Hit up your local fishmonger for pot-ready mussels. These are really great for entertaining – they're fast to prep and look impressive on the table.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (45 votes)


  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
  • 6 coriander roots, scrubbed, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 large Asian red eschalots, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 2 cm piece turmeric (see Note), peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 270 ml coconut cream
  • 350 ml coconut water with pulp (see Note)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 kg pot-ready black mussels (see Note)
  • lime wedges, steamed jasmine rice and roasted chopped peanuts, to serve


Herb salad

  • 40 g (½ cup) fried Asian red eschalots (see Note), plus extra, to serve
  • 1 cup coriander sprigs
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ¼ cup Thai basil
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 75 g (1 cup) bean sprouts

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 match 2012 Killerby Semillon, Margaret River, WA ($26)

To make herb salad, combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the lemongrass, coriander roots, garlic, eschalots, pepper, turmeric and ½ tsp salt to a paste. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, add paste and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Reduce heat to low and add coconut cream, coconut water with pulp and fish sauce. Stir occasionally for 10 minutes. Add mussels, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until shells open.

Divide mussels and broth among 4 bowls. Top with herb salad and serve with lime, rice, peanuts and extra fried eschalots.



• Fresh turmeric is available from greengrocers and Asian food shops. Beware of staining.

• Coconut water with pulp is available in cans from select supermarkets and Asian food shops.

• Pot-ready mussels are from fishmongers.

• Fried Asian red eschalots are available in jars from select supermarkets and Asian food shops.


Photography Derek Swalwell