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Thai Mussel Soup

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Thai Mussel Soup

Mussels are gutsy enough in flavour to cope with a whole host of spices, though I find they are at really at their best with fragrant Thai spices. Kaffir lime leaves are readily available in many supermarkets today, though the dried ones will work here very well.


  • 3 kgs fresh mussels in the shell
  • 2 small red onions, peeled and cut into 8-10 wedges
  • 1/2 red chillis, deseeded and cut into fine 2cm strips
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup fish stock or water
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
  • 2 tblsp Asian fish sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) lite coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander


  1. Scrub the mussels well, remove the beards and discard any mussels with cracked or open shells.
  2. Heat a dash of oil in a wok or large saucepan and stir-fry the onions, chilli, garlic and ginger for 2-3 minutes. Carefully pour in the wine and stock or water with the Kaffir lime leaves and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the mussels, cover tightly and steam over a very high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and discard any mussels that have not opened. Set the mussels aside and discard the kaffir lime leaves.
  4. Add the fish sauce and coconut cream to the cooking liquid, season with pepper and coriander. Serve the mussels piled into bowls with the soup ladled over.

Cooks Tips

- For a spicier version add 2-3 tblsp Thai red or green curry paste at point 2. - For a richer version, use coconut cream. - When buying fish sauce colour is often an indicator for quality. Look for a dark, clear sauce.

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