Steamed Mussels with Coconut Milk and Thai Chiles


Tyler Florence's idea of a party-friendly one-pot dish: mussels steamed with lager and finished in a spicy, creamy cilantro-coconut broth.

Overhead view of a bowl of steamed mussels with coconut milk and Thai chiles, flanked by plates of lime wedges and cilantro.

Diana Chistruga

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

Tyler Florence likes making this one-pot dish for parties because it requires so little cleanup. He simply steams plump mussels in reduced lager until they are just starting to open and then adds a creamy, spicy, slightly tart mixture made with garlic, ginger, chiles, cilantro, coconut milk, and lime juice. The mussels then finish cooking in this rich, aromatic mixture. The result is a Thai-inflected version of the French classic.

One note on prepping the mussels: Be sure to remove their beards — a tuft of wiry, hair-like strands that protrude from the shell's lip — as you scrub them. The best way to remove the beards is to pinch them firmly and gently pull while working them back and forth.


  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 2 Thai chiles, thickly sliced

  • 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 (13 1/2-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 (11- to 12-ounce) bottle lager

  • 5 pounds mussels, scrubbed


  1. Overhead view of the ingredients needed to make steamed mussels with coconut milk and Thai chiles.

    Diana Chistruga

    Gather your ingredients.

  2. Overhead view of a food processor bowl containing the puréed chiles, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and lime zest.

    Diana Chistruga

    In a food processor, combine the garlic, chiles, ginger, cilantro, lime zest, and olive oil, and process to a paste.

  3. The chile-ginger-herb purée is whisked in a mixing bowl with coconut milk.

    Diana Chistruga

    Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the coconut milk and lime juice and season with salt.

  4. Beer is simmered in a large pot until reduced by two thirds.

    Diana Chistruga

    In a large soup pot, bring the lager to a boil over high heat.

  5. the reduced beer, ready for the mussels.

    Diana Chistruga

    Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 7 minutes.

  6. Overhead view of the large pot filled with cleaned mussels.

    Diana Chistruga

    Add the mussels and cover.

  7. The mussels are starting to open.

    Diana Chistruga

    Cook, shaking the pot a few times, until the mussels just begin to open, about 4 minutes.

  8. The coconut mixture is added to the pot.

    Diana Chistruga

    Uncover the mussels and stir in the coconut milk mixture.

  9. All of the mussels have cooked through and opened.

    Diana Chistruga

    Cover and cook, shaking the pot a few times, until all of the mussels open, about 8 minutes.

  10. The finished mussles in a black serving bowl, flanked by lime wedges, cilantro, and a glass of beer.

    Diana Chistruga

    Spoon the mussels and broth into bowls and serve.

Make ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight.

Suggested pairing

Since this Thai-influenced recipe calls for lager, a Thai lager would be a natural accompaniment.

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