Cambodian Mussels

If you want fish, go wild. Pete talks with author, David Gillespie, about Omega 3 fatty acids, and makes 4 delicious seafood recipes. Moroccan Flounder with Carrot Salad, Jamaican Mussels, Salmon Belly with Celeriac Remoulade, and Fish Tacos with his two young daughters and their next door neighbour.

Serves: 2


  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 small green chillies, chopped
  • 3 cm piece of fresh galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stems, white parts only, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely sliced fresh turmeric or ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 300 g pumpkin, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) cubes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 400 g can coconut milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 1 kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 150 g Chinese broccoli (gai larn), chopped
  • 150 g okra, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 150 g Chinese cabbage (wong bok), chopped
  • Juice of 1 – 2 limes
  • 2 handfuls coriander leaves, to serve
  • 2 handfuls Thai basil or Vietnamese mint leaves, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the paste, place the garlic, onion, chillies, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of water in a food processor and process until fine and well blended.
  3. Coat the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil, arrange on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20–30 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Heat the remaining coconut oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the paste and fry until aromatic, but do not allow it to colour as this may make the sauce bitter. Add the coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse and the liquid to reduce slightly.
    Add the mussels, broccoli, okra and cabbage to the coconut milk mixture and simmer gently for 4 – 5 minutes, or until the mussels open.
  5. Stir the lime juice and roasted pumpkin through, then transfer to a large shallow serving bowl. Serve immediately with the coriander and Thai basil or Vietnamese mint leaves.