Sophie's Recipes

Favourite dishes from my cookery demonstrations & books.

Curry Mussels
Moule Meurniere with Curry Paste and Cream

Mussels are served all over the coast of France and there are many variations of the classic Meurniere. If you wish to keep it simple, just omit the curry paste. The French don’t really do chilli, but a dash of chilli powder often appears on a few fish recipes. I prefer a good chilli paste here to increase the complexity of flavour as opposed to chilli powder. The colour of the yellow sauce and the orange mussels with a dash of parsley looks beautiful. But don’t be tempted to add more curry paste as the flavour should be subtle.

Curry Mussels


Serves 4 as a starter


  • 1kg mussels, washed, debearded and drained
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic, chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon mild curry paste [better than powder]
  • 200ml white wine
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • 2 heaped tablespoons flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

For Serving

  • Warm crusty bread or boiled potatoes


Soak the mussels in lots of cold water, leave the tap running over them for a bit to help wash away some of the grit.
Gently heat a large sauté pan or saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Add the olive oil, onion and garlic to the pan and cook gently with the lid on for about 10 minutes until soft.
While the onion is cooking remove the ‘beard’, or hairy attachment to the mussel, pulling with your hand. Don’t worry too much about the white barnacles, as long as there is no dirt on the shell, they won’t need to be scrubbed. As you clean them, place in a colander over a bowl.
When the onion is soft, and the mussels ready for cooking, add the curry paste to the onions, mix and cook for a minute, then turn the heat to high. When the onion starts to bubble, but before they burn, add the mussels. Let them come up to a high heat again for a minute, then add the wine, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Stir the mussels once, to make sure they are cooking evenly and the top ones have a chance to cook and open up.
When the mussels are opened, remove into a clean colander and bowl. If you find, most are open, remove those first, allowing the remaining ones a chance to open up. Pour all the mussels and the liquid into the colander over a bowl.
If you are cooking in batches, use half the wine and cook the remaining mussels in the remaining wine. They don’t need the onion mixture; that will be mixed later.
When all the mussels are cooked, divide the mussels into 4 large warm bowls. Pour the reserved juices back into the pan, being careful to discard the gritty sediment at the bottom of the bowl. Add the double cream, bring to a boil and add the parsley. Divide the juice over the mussels and eat straight away with warm crusty bread.

Recipe by Sophie Braimbridge


Seafood, Mussels, Curry


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Sophie Braimbridge is a London-based chef, writer, teacher and cookery presenter, known for her innovative, witty style.

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