This is a dish Luzviminda and her family would cook regularly. Simple, quick and easy, fresh ingredients and a good stock are the secrets to making this dish sing, along with an ingredient that is rarely used in Australian cooking – fresh chilli leaf. Grow your own chilli plants and you’ll have plenty all year round. You can also experiment by adding it to other recipes.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (7 votes)


  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 5cm piece ginger, julienned
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 litres fish stock or water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp black pepper, crushed
  • 1 kg mussels, cleaned
  • 2-3 cups medium-large chilli leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the ginger and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent. Pour in the stock or water. Cover and bring to the boil.

Add the fish sauce and pepper. Stir through.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the mussels. Stir and cover. Cook until the mussels just begin to open. Add the chilli leaves and stir through.

Cook until the mussels are fully opened. Garnish with more chilli leaves, if desired.