Chilli Mussels with Cornbread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a first course

Appears in


  • 2 kg (about 4 lbs) mussels, well scrubbed and rinsed
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 spring onions, trimmed, rinsed and finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 or 2 red or green chillies, split, seeded and finely sliced – use more or less, to taste
  • 3 or 4 pieces dried tomato, soaked and cut into narrow strips
  • glass of dry white wine, cider or beer, about 200 mls (7 oz)
  • 4 sticks of cornbread or 4 slices pre-cooked polenta
  • extra-virgin olive oil – optional


As the mussels cook so quickly, first bake the cornbread, or heat it through. If using the polenta instead, heat the grill or a well-seasoned frying pan and sear it on both sides, until hot all the way through.

Discard any mussels that remain open after scrubbing and rinsing – they are dead – put the rest in a large lidded saucepan with the flavourings and liquid and cover with the lid.

Cook the mussels until they open, shaking the pan for the heat to reach all of them. This should take about five minutes.

Put the cornbread or polenta in large soup plates, with a splash or two of olive oil if using it, and ladle the mussels and juice on top. Serve very hot.

Quantities can simply be multiplied if more servings are required.