a snowy picnic at the top of the mountain. She always packed a pretty blanket and a candle so we could have a candlelit lunch.
Other times she'd spend everything she had (which wasn't much; we grew up poor) on a good meal. We once dined on wild boar at a very fancy restaurant on our way home from a camping holiday. When we left, my mom asked me and my sister if we had a good time (we did!) then declared we had spent all of our money and couldn't even afford a campground. That night we slept on the side of the road. It's one of my memories that best describes my mom and my childhood.
My mom was always excited about what we were eating, and that excitement passed onto us. Which I'm sure is why things like Thai Coconut Mussels were perfectly acceptable kid food in our household.
I honestly don't cook mussels as often as I should. When I do make them, I declare that I'm going to start making them on the regular. And then I don't.
It's a bit silly as they're the easiest dinner to make. Seriously, if you have 5 minutes you can make a pot of Thai Coconut Mussels. Count a few extra hands-off minutes to bake some fries and you have a full meal.
They sound fancy, but they should really be in the quick and easy dinner recipe category.
A few things you should know about cooking mussels:
- Always buy fresh mussels. Always. If you're lucky enough to live near warm waters and don't have access to cold water loving mussels, make the broth but choose a different seafood. Frozen mussels are sad sad things.
- Look at each mussel before you buy it. Make sure that the shell isn't cracked and that it closes tightly. If the shell is open, give it a firm tap. If it closes, it's safe to eat.
- Mussels have beards. ← wait, what?? They do. You'll see a little something that looks like a bit of hair coming out of the side of each mussel. You'll want to pull this out BEFORE you cook them. Rinse each mussel under cold water and pull out the beard with a firm tug. If you're planning a party, you can do this an hour or so before guests arrive.
- Store mussels in an OPEN container. Mussels are alive and need to breathe. Your fishmonger will usually put the ones you've picked out into a bag. If they seal it, open it up and put it in your fridge until you are ready to de-beard and cook them.
- Mussels cook very quickly so stay by the pot when you're cooking them. As soon as the shell pops open, they're done. A trick I learned from my friend Andy, (seafood chef extraordinaire and owner of Chili Rojo) is to take each mussel out of the pot as soon as the shell opens. This way, you don't risk overcooking the quick to pop mussels.
Now that you know everything you need to know about cooking Thai Mussels, it's time to head to the fishmonger. And call me over … I'll bring the wine!
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- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 inch piece ginger (cut into matchsticks)
- 2 cloves garlic (sliced)
- 2 stalks lemongrass (sliced)
- 15 ounce can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 Thai red chilis
- juice from 1 lime
- 2 lb mussels (rinsed and beards removed)
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, chilis, and lime juice and bring the pot to a boil.1 teaspoon coconut oil, 2 inch piece ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 2 stalks lemongrass, 15 ounce can coconut milk, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 Thai red chilis, juice from 1 lime
- When the coconut milk is boiling, add the mussels. Cover the pot for 1 minute. After a minute, remove the lid and take out any shells that have opened. Continue to remove the mussels as they open. If any of the mussels are still closed after 6 or 7 minutes, discard them.2 lb mussels
- Pour the sauce over the cooked mussels and serve right away.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.