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Thai mussel soup

This recipe is full of goodness.

Serving: 4
Time: Less than 1hr
Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, outer leaves removed and then smashed
  • 2cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1kg mussels, well washed and beards removed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Open the tin of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon out the thick cream at the top and set aside. Pour the remains of the tin into a wok or large saucepan and add a canful of water.
  2. Add the lemongrass, ginger, chilli, garlic, shallots, turmeric and one tablespoon of the fish sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes. Add the mussels, cover, bring back to the boil and simmer until the mussels open, about five minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in two tablespoons of the reserved coconut paste. Season with the remaining fish sauce (you may need a little more) and the lime juice. You are aiming for a richness in the broth, but also a contrasting acidity. If it’s too rich, you’ll end up tasting coconut milk and not much else.
  4. Finally, season with salt if required (the mussels can be quite salty) and scatter over the coriander.

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Fish sauce doesn’t last longer than a few months so keep an eye on it.