Gatherings | Flexing Mussels


Vadouvan Spiced Mussels with Coconut, Lime, and Fresh Garden Herbs


2 pounds Prince Edward Island mussels (cleaned and debearded)
2 tablespoons whole unsalted butter (1/2 for beginning of recipe and 1/2 for end of recipe)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 each shallots, sliced thin
1 ½ teaspoons freshly chopped garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons Vadouvan spice
1 cup dry white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Grigio)
3 cups organic chicken stock
2 cans organic coconut milk
2 limes (for juice and zest)
½ cup freshly chopped Parsley
¼ cup freshly chopped Cilantro
¼ cup freshly chopped chives
¼ cup freshly hand torn mint leaves
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper


1. Rinse the mussels under cold running water to remove any exterior dirt and debris. Remove and discard any mussels that will not close shut once tapped or have broken and chipped shells.

2. Once clean, soak the mussels for 10 minutes in salted ice water.

3. Once soaked, strain the mussels and reserve cold until ready to cook.

4. Heat a large round shallow pot to medium high and add the olive oil and half of the butter.

5. Let butter melt into olive oil and heat until it begins to sizzle. Once hot, add the mussels, shallots, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.

6. Cook and stir for roughly 5-6 minutes on medium high until the shallots start to become translucent and garlic begins to be fragrant.

7. Add the Vadouvan spice and stir to fully coat mussels.

8. Toast coated mussels in pot with all ingredients for about 3-4 minutes.  Continuously stir to prevent the spiced mussels from burning on bottom of pot.

9. Deglaze with dry white wine and reduce by half of the volume.

10. Add chicken stock once wine is reduced and let that reduce by half of its volume.

11. Once wine and chicken stock have reduced, stir in coconut milk and place lid on pot to steam mussels.

12. Lower heat to medium and steam mussels with lid closed.  They will be fully cooked and ready to serve when the shells open.

13. Once mussels are fully open, remove the lid and scoop out all the mussels using a perforated spoon and divide into four serving bowls. Leave sauce within the pan and turn heat back up to medium high to reduce.

14. Add the juice and zest from one or two limes to your desired taste.

15. Season sauce with the freshly chopped parsley, chives, cilantro and hand torn mint leaves. Season (to taste) with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

16. Reduce heat slightly until desired thickness and aromatics have had enough time to infuse. Ladle sauce over cooked mussels and serve immediately with toasted bread or crackers.



About the Chef

Chef Phillip Lopez is executive chef at Galatoire’s Restaurant and Galatoire’s “33” Bar & Steak. Bon Appétit magazine has recognized him as a “Chef to Watch” and he has been nominated three times for Food & Wine magazine’s “People’s Best New Gulf Coast Chef.” Lopez has received numerous local accolades including “Chef of the Year” by Eater New Orleans and StarChefs’ “Rising Star of New Orleans.”



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