This recipe for spicy coconut mussels and scallops is simple but super flavorful, thanks to fragrant aromatics like ginger and lemongrass.
You’re going to love this recipe. It’s easy to make and loaded with flavor. The broth comes together by simply sautéing a few roughly chopped aromatics, like ginger, lemongrass, and tons of garlic. Then, it simmers with chicken stock until it’s super flavorful. That same broth steams the mussels. Then, that broth transforms into a rich soup base with coconut cream.
To make this even more luxe, I serve the coconut broth with perfectly seared scallops on top.
What you need to make these spicy coconut mussels and scallops:
You only need a handful of ingredients for this recipe, and it’s easy to improvise it depending on what’s available.
Start with the broth aromatics. I used:
- Thai chili peppers
You can mix and match the broth aromatics depending on what you have available or your personal taste preferences. If you can find galangal, try using that instead of ginger. Lime leaves would also be an amazing addition to the broth aromatics. If you can’t find Thai chili peppers, your favorite hot pepper will work beautifully.
How to make this mussels and scallops recipe:
As I mentioned above, you’ll do a quick sauté of the aromatics. The aromatics need not be perfectly minced or sliced. A rough chop, a rough slice, and some crushing are enough to release their flavors into the broth. You’ll be discarding them later, so there is no need to be fussy about it.
Once the aromatics deepen in color, pour in homemade or store-bought stock. Simmer the broth, strain it into a big bowl, and return it to the pot.
From there, steam the mussels in the broth. As they open, throw them in a big bowl.
From there, simply fry up some scallops, pour coconut cream into the broth, and then you’re ready to serve.
Divide that gorgeous coconut broth between shallow bowls and arrange the scallops and mussels on top. I like to garnish with scallions, cilantro, and even a bit more minced Thai chili pepper. So fragrant and delicious!
Spicy Coconut Mussels and Scallops
- Wide pot
- Fine mesh sieve
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil divided
- 12 dry sea scallops side muscle removed
- 2 pounds mussels scrubbed and debearded
- 1 red onion peeled and sliced
- 10 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 6-inch knob of ginger peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 stalks lemongrass only bottom white and pale green parts, tough outer layers removed and stalks lightly crushed
- 2–3 Thai chili peppers cut into thirds
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons good quality fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or use granulated sugar, to taste
- 5.4- ounce can of coconut cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- 2 scallions minced for garnish
- Lime wedges for serving
Prepare the Broth:
- In a wide pot, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over medium high until very hot. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and chili peppers and cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir in the fish sauce and coconut sugar. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. The broth should reduce by about 1/3. (Do not let the broth reduce more than that. If the broth is starting to reduce too much, add a bit of water and cover and continue simmering.).
- Taste and season according to your tastes. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids and wipe out the pot. Transfer the broth back to the pot.
Cook the Mussels:
- Turn the heat on the broth to medium. Once a very low boil has started, add the mussels. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until all the mussels have opened. As the mussels open, use kitchen tongs to transfer the to a large bowl. Keep the broth on low heat.
Cook the Scallops:
- As the mussels are cooking, prepare the scallops. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet over high until melted and hot. Quickly blot the scallops with a paper towel once more to ensure they're completely dry. Season with salt and pepper and immediately transfer to the skillet.
- Cook for 1 minute 30 seconds without moving. Flip and cook an additional 1 minute 30 seconds. Immediately remove from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Finish the Broth:
- Stir the coconut cream into the broth and turn the heat to medium. Once the coconut is completely incorporated into the sauce, turn the heat off.
- Ladle the broth into bowls and arrange the mussels and scallops in each bowl. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves and minced scallion on top and serve with lime wedges and chili oil (optional). Enjoy!