Chilli Basil Mussels


Enticing, invigorating, exciting and exotic, this is a great dish of Thai flavours for mussel lovers.


  • 2 kg mussels
  • bunch of basil
  • bunch of mint
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp sweet, seedy Thai chilli sauce


Scrub the mussels well, pulling out the little beards, and discard any that do not close when sharply tapped. Pick the basil and mint leaves from their stems.

Heat the oil in a wok, and stir-fry the garlic and ginger for just 30 seconds. Carefully add the wine and boil for 30 seconds, then add the fish sauce, chillies and half the mussels. Cover and steam for 1 minute, shake the pan, then remove the opened mussels. Do this another two or three times, then discard any mussels that don’t open. Repeat with remaining mussels.

Bring the broth to the boil, and add the chilli sauce and most of the basil and mint leaves, stirring. Return the mussels to the pan, briefly tossing well over high heat. Scatter with the remaining basil and mint to serve.