Mussels in Coconut Milk

June 5, 2018
A delicious, quick and easy dinner dish of steamed mussels in a creamy coconut milk sauce. 

A great dinner option perfectly paired with some pasta or toasty bread.

Mussels steamed in coconut milk

I ventured out of my comfort zone a bit.

I finally made my own mussels dish. 

I've always been wary of making my own mussels and scallops at home. I'm not sure why I have been apprehensive about it, but that fear is definitely over.

These mussels in coconut milk were dribble worthy. The coconut milk simmer gravy is packed with flavor and just enough pepper to make you sniffle.

It is quick, the flavors are deep and I am sure, like me, you would sit with your legs crossed on the floor, with bread just sapping up the gravy.

I said it didn't take much to make this right?

How to clean mussels

Using fresh mussels is fine. But it requires a little more work than I would like to do. So if you want to get fresh mussels make sure you follow these tips from pei mussels.

When using raw (fresh) mussels, you have to scrub them off to get rid of any debris that may be stuck on these bad boys. And have you ever known that they open and close their shells when they are out of water? Yess.

I use frozen mussels also that I get sealed at Walmart.

I defrost them when I'm ready and clean them up. I'm sure they were cleaned prior to freezing but... I need to clean them myself.

Put them in a colander and run water through them. Scrub them while the water is running through.

When rinsing, make sure that they are closed. If they do not close you can try squeezing them (or even just tap them) while underwater and see if it closes. 

It didn't? Then THROW IT OUT!!

Ingredients for mussels in coconut milk

  • Mussels (frozen (cooked) or fresh), 
  • shallots - something I have gotten quite addicted to when cooking, especially seafood, 
  • a little parsley, 
  • onions, 
  • culantro, 
  • coconut milk and 
  • some scotch bonnet

Mussels and other ingredients

Ensuring that you season up mussels is important. It needs those flavors to be delicious.

Using shallots and onions and garlic really is what makes this dish so flavorful. 

Bringing out those flavors prior to adding the mussels into it is not only just good for the mussels but you and your bread would be happy about it later down when you're dipping.

Steamed mussels in coconut milk with curry and shallots

Now, this needs to steam down in some form of liquid. 

Yea we can use water, but where's the flavor in that?

Using some coconut milk, and added curry. This would continue to build on the flavor levels we started creating with the onion, shallots, and garlic.

Delicious steamed mussels

Steaming covered is important. 

Steaming and not boil. 

After bring the first level to a boil, lower to a lively simmer. This allows the mussels to take in the flavor and for the liquid to thicken up a it.

And they do not need to steam very long.

I suggest using a wide, shallow pan versus a deep one so that everything steams evenly.

Mussels steamed in coconut milk

And you need bread, or you can use pasta, but bread (even hard dough bread) is a must use.

When this was done, I emptied it all into a deep bowl, to hold that gravy and as I mentioned, I sat down, cross-legged, and dipped away.

And dipped, and dipped

Coconut milk steamed mussels

Then I tackled the mussels. And the pearl onions. And the fresh garlic.

Can you tell I enjoyed this?

Mussels steamed in milk with pearl onions, shallots and garlic

So now my fear of dealing with mussels are gone. And I already am ready to whip up another recipe.

The next tackle is going to be scallops.

Any pointers for those??

Check out my other Caribbean seafood recipes:

Mussels in Coconut Milk
Yield: 2
Author: Renz @ HomeMadeZagat
Mussels in Coconut Milk

Mussels in Coconut Milk

A delicious, quick and easy dinner dish of steamed mussels in a creamy coconut milk sauce. A great dinner option perfectly paired with some pasta or toasty bread.
Prep time: 15 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 45 M


  • 1 lb mussels
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, chopped up
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (I love using this mincer)
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, minced (without membrane and seeds for a mild heat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shado beni/culantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 5 pearl onions, peeled and chopped into halves
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottom pan
  2. Add garlic, shallots, hot pepper and curry to butter
  3. Add mussels to pot
  4. Add shado beni, onions, coconut milk and stir
  5. Lower stove to simmer and cover
  6. Let liquid thicken up (if you need to get more liquid a few dashes of white wine can be added)
  7. Ensure mussels are cooked (See notes below on mussels and being ready)
  8. Taste for salt to liking
  9. Add parsley
  10. Serve with bread or pasta


If using fresh mussels: * Make sure to scrub the mussels under running water to get rid of any debris * Since mussels naturally open and close their shells when out they are out of the water, any mussels that do not close after rinsing, just tap their shells or even squeeze them while running water over them. If still open, discard. For ALL mussels (pre-cooked or fresh): * After cooking, mussels that did not open, need to be discarded. DO NOT PRY OPEN
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Delicious coconut milk simmered mussels

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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.