Mussels Thai Style will be the star of your table, whether served with rice, noodles or even as a side! Made with delectable Canadian mussels and seasoned in a flavourful Thai-style broth, this super easy Thai seafood recipe takes just 15 minutes from start to finish.
About Thai Cooking
Thai cuisine is one of the world’s most flavourful and distinct. I’ve always been a huge fan, and a recent visit to Thailand has me hungering for more. We were able to take a Thai cooking class while there, and we learned that almost all Thai dishes have 4 balanced elements. Those are: salty, sour, sweet, and spicy. The typical ingredients for that balance are:
- Salty: Fish sauce, soy sauce
- Sour: Rice vinegar, lemon, or lime juice. (If adding the sour aspect while cooking, use the vinegar, and then use lemon or lime for a finished dish.)
- Sweet: Typically palm or coconut sugar
- Spicy: Chilies or chile paste
In addition, Thai cooks also use ginger, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, lemongrass, peanuts, and garlic for many of their dishes. Also, galangal, which looks similar to ginger, but has a very different taste, is a key ingredient that gives Thai dishes that distinct flavour. Here’s more info on galangal: Ginger vs Galangal.
What are Mussels?
I’m cooking with Blue Mussels for my Mussels Thai Style recipe, which are the most common mussels for eating. Mussels are bivalve, with a hinged shell. They grow along northern coastal regions on rocky shores, by attaching themselves to rocks, using a muscular foot. They are also cultivated in many northern hemisphere countries. Mussels are delicious and super easy to cook. Also, they are pretty economical in comparison to other seafood.
Here's What You Need to Make Mussels Thai Style
- Thai red curry paste: Most Thai curry pastes, (and in fact, most Thai recipes) are gluten-free, but if it is a concern, be sure to check the label before buying.
- Fresh blue mussels: Mussels, (and most shellfish) are fairly high in sodium, so be sure to use low sodium or no salt added stock.
- Coconut sugar: Brown sugar can be substituted for coconut sugar.
- Vegetable stock low sodium or no salt added: Chicken or fish stock can be substituted for vegetable stock.
- Fresh limes: Plenty of lime juice really makes this dish extra flavourful, so serve with lots of wedges.
- Additional ingredients: Minced ginger, minced garlic cloves, chopped cilantro, and fish sauce
How to Make Mussels Thai Style, Step By Step
What I love about this dish, first, is how simple it is! Just some stock, simmered with Thai flavours, and fresh, local mussels. Second, It has all of the flavour elements of a delicious Thai dish. Finally, it’s delicious and nutritious.
Step 1: Sauté Stock and Seasonings
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine stock, curry paste, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Step 2: Add and Cook Mussels
Add mussels to the pot, cover, and cook until mussels are open, about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Garnish and Serve Mussels Thai Style
Remove from heat, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges
Make Sure Your Mussels are Fresh
Fresh mussels have a clean, fresh ocean smell, and won’t smell fishy. If any of your mussels are open before cooking, tap the shell with a spoon. The shell should close, but if not, discard. Give your mussels a good rinse before cooking. After cooking, discard any mussels that don’t open after 5 minutes.
Mussels are very nutritious. They are an excellent source of iron and Vitamin B12 (higher than beef) and a good source of zinc. In addition, they are also high in protein, heart-healthy unsaturated fats, and low in calories.
Choose Sustainable Seafood
When buying any seafood, be sure to look for the Ocean Wise® label to ensure that your choice is sustaining the health of our oceans. You can download their February 2019 Master Seafood List as an excellent guide to what is recommended for ocean sustainability and what is not. Check out these other sustainable seafood recipes, too: Spanish Fish Stew, Pan Seared Scallops in Chardonnay Butter Sauce, or Cajun Crab Cakes.
Mussels Thai Style
- 4 cups vegetable stock low sodium or no salt added
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 2 tbsp ginger minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 lb fresh blue mussels
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine stock, curry paste, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Add mussels to the pot, cover, and cook until mussels are open, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges
- Mussels, (and most shellfish) are fairly high in sodium, so be sure to use a low sodium or no salt added stock.
- Chicken or fish stock can be substituted for vegetable stock.
- Plenty of lime juice really makes this dish extra flavourful, so serve with lots of wedges.
- Most Thai curry pastes are gluten-free, but if it is a concern, be sure to check the label before buying.
- Brown sugar can be substituted for the coconut sugar.