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Thai Red Curry Mussels

Photo: John Clark
Total time 25 mins
Yield Serves 4 to 6
Mussels' rich taste of the sea goes beautifully with spicy-sweet curries like this one. You can also make the dish with littleneck clams—or both mussels and clams. You'll want a loaf of crusty bread or a pot of jasmine rice on hand to sop up the sauce. The recipe comes from Langdon Cook, blogger and author of Fat of the Land.


  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 3-in. pieces and crushed with a mallet or hammer
  • 1 can (about 14 oz.) coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
  • 2 tablespoons Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and beards* pulled off
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves, plus slivered leaves
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 288
  • caloriesfromfat 60 %
  • protein 18 g
  • fat 19 g
  • satfat 13 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 0.1 g
  • sodium 1055 mg
  • cholesterol 37 mg

How to Make It

  1. Sauté shallot and garlic in oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until very fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add lemongrass and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Pour in coconut milk, then stir in curry paste, fish sauce, and sugar. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

  2. Add mussels, stir until well coated, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels open, 5 minutes. Stir in chopped basil and spoon into wide, shallow bowls, discarding any unopened mussels. Garnish with slivered basil and serve with lime.

  3. *Find curry paste in your market's Asian-foods aisle. A mussel's "beard" is the clump of filaments it uses to attach itself to rocks.

  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.