I grew up eating mussels quite often. My dad didn’t make them fancy with broth and bread for dipping. We ate the mussels plainly steamed, enjoying the simplicity and purity of the flavor. It wasn’t until post college that I realized mussels in broth were even a thing, and my world instantly became better! I actually prefer eating bread soaked in mussels broth more than the mussels themselves now.
There are so many great flavor profiles you can put in the broth, and one of my recent favorites is lemongrass and coconut. The coconut milk makes for a thicker broth and the lemongrass creates a nice citrusy background. Serve the mussels with some chopped cilantro for brightness and optional lime wedges on the side. Be sure to have copious amounts of bread for dipping. With broth this good, you can go through a whole loaf without blinking!
Mussels in Lemongrass Coconut Broth
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 Kaffir lime leaves (or grated zest of 1 lime)
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, chopped into thirds
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds fresh mussels, well rinsed
- juice of 1 lime
- 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, to garnish
- optional lime wedges, to garnish
- Bread of your choice – I like a good crusty bread, but I also enjoy it with cornbread!
- For the lemongrass broth: In a medium saucepan, combine all broth ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot and set aside.
- For the mussels: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the mussels and stir to coat. Add lemongrass broth and lime juice. Cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and stir well to combine. Cook until coconut milk is just warmed through, about 15 seconds.
- Remove from heat. Remove any mussels that aren’t open. Garnish mussels with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and serve immediately with bread.