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Thai lemon grass & coconut shellfish broth

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 40

Cooking method: Stove top


  • 8 fresh Mussels
  • 8 Pipi
  • 12 Cockles
  • 1 tbspn peanut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger
  • 2 x 5cm pieces lemon grass stalks, bruised and thinly sliced
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, destemmed and roughly torn
  • 1 long red chilli, chopped
  • 500mls fish stock
  • 200g coconut milk
  • 1 tspn fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbspn coriander leaves, chopped

Cooking instructions

  1. To clean the shellfish, scrape the shells using the back of a knife to remove all barnacles and growth. Rinse well under water.
  2. Place a large pot onto a medium-low heat, add peanut oil and saute garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add lemon grass and cook until it starts to release its perfume. Add kaffir lime leaves and chilli and cook for a further minute.
  3. Turn up the heat and add shellfish to the pot. Stir well, adding enough fish stock to create steam (about 200mls) and quickly place on the lid to steam open the shellfish. Once open, remove from pot and set aside. Add remaining fish stock to pot along with coconut milk. Bring to the boil. Taste and season with fish sauce, then cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Check shellfish to ensure that all the Mussel beards are removed and that there are no crabs inside. Return to the pot to warm through.
  5. Remove pot from heat and add lime juice and chopped coriander.
  6. Portion shellfish into 4 bowls, pour over the broth and enjoy!

An image from The New Zealand Seafood Cookbook.
Text by Auckland Seafood School and contributing chefs; with food photography by Sean Shadbolt.
Published by Penguin Group NZ. ©Auckland Seafood School, 2009.