At the opening of his new restaurant, Luke takes time out to show Lily one of his new dishes. "With a classic mussels and white wine dish, I would have suggested a dry riesling, but this beautiful Vietnamese recipe just begs for something with more exotic aromas. That hint of chilli also deserves a bit of attention as well, which is why I’ve gone for something with some residual sugar, as this will balance any heat that comes through. It’s alive with juicy apple and lemon flavours, and some white flower aromas that launch themselves from the glass. In the true tradition of the German off-dry rieslings it’s styled upon, the acidity is really noticeable and beautifully cleans the palate on the finish." - Dan Coward






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (4 votes)


  • 1 kg small mussels
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass, white part only
  • 2 red Asian shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 250 ml light coconut milk
  • 125 ml hot water
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced
  • 10 Vietnamese mint leaves, sliced
  • 5 sawtooth coriander leaves, sliced

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.


Drink Pewsey Vale Prima Riesling 2011, Eden Valley, SA

Scrub and debeard the mussels. Discard any open mussels or any open ones that don’t close when tapped on the work surface.

Place a large wok over a high heat, add 500 ml of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the mussels, cover with a lid and cook until the mussels slightly open, lifting the lid occasionally to stir the mussels. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Wipe the wok clean with kitchen paper and place over a medium heat. When the wok is hot, add the oil and cook the lemongrass until fragrant, then add the shallots and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Pour in the coconut milk, hot water and fish sauce, and then add the sugar. Stir and bring to the boil, then return the mussels to the wok and toss for 1 minute. (Discard any mussels that do not open.)

Add the pepper, chilli, Vietnamese mint and sawtooth coriander. Toss for a further minute, and then tip into a serving bowl.