Thai Mussels (3 Variations)

There are (at least) 3 variations of “thai mussels” in the Five Spice library, each reported here.

When I was a kid, my uncle Bernie took me and his son to hand-line fish off a long pier in Coney Island—the pier eventually burned down. While checking my bobber below, I noticed black crustaceans clinging to the
lower parts of the pier. My uncle told me they were mussels, and I asked if you could eat them. I don’t think he had a bigoted bone in him, and we lived in the Italian and Jewish section of Brooklyn called Bensonhurst, but my uncle replied. “No, you can’t eat them — Italians eat them, but you can’t eat them.” And many years later, his son turned me on to what are called “the poor man’s oyster.”

Jerry W

Mussels with Lemongrass and Coconut


  • 3 Tablespoons diced scallion
  • 1 Tablespoon minced lemongrass
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepperflakes
  • 1/2 scoop white wine
  • 1/2 scoop veggie broth
  • 1/2 scoop coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon basil


  • Cover and steam til opened
  • Serve with bread. Garnish with cilantro and/or mint.

Recipe Card

Thai Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass, Basil, and White Wine

Ingredients and Instructions

  • Oil in pan
  • Handful of mussels (on order)
  • fork garlic
  • very small pinch red pepper flakes
  • Tablespoon diced scallions
  • Tablespoon diced onions
  • fork lemongrass
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • Tablespoon fish sauce
  • Big pinch basil
  • Cook until mussels *pop*
  • Don’t burn

Recipe Card

Thai Mussels


“You could accompany the mussels with rice made with our goof-proof method. Cook the rice just like pasta, in a big pot of salted, boiling water. Usually 15 minutes does it. Drain well, cover with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture, fluff and serve. I’d also put a pile
of mint leaves out along with the lime wedges. They help cool down the curry’s heat. Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course.”

– Jerry’s Notes


  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 pounds mussels, preferably cultivated, scrubbed well and beards removed
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro sprigs
  • lime wedges.


Combine coconut milk, lime juice, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar in a 6- to 8-quart wide pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and boil, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add mussels and toss to combine. Cover pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels just open wide, about 6 minutes. Discard any unopened mussels. Just before serving, toss mussels with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

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