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Spicy Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass, Chile, and Basil

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Shellfish is turning up on dinner tables more and more, and for good reason. Mussels cook in just minutes and are a smart, sustainable choice. Before buying mussels, take a sniff. They should smell like the sea. If they’re really fishy smelling, don’t buy them.


  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced into rounds (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces, and lightly smashed (3/4 cup)
  • 3 1/8-inch-thick slices fresh ginger
  • Zest of 1/2 lime, peeled off in strips with a vegetable peeler (about 5 strips)
  • 2 lb. mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 red serrano (or other small hot red chile), sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 240
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 80
  • Fat (g): 9
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Cholesterol (mg): 65
  • Sodium (mg): 670
  • Carbohydrates (g): 11
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 29


  • Heat the oil in a large straight-sided sauté pan or pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, lemongrass, ginger, lime zest, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to medium low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Raise the heat to medium high and add the mussels and chile. Cover and simmer until the mussels open, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the mussels to serving bowls, discarding any that haven’t opened. Add the basil to the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Add chili sauce to taste, if using. Ladle the broth over the mussels. Don’t eat the lemongrass or the ginger.

Serve with Roasted Eggplant with Chiles, Peanuts & Mint.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • grlup | 07/29/2012

    Easy and good! I've made this twice now and it's a keeper. Love the Thai flavor.

  • CraftyFarmGirl | 03/10/2010

    This was great. Really easy and tasty. I changed it a little. When the broth was done simmering (before I added the chile and mussels) I added about 1/2 tsp. Thai red chile paste and 1/4 cup of light coconut milk. Personally I would remove the lemongrass and ginger after I removed the mussels and before I added the basil. Maybe that's just because my husband is a lughead and kept eating them and questioning why they were in there! I will definitely make this again.

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