Spicy New Zealand Mussels

4 servings
25 min

Spicy New Zealand mussels. These plump green shell mussels are delicious topped in a creamy, spicy and sweet coconut dressing. This dish makes a great lunch or a beautiful plate on a shared table. Perfect for enjoying with friends and a glass of wine. Let us show you how to recreate this beautiful green lipped mussels recipe.

Looking for fish and seafood recipe inspiration? Take a look at our classic fresh oysters with a mignonette dressing, simple fennel and lemon fish marinade or delicious bouillabaisse recipes.

Green Lipped New Zealand Mussels

Native to New Zealand these greenshell mussels are bigger and plumper then most mussels and known for their beautiful green lipped shells. They are sweet and delicate in flavour and are believed to have a number of health benefits. These mussels are known for there anti- inflammatory properties, high in omega- 3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of zinc, iron, selenium and several B- vitamins. So its of little surprise, you can now buy green lipped mussels as a powdered supplement!

But we prefer the real deal and the flavour in this recipe, adds to all that goodness!


  • Green lipped mussels - You can buy them fresh, frozen or vacuumed packed

For the salad:

  • Red capsicum - can also use a yellow or orange capsicum
  • Red onion - or substitute with shallots
  • Green chilli's
  • Spring onion/ Scallions / green onions - stalks
  • Fresh coriander / cilantro
  • Lemon

Spicy coconut dressing:

  • Water
  • Caster sugar - substitute with granulated sugar
  • White vinegar
  • Fish sauce - a strong flavour and common ingredient in Thai cuisine, fish sauce can be found in most supermarkets.
  • Red chilli
  • Garlic
  • Coconut cream - use the best quality one you can afford.

How to prepare and cook fresh mussels

To prepare fresh mussels simply give the shells a good scrub and pull off any beards. Discard any shells that are broken or cracked.

To cook the mussels, take a large pot with a lid and place onto a high heat. Once the pot is hot add the prepared mussels along with a splash of water. Cover and allow the mussels to steam open. Once open remove from pot and allow to cool. Discard any mussels that haven't opened.

Frozen mussels

If you don't have fresh green lipped mussels available in your region, then frozen mussels are a good alternative, you can find these half shell or whole. These mussels can be thawed in the fridge overnight. To meet food safety standards these are normally precooked but can be streamed or baked to heat through. Be sure to check the information and preparation instructions on the packaging.

Vacuumed packed NZ mussels

Gourmet cooked and vacuum-packed green lipped mussels, these are a great alternative to fresh mussels, like these from Omega Seafood. Are vacuumed packed for a long shelf life and are ready to eat or heat, straight from the packet.

This mussels recipe, is a delicious dish with it's hint of Thai flavours and will look stunning on any table. Perfect for a slow weekend lunch. ENJOY!

Happy cooking!

Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 1 kg Fresh mussels (2.2 pounds) scrubbed and debearded (See note 1)
  • 1 Red capsicum cut into small dice
  • 1/2 Red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 Green chillis thinly sliced
  • 1 Spring onion stalk thinly sliced
  • Bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 Lemon cut into wedges
Spicy Coconut Dressing
  • 60 ml Water (2 fl oz)
  • 60 g Caster sugar (2.1 oz)
  • 60 ml White vinegar (2 fl oz)
  • 60 ml Fish sauce (2 fl oz)
  • 1 Red chilli deseeded, minced
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 300 ml Coconut cream (10.1 fl oz)
To prepare the dressing
Mix together the water, sugar, white vinegar and fish sauce in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the minced chilli, garlic and coconut cream, mix well. Cover and store in fridge until required.
Prepare your Mussels
Scrub and debeard the mussels. Take a large pot with a lid and place onto a high heat. Once the pot is hot add the cleaned mussels along with a splash of water, cover and allow the mussels to steam open. Once open remove from pot and allow to cool. Discard any that don't open. Remove one shell per mussel so they are half shelled.
Place the half shell mussels into a large bowl.
Add the diced capsicum, sliced red onion, sliced green chillies and sliced spring onion
Pour over the coconut dressing and give it all a good mix.
Arrange onto your serving platter and garnish with the fresh coriander and lemon wedges. Enjoy!
  • Note 1 : You can use frozen or vacuum packed mussels, which are normally pre cooked and can be eaten hot or cold. Make sure frozen mussels are fully thawed, for best practice let them defrost in the fridge overnight.
A Tasty Kitchen
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