Family Recipe: Coconut Curry Mussels

Family Recipe: Coconut Curry Mussels

This may sound shocking, but I believe that mussels are the ultimate kid-friendly food. How fun is it to scoop your dinner out of seashells? Parents also like them because they’re high in protein and iron and almost shockingly inexpensive. They’re also a sustainable seafood, so it’s a win-win (win).

Most mussels for sale these days have already been debearded (meaning that wiry tangle spilling out of the shell has already been removed), but if they haven’t, just give the beards a tug to remove. Before cooking, discard any open mussels that won’t stay closed with a tap. After cooking, toss any shells that haven’t opened. Serve with a green salad and bread for soaking up the sauce.

This family dinner is appropriate for toddlers on up, but if you’re practicing baby-led feeding cut the mussels in half and let your little one have a taste. Since you’ll want to keep your baby’s sodium intake low, skip the extra sauce on top of the mussels for baby’s portion.

1 cup canned light coconut milk

½ cup canned diced tomatoes with juices

2 teaspoons lime juice

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon fish sauce

½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon Thai red curry paste, or to taste

2 lbs. mussels, debearded if necessary and rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 Put the coconut milk, tomatoes, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, grated ginger, and curry paste in a large wide-bottomed pot. Whisk, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the broth to see if it needs more sour (lime juice), salt (fish sauce), or sweet (brown sugar): you want a nice balance.

2 Add the mussels. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the mussels have opened, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mussels to serving dishes, discarding any that failed to open. Ladle the sauce over top and sprinkle with cilantro.


Excerpted from Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig. Photo by Lauren Volo.


Jenna Helwig