East to West: Curry Mussels & Fries

White wine, garlic and fries? Or curry paste, coconut milk and rice noodles?

As I was looking at a bag of Mediterranean mussels, mulling this Very Serious dilemma, I decided there was no reason to stick solidly to either an Eastern or Western approach to steamed mussels. Because this is Amurka, and if you feel like curry coconut sauce and fries on the same night, more power to you.

We’ve waxed on about the virtues of Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) before, but in a nutshell, they’re generally a bit larger and meatier than the more commonplace blue mussel (Mytilus edulis). However, you can certainly substitute blue mussels for this recipe.

In an effort to add some vegetables and round out the meal, I included some zucchini, yellow squash and red bell pepper in this recipe. Feel free to substitute other vegetables (carrot, corn, peas, tomato) or whatever you have around the kitchen. As long as the vegetable is fast-cooking and won’t overwhelm the flavor of the mussels, you should be good to go.


Curry Mussels

Yield: 2 dinners/4 apps
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min


  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1" ginger, peeled, minced
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into half moons
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut into half moons
  • 1 small red pepper, diced in 1/2" pieces
  • 15 oz can coconut milk
  • 1-2 T curry paste, to taste
  • 1/4 c cilantro, minced


  1. Rinse and clean the mussels under cold water, removing excess grit and mussels that are open or have broken shells. Using kitchen shears, remove any beards on the mussels.
  2. In a large pot, add some olive oil, the garlic, ginger, and onion. Stir for 30 seconds, until aromatic. Add the zucchini, squash and bell pepper. Cook for 3 min until softened.
  3. Add the coconut milk and curry paste to the pot. Stir to combine with the vegetables. When the coconut milk is boiling, add the mussels and stir well. Cover the pot and turn the heat down so that the liquid inside is simmering but not boiling vigorously. Let the mussels cook for 5 min and check to see if most of them have opened. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again.
  4. When most of the mussels are open, remove the pot from heat and add the cilantro. Serve with French fries (recipe below, or pick up a box from McDonald's :P), crusty bread, or rice noodles. Discard any mussels that remain closed.

French Fries

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min


  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 3-4 c vegetable or peanut oil
  • salt or other seasonings


  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into sticks, approximately 1/4" wide. Try to make the fries as even in size as possible since that will affect how quickly they cook.
  2. Heat oil in a small pot, and bring it to 325 F. (Use a fry or laser thermometer to monitor the temperature.) In batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pot, carefully lower the potatoes into the pot. Maintain the temperature at 325 for 3 min, until fries are light gold and you can see small bubbles/wrinkles on the surface.
  3. Increase the temperature to 375 F, and cook for an additional 3 min, until fries are golden brown. Remove fries from oil and drain on paper towels. Immediately toss with salt or other spices if desired.

For Dinner Tonight

PEI Mussels

Our premium blue mussels are rope-cultured and come from Prince Edward Island, home to the most productive mussel grounds in the world.

PEI Mussels (10-lb bag)

Wild Mussels

From the cool waters of New England, these wild mussels flourish on microscopic plankton and are purged post-harvest to allow them to filter out any sand or grit. They are somewhat smaller than our PEI mussels, and perfect for steaming or tossing into pastas or soups.

Wild Mussels (2-lb bag)