Steamed Mussels with Lemongrass, Thai Basil, Chilies, and Coconut Juice
April 02nd, 2008 41 Comments

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

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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. SteamyKitchen says:

    LOVE this book!!!! Thank you again for sending me this book.

    xoxo, your blog sista!

  2. Manggy says:

    Awesome. I love steamed mussels. I too dream of being a celebrity (pastry) chef, heh heh :)

  3. Cynthia says:

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

  4. FooDcrazEE says:

    yummy . . . . .

  5. PenangTuaPui says:

    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….

  6. Zen Chef says:

    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.

  7. Christine says:

    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).

  8. kennymah says:

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

  9. Hillary says:

    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…

  10. Piggy says:

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

  11. Veron says:

    I love shellfish too. I am so tempted to get this book!

  12. Salt & Turmeric says:

    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.

  13. Thip says:

    love your photos–crisp and clean…

  14. Anonymous says:

    your work is so inspiring. And those
    glad i found your site!

  15. matt wright says:

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

  16. noobcook says:

    This looks really wonderful! I think I will try it out sometime. Mussels are one of my fave seafoods.

  17. Syrie says:

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

  18. magpie says:

    Thanks for sharing, this looks really good!

  19. Mark says:

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

  20. Maya says:


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

  21. mycookinghut says:

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

  22. daphne says:

    my goodness! The combination of flavors sound wonderful!!

  23. Tummythoz says:

    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!

  24. TheSassyChef says:

    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.

  25. Linda says:

    mm i love mussels! and your photography is stunning. i adore your style. so glad to have found your blog.

  26. V says:

    I can see that you’re a fan of Fuschia Dunlop. Her books are my most-used cookbooks.

  27. Chubbypanda says:

    Girl, you’re already a celebrity chef. =)

  28. MyF says:

    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

  29. Ming the Merciless says:

    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.

  30. White On Rice Couple says:

    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!

  31. robin (caviar and codfish) says:

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

  32. Anonymous says:

    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!

  33. didally says:

    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.

  34. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench says:

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

  35. Anonymous says:

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

  36. Julie says:

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

  37. judyC says:

    is “coconut juice” the watery liquid inside a coconut? not the squeezed out coconut milk used in SEA cooking?

  38. Lulu says:

    I love mussels and this recipe is very easy.

  39. AliGThang says:

    This was delicious – but we must have used some super hot peppers because this was SPIIIIICY. Would make again adjusting the pepper level (and we like things fairly hot).

  40. 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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