Curried Mussels in Coconut Broth

New Year’s Eve celebrations, pure frivolity and decadence centered around the end of an epoch, complete with masks and champagne, always remind me of my favorite movie: Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. The night is all about sequins and sparkle and all things over the top. I realize that I am nearly alone in adoring this movie, but I truly adore the film (and Antonia Frasier’s biography upon which the movie is based), so indulge me, please. The reviews, from critics and plebeians alike, critique the film as boring, slow, and “Vogue via Versailles” (which I think is a fabulous denigration that I am open to at any time. Any. Time). However, I completely disagree. Beyond the visual confections provided by the costumes and scenery and the movie’s opulent soundtrack, there is a compelling and heartbreaking depiction of a flighty teenage girl under more pressure than she can handle (Britney, Lindsay, Miley, Demi, etc.). And you know what? This isn’t a total tangent. I’m leading into the recipe. Here’s the transition: mussels are every bit as underrated as Marie Antoinette.  

Mussels are inexpensive and versatile. They can be served as perfectly French (a la Marie-Antoinette herself) or in a Spanish paella, or, as here, with some Thai kick. Mussels cook quickly and hold up well in the spicy broth I served tonight. You will find them as delightful as I found Marie Antoinette and might even declare “let them eat mussels!”

Curried Mussels in Coconut Broth

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt, pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tbsp. Sriracha
  • 2 lbs. frozen mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 diced Roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely diced


  • In a large pot, add olive oil, shallot, and onion. Saute on medium heat until onions are close to cooked. 

  • Stir in curry powder, minced garlic, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cook for an addition couple of minutes. 
  • Add the white wine, chicken broth, Sriracha, and mussels, giving the mussels a good toss.  

  • Increase heat to high and cover. Let steam for five minutes. 
  • Remove the lid, reduce heat to low, stir in coconut milk, tomatoes, and parsley. Let cook on low for five additional minutes and serve warm. 

Speaking of how much I love Marie Antoinette, I actually named my dog after hers. That’s right, Marie-Antoinette had a little lady named Mops. Hers was a pug. Mine is…well, I think she’s half gremlin. But, like both my favorite movie and the main ingredient in tonight’s dinner, I think my sweet puppy is quite underrated. 

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