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9 Mar

Coconut Lime Mussels

Coconut Lime MusselsMussels are incredibly easy to cook and this recipe capitalizes on that fact. Using a handful of simple ingredients and a few straightforward cooking steps, you’ll have a light but really satisfying meal on the table in 30 minutes.

The mussels swim in a creamy coconut broth spiked with shallot, garlic, ginger and lime juice. It can be sipped like soup or soaked up by cauliflower rice. Although perfectly delicious as is, this recipe can be expanded in a variety of ways. Make it spicy by adding a sliced Thai chile or a drizzle of hot sauce; make it meaty by sautéing bacon or sausage with the shallot; make it green by adding a few handfuls of spinach leaves. However you serve it, you’ll love the flavor and the quick prep time.

Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter (30 ml)
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (15 ml)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped or cut into thin strips
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces/ 400 ml) coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (45 ml)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of mussels (1 kg), scrubbed and bearded
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro (60 ml)
  • Sea salt


In a deep pot heat the coconut oil/butter over medium heat.

Add shallots and saute for 3 minutes.

Ginger, Garlic, Shallot

Add garlic and ginger and red pepper.


Sauté for 2 minutes then add coconut milk and 2 tablespoons of lime juice.

Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes then add the mussels to the pot. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, until mussels open.

Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Add a pinch of sea salt to the broth, the fresh herb and the remaining tablespoon of lime juice.

Coconut Lime Mussels

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  1. Looks Delicious!!!
    Maybe add a little white wine to the broth too!

    Matt wrote on March 9th, 2013
  2. Some cubed butternut squash would add a great flavor too!

    Kate wrote on March 9th, 2013
  3. How did you know that I was eyeing a bag of mussels today?

    Siobhan wrote on March 9th, 2013
    • $4/lb at the local farmers market. What prices are other people seeing?

      Paleon Bon Rurgundy wrote on March 9th, 2013
      • I won’t know until Tuesday when our market finally starts up after the long, cold winter. Must be nice having a year round farmers market!

        Nocona wrote on March 9th, 2013
      • $6 for 2 lbs (from Maine) at Whole Foods. I usually cook them in wine and serve with butter, but this sounds great.

        Hugh wrote on March 9th, 2013
      • we pay about that for a 2 pound bag in MD at Giant Foods

        Ben wrote on March 14th, 2013
  4. Looks amazing.. it’s too bad I’m allergic to shellfish…

    bjjcaveman wrote on March 9th, 2013
    • I am very allergic to shellfish also. I sampled a scallop with prednisone and benadryl at the ready. Very tense evening with many fantom itches. After 4 or 5 meals of bay scollops I tried 4 or 5 mussels with no problem. So I am allergic to crustasions and not all shellfish. Have you tried any mullusks?

      Greg wrote on April 3rd, 2013
  5. Yum, just picked up my fishing licence last week, this will be a great way to prep our clams and mussels!

    Scratch wrote on March 9th, 2013
  6. I use that same base (coconut milk, lime, shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro, etc.) for chicken and pork too! It’s a tasty standby and quick.

    Nocona wrote on March 9th, 2013
  7. 2+ years reading MDA and my first comment is:

    Does anyone know where to get guar/xanthan/carrageenan free coco milk?

    We make our own but it sure would be nice to just pop a can now and then.

    Thanks in advance!!!

    Grayson wrote on March 9th, 2013
    • That’s a tough one. Even Thai Kitchen Organic Coconut milk has a bit of guar in it. Guar gum is actually not too bad for you though.

      Nocona wrote on March 9th, 2013
    • I wish I had the book with me right now but I know “Rich Food Poor Food” mentioned a source. Their website might mention it too. (I’m on vacation now or I’d just look it up!)

      Joshua Hansen wrote on March 9th, 2013
    • Try your local Asian market, ours has a few brands that only have coconut in them. I like the cartons of coconut cream too, it’s think and doesn’t have as much added water.

      Lucie wrote on March 10th, 2013
    • Natural value. Order on Amazon. Just got 12 cans. Google guar gum free coco. Milk.

      Kim wrote on March 10th, 2013
      • I ordered Natural Value coconut milk from Amazon in bulk for that reason, but it was terrible! It tasted so bad (and nothing like coconut) that I couldn’t even use it. I would not recommend that brand to anyone. If you are considering it, buy one can to try before you order a dozen from Amazon.

        Sabrina wrote on March 11th, 2013
    • Aroy-D also has coconut oil and cream in a box instead of a can. You can get it on Amazon, too.

      Deanna wrote on March 11th, 2013
      • And by oil I mean milk. That’s what happens when you wake up too early…

        Deanna wrote on March 11th, 2013
  8. omg, these look incredible! I absolutely LOVE seafood :) So simple, and so delicious :)

    The Scrampinator wrote on March 9th, 2013
  9. Looks great we can get mussels from South Australia here and they a beautiful. Just a little word of caution. Taste the broth after cooking the mussels before adding the salt, they can be quite salty on their own,

    Heather wrote on March 9th, 2013
  10. Penn Cove mussels from Washington State are the best!

    Jen wrote on March 9th, 2013
  11. That seems so refreshing! I really love mussels and that’s a perfect way to cook them.Brings summer one step closer!

    Jess wrote on March 9th, 2013
  12. Alotta Zinc in those mussels, and as I understand, it doesn’t matter if they are farm raised or wild caught either.

    Joe wrote on March 10th, 2013
  13. These look so yummy!

    H88255 wrote on March 10th, 2013
  14. I’ve never made mussels before so I was a little scared BUT they came out so good! I’d even venture to say they were better than any restaurant.

    Patrick wrote on March 10th, 2013
  15. I tried making this last night. Wow, it was fantastic!

    Rob Moreno wrote on March 10th, 2013
  16. I get mine for free on the bay side of Assateague Island. I normally just throw them onto a grate, over an open fire.

    PhilmontScott wrote on March 12th, 2013
  17. I made this last night…the whole family loved it! It was so yummy…it’s a keeper!!

    Kate wrote on March 12th, 2013
  18. not bad, just cooked this up. Methinks tomatoes would be a tasty substitute for the red peppers.

    spacediver wrote on March 16th, 2013
  19. Just made this for dinner… DELICIOUS
    And it was my very first time trying mussels.

    Jennapher wrote on March 18th, 2013
    • It’s only a week later and already I’m craving these again… I had scallops on the menu for tonight buuuut I may have to postpone those for tomorrow to get my mussel-fix in 😀

      Jennapher wrote on March 25th, 2013
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