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Photo: John Clark Photo by: Photo: John Clark

Thai Red Curry Mussels

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.

Sunset SEPTEMBER 2011

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Total: 25 Minutes


  • 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


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.

*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.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 288
  • Calories from fat: 60%
  • Protein: 18g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrate: 12g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Sodium: 1055mg
  • Cholesterol: 37mg

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Thai Red Curry Mussels Recipe