Healthy and Sane

Cooking mussels at home

March 22nd, 2011 · 14 Comments · favorite recipes, mussels

I’m a really big fan of mussels. I like their natural sweetness, how they plump up as they absorb the sauce and can take on so much flavor. I even like the process of digging into each shell, it’s like digging for little treasures. And then there is the mandatory chunk of bread, ready to soak up all that’s left behind. It’s really hard for me to not order them w1hen I see them on restaurant menus. They are just such a perfect appetizer! [I love the ones at B&G Oysters, LTK and Sweet Basil (<—ooh, this reminds me, I have the SB cookbook, maybe they have a mussels recipe there…gotta check asap!]


So it’s surprising that I’ve cooked them only a handful of times at home. They turned out okay but still nothing compared to the mussels I love at restaurants. Well, I’m happy to say, I finally got it right!! Smile

Thai red curry mussels


I carefully read Lizzy’s critique of her own recipe and made a few tiny adjustments. For 5lbs of mussels (the ones I got at Whole Foods were perfectly clean, meaning sans beards <—the most annoying part of cooking mussels) I used 1.5 cups of regular chicken broth instead of Thai coconut curry broth but added 1 cup of lite coconut milk towards the end of the cooking process, just enough to let it heat through (oh and diced tomatoes work great here – the more the merrier I say!). I also tasted the sauce at the end and adjusted for sourness, heat, etc* before serving.

*I used to be so married to recipes, and while I generally still follow them, I definitely make sure to taste my food throughout the process and adjust accordingly. We all have different tastes and also the strength of our spices, their age and the conditions they are stored in affect the final taste. So if the recipe says 2T, you may need some slight adjustments to make it just perfect.

This was perfection at the end. Nice amount of heat, a bit of acid from the lime juice and slightly creamy from the coconut milk. The arugula added a bit of peppery bite and the tomatoes added some freshness. I would have gladly paid money for this dish at a restaurant but I’d rather just make it in the comforts of my own home again! Open-mouthed smile

Have you ever cooked mussels at home? If so, do you have a favorite mussels recipe?

Also, what should I do with the rest of my lite coconut milk?? I’m totally out of ideas!

Last but not least, don’t forget to enter my popchips giveaway... and if you really love me, please “like” my buffalo chicken fingers picture here (you have to “like” popchips first, sorry!). I’m really close to advancing to the next round during which I will get to make my recipe for a crowd of Bostonians for a real taste-off. That would be so fun. Help me get there!!

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I’ve never made mussels before- I always found it a little intimidating! Glad to know that you can make some delicious mussels at home.

    • #2 - Elina

      I was definitely a little intimidated too but after a few tries, I realized it’s actually really easy – especially when you have a delicious sauce recipe! :)

  • #3 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    I also love mussels, but haven’t been very successful at preparing them at home. The one time I bought them, I naively left them in a plastic bag, so most of them died before I could cook them. Live and lear, right?! These look perfect. I love the flavors in curry, and will have to keep an eye out for that thai coconut curry broth!

    • #4 - Elina

      I used regular chicken broth instead of the thai curry broth but it does sound even more delicious if you can find it! :)

  • #5 - J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)

    They look fantastic! I have cooked mussels at home, usually on Christmas Eve. I haven’t perfected it yet, but I’m working on it. Love shellfish and mollusks!

  • #6 - Michelle

    I adore mussels but never cook them at home since Bret won’t eat them! Your mussels look great!

  • #7 - Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    I recently became obsessed with mussels (after spending years thinking I hated them!). Making them at home isn’t too tough either – I love the Thai flavors youa dded!Q

  • #8 - LIZZY

    So glad you tried a version of these out. I am opposite of being married to recipes- i never measure a thing. Thats why I’m much more of a cook than a baker. Thai style mussels are the best, I will have to try your version, especially since I haven’t been able to find the college inn broth since!

  • #9 - Toni

    I love mussels! Had them this past weekend actually. We make em pretty straight up in marinara sauce!

  • #10 - The Teenage Taste

    I’ve never made mussels at home, but really enjoy them when I’m eating out. This dish looks delicious!

  • #11 - Kerstin

    Mmm, your mussels look great! I’ve only made them a couple times at home and need to more often!

  • #12 - Megan

    I’ve never cooked mussels at home, but I love them! One of my favorite versions is at Robert’s Maine Market & Grill in Kittery, ME. It has fennel, cream, and sausage… which is most excellent with bread for dipping.

  • #13 - Ranjani

    So I’m sure it is much too late for this suggestion to help you out with that leftover coconut milk…but for next time – try cooking rice in it. So delicious!