Dinner Tonight: Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk Recipe

My mussel consumption has fallen drastically since I moved away from the East Coast. What used to be a dinner at least two to three times a month has now turned into something I only eat two to three times a year. It's kind of sad. Most of that has to do with the price of mussels in Illinois. They're now moderately expensive instead being impossibly cheap. Plus, it's hard to know when they're fresh. Luckily, I was tipped off by a fellow Chicago blogger, Blue Kitchen, who had a picked up a bag for a decent price and made a delicious batch of Mussels in Tarragon Cream Sauce.

My usual method has been to bathe them in wine and maybe a few herbs, but as I was rummaging through my pantry I came across a can of coconut milk. A few moments later I had this recipe from the Splendid Table. It's highly aromatic, with a base of turmeric, coriander, ginger, and a spike of cayenne. The sautéed onions lend a pleasant sweetness to the affair. The coconut milk lusciously coats the bivalves, and, as is mandatory with a pot of mussels, it's good enough to slurp.

Steamed Mussels in Coconut Milk


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • 3 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Handful fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Pour the oil into a large pot over medium high heat. Toss in the onions and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and cook for another minute, again stirring often.

  2. Pour in the coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then add the mussels and the salt. Stir until the mussels are well coated in the sauce. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the mussels have opened up. Any ones that have not opened up by then should be discarded.

  3. Remove the pot from heat and add the lemon juice and cilantro. Spoon the mussels and the sauce into bowls and serve.

  4. href="https://www.seriouseats.com/user/profile/Pauper%20Nick">Nick Kindelsperger is a Chicago-based freelance writer and a co-founder of The Paupered Chef.