Steamed Spicy Thai Mussels

Steamed Thai Spicy Coconut Mussels

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, seafood, Thai
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 342 kcal
Author: Kelly DiMascio
This is one of my favorite broths for steaming mussels. The flavor is rich and perfectly spicy. Steamed mussels are an easy and elegant appetizer or meal for any special occasion, but they are quick and easy to make so you can enjoy them any night of the week. 

If you've never tried making mussels give it a try you'll be so surprised at just how easy they are to prepare & everyone will be amazed.



  • 5 pounds fresh mussels scrubbed and debearded
  • 1/3 C fresh lime juice
  • 13.5 oz unsweetened coconut milk

 (1 can)
  • 1/3 C dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 T Thai red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 T minced garlic
  • 1 T Asian fish sauce
  • 1 T white sugar
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 C fresh cilantro chopped


How to Clean and Debeard Mussels

  1. Most mussels in markets are now farm-raised and are pretty clean, but you should still clean them. If you purchase wild mussels they will most likely be full of sand and have seaweed or barnacles or mud on the shell.
  2. Place a colander in the sink, add the mussels, and run cold water over them.
  3. Using your hands or a clean scrubbing brush to rub off any debris from the outside of the shell.
  4. Look for shells that are open and lightly tap on them or tap them against the sink or counter and set them aside for a minute or 2. If they close they are alive and can be added back to the rest of the mussels, if not discard prior to cooking.
  5. If you have wild mussels you'll need to debeard them. The "beard" is the clump of hair-like fiber that grows out of the shell. Farm-raised mussels will typically come debearded, but you should check them and remove any stray beards.
  6. To remove the beard from the mussels, grab it with your thumb and forefinger and using a back and forth movement tug it toward the hinge of the mussel shell. Remove as much of the beard as you can. Don't stress if you can remove all of it.

To Cook the Mussels

  1. In a large stockpot, combine the lime juice, coconut milk, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar.
  2. Bring water to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and curry paste.
  3. Stir to dissolve sugar and curry paste and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Boil broth for about 2 minutes before adding the mussels.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and cover to cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels are opened, 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and discard any unopened mussels.
  7. Pour mussels and liquid into a serving dish and toss with cilantro and red pepper flakes to taste.
  8. To make this a meal served with steamed white rice or crusty French bread to soak up the broth and a simple salad dressed simply with rice vinegar.

Recipe Notes

How to Serve Mussels Before Cooking

Mussels can be kept refrigerated in an uncover and unsealed bowl or container. Place a wet towel or paper towels over the mussels. They will stay alive for a day or 2 before cooking.

How to Store Leftover Mussels

Properly stored in a sealed container, cooked mussels will last for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Cooked mussels can also be frozen, freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.  

To Reheat Cooked Mussels

To reheat, remove mussels from the broth. Pour broth into a saucepan and heat broth over medium-high heat until broth just begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add mussels. Heat until just warm about 2 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Steamed Thai Spicy Coconut Mussels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 342 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 800mg35%
Potassium 838mg24%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 1260IU25%
Vitamin C 21.1mg26%
Calcium 75mg8%
Iron 8.9mg49%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.