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Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass, Thai Basil, Chilies, and Coconut Juice


Recipe: Jean Georges’s Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass, Thai Basil, Chilies, and Coconut Juice

Adapted from “Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges”


1 lb mussels (washed and bearded)
6 stems of Thai basil leaves (use only the leaves)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 clove shallot (minced)
3 bird’s eye chilies (finely chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil

For the broth:

Juice of 2 small coconuts/3 cups
1/2 inch galangal/ginger (lightly pounded)
1 lemongrass stalk (trimmed, smashed, and chopped)
3 bird’s eye chilies (smashed)
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste


Bring the coconut juice, galangal/ginger, lemongrass, and smashed bird’s eyes chilies to boil over high heat. Add the lemon zest and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Remove from the stove, strain the broth and set aside. Discard the aromatics.

Heat up the cooking oil in a wok or deep saucepan that can later be covered. Add the minced garlic and shallots and cook until lightly browned. Stir-in the chopped bird’s eye chilies, then add the mussels and the broth. Add the basil leaves, cover and cook until all mussels are open. Add salt to taste, dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

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41 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Cynthia

    You are killing me here with those fantastic flavours: lemongrass, Thai basil, chilies and coconut juice?! I’ve just died and gone to heaven! :)

  2. PenangTuaPui

    i like Mussels too…. looks so yummy… must taste well…

    In Msia, I normally get to cook those smaller size one, we call it as “thin shell”… mini size one..

    I love it very much.. I miss my mum’s favorite dish….

  3. Zen Chef

    Oh Yum! I haven’t tried this recipe yet but i had my celebrity chef moment when i went to the book release party and got my copy autographed by the man himself. They were serving all kind of goodies from the book at the party. Okay, I know you hate me now! :-) nah nah nah nah nah

    I wrote a post about it a little while ago.

  4. Christine

    This a very beautiful dish – the flavors, the colors. Coconut juice has got so much going for it — lots of fragrance and flavor with a lot less fat than coconut milk (though coconut milk is good stuff).

  5. kennymah

    My dear, I think you definitely have the making of a celebrity chef… think a sweeter, more tanned, Asian version of Nigella Lawson? :)

  6. Hillary

    I think i would LOVEEE that. I recently found out how much I like mussels…but I’ve always known I enjoy those other flavors! Mmmm…

  7. Piggy

    I love shellfish more than anything else… and your steamed mussels look so good that I almost lick my screen! LOL!

  8. Salt & Turmeric

    never thought of using coconut juice for cooking before. sounds like a great idea! and it also sounds easy enough for someone like me. lol.

  9. matt wright

    This looks incredible. Simply bloody incredible. Great job as usual. I now hate you even more. I didn’t think that was possible! LOL.

  10. Syrie

    Hey miss! I got the same book for christmas. It’s fantastic and you’ve just reminded me to use it. Great looking moules!

  11. Mark

    That look and sounds absolutely great. I’m definitely going to be giving this one a try! My mouth is watering already!

  12. Maya


    I have this book and absolutely love it! Thank you for reminding me to dig it out and give it a go again.

  13. mycookinghut

    A truly wonderful recipe. I have this book too,like you, I think the dish on the front cover should be great!

  14. Tummythoz

    Been around but lazy to drop comments. Afterall, what can I say more other than great recipes & superb pictures, almost a norm now. :>
    The reason I broke my silence is that I promised a friend to tell you this, “I followed your recipes to a ‘t’ and they all worked! Now my hubby is complaining about growing a bigger tummy while my MIL has been asking me for tips!”

    Cass, happy? Remember to feed me those butter prawns!

  15. TheSassyChef

    That looks and sounds amazing! I love anything with coconut, basil, and lemongrass. It’s the standard for Thai!
    You’re making my mouth water.

  16. MyF

    Yummy mussels… Can you cook this next time you come to penang ??? :-) haha… Yes, I am so drooling at delicious food after a week of low fat diet!!! Drool drool drool…:-P

  17. Ming the Merciless

    I went to Jean Georges a couple years ago during Restaurant Week when there were prix fixe menus for under $25. The place was gorgeous and the service was magnificient. The food was okay.

    I didn’t try the lemon grass mussels but your photos definitely make them look delicious.

  18. White On Rice Couple

    These look like a million bucks! I need to go grab some lemongrass from the garden and try this dish. I see myself licking the plate clean already!

  19. robin (caviar and codfish)

    Your mussels look FANTASTIC! And my dear, “celebrity chef” is definitely in your future!

  20. Anonymous

    I have not tried this recipe but i have made another one in the book. It’s Roast chicken with chunky miso sauce and grapefruit salad. I was happy with the results – easy to make and the end result was elegant and quite original. Well worth trying!

  21. didally

    I love mussels! This one is interesting with the addition of lemongrass and coconut juice. And I also do not waste the broth when eating these mussels. I will always try to scoop up as much broth using the shells and down them together with the flesh.

  22. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

    Beautiful mussels! I usually steam/poach in stock but I can imagine the lovely aroma coconut milk would add!

  23. Anonymous

    This steamed mussels with lemongrass, thai basil, shillies and coconut juice is making me drooling. I really like the combination.

  24. Julie

    It’s a beautiful and tasty recipe.
    I would wish to know how many persons this recipe is provide for ?
    Thanks for your answer

  25. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so
    much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message
    home a little bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

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