Thai Red Curry Mussels

January/February 2007

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (11 votes)

Watercress is prized in Asian cuisine for its peppery flavor and in this dish stands up to the sweet spiciness of the mussels in a coconut-laced red curry sauce. If you can find it in your market, use Thai basil for the garnish—it adds a unique sweet anise flavor that will make the dish taste all the more authentic.

"Family loves this recipe! Curry broth will be thinner than traditional curry due to the lite coconut milk but the flavor is still great. "
Thai Red Curry Mussels

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil, or canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, (see Note)
  • 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Note)
  • 4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (see Tip)
  • 6 cups trimmed watercress, (1-2 bunches) or trimmed spinach
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallion whites, lime zest and curry paste to taste; cook until fragrant and the paste is sizzling, 1 to 3 minutes. Add lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add mussels, return to a simmer, cover and cook for 6 minutes. Spread watercress (or spinach) over the mussels, cover and cook until slightly wilted, about 4 minutes; stir into the mussels. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Serve garnished with scallion greens and basil.

Tips & Notes

  • Note: Red curry paste and fish sauce, typical Thai ingredients, can be found in the Asian food section of large supermarkets.
  • Tip: To clean mussels, scrub with a stiff brush under cold running water. Scrape off any barnacles using the shell of another mussel. Pull off the fuzzy “beard” from each one (some mussels may not have a beard).


Per serving: 273 calories; 13 g fat (6 g sat, 2 g mono); 48 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 1 g fiber; 582 mg sodium; 438 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (108% daily value), Vitamin A & Vitamin C (60% dv), Iron (35% dv), Folate (19% dv), Good source of omega-3s

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 3 very lean meat, 2 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

New Year's Eve
Entertaining, formal
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

January/February 2007
Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner