Coconut Lime Mussels

8 Nov

Mussels: delicious and easy to prepare. The best part is that no one ever thinks to make their own, so preparing this dish yourself is ultra-impressive! This recipe is fresh and a little tropical with the coconut and lime flavors. Grab a bunch from the Temple Bar Food Market or Marché Atwater. Dubliners, take a quick DART ride to Howth for the day and bring some mussels back with you!

Make sure to read our tips on dealing with mussels if you haven’t before.

Coconut Lime Mussels

Some tips on dealing with mussels:

1.       Always get your mussels fresh from a reputable fishmonger, like shellfish stalls at Marché Atwater or Out of the Blue in Temple Bar’s Food Market on Saturdays. They should always be sold live, shiny, mostly unbroken and closed. They should smell like nothing but the sea!

2.       Get them home right away and cover them with fresh, cold water.

3.       Scrub them before cooking and remove any barnacles and the tough, fibrous “beard.”

4.       Throw away any with broken shells. Also, live mussels hate tap water—they’ll close when they’re submerged. If they don’t, check for a sign of life by knocking them on the side of the sink or the counter; if they don’t close, toss ‘em. They’ve flatlined. Mussels that remain closed after the cooking process were dead before you even started, and there’s no saving them. Throw them out.

This recipe will serve 6-8 as an appetizer or 4 as a main meal. Try tossing with pasta or serving over rice for more substance!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger (or 1/8 tsp ground ginger, but this won’t have quite the same taste as fresh ginger)
  • 2 tsp minced lemongrass (substitute fresh squeezed lemon juice and a bit of zest if you can’t find lemongrass)
  • 3tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 480 ml (2 cups) dry white wine
  • 240 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 910 g to 1.2 kg (2 to 2.5 lbs) mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see above)
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley or scallions

Variation: try with cilantro instead of parsley!


Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, probably about 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and lemon grass; stir well. Simmer until it starts smelling really, really good—all of about 30 seconds (quick, huh?). Stir in lime juice, and then add the wine in a slow stream as you’re stirring.

Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the coconut milk. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and/or sugar.

Add mussels to the pot and stir gently to coat with liquid. Cover the pot and cook until the shells have opened, about 3-5 minutes. Discard any that remain closed.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from


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