Cozy Winter Saffron Steamed Mussels in Coconut Curry Broth

Get out the crusty bread and soak up this cozy coconut curry broth

It’s like summer and winter had a food love child and made this cozy winter saffron steamed mussels dish. I love a cozy winter mussel dish and this one put a big old smile on my face. It has all the things that make for warm winter broth – saffron, coconut milk, ginger, peppers, and curry. Combined these aromatic flavors with fresh briny mussels and boom, a winter delight.

Grab your fuzzy slippers and dig into this dish as an appetizer or serve as a main course and don’t forget the crusty bread for broth dipping. It’s just too good to waste. Although you can certainly skip the pricy saffron ingredient, there is truly no substitution for either color nor flavor, so if you can find it, consider it.

Why the heck is saffron so expensive and why you shouldn’t skip it?

Costing as much as $5,000 a pound, Saffron takes the crown as the most expensive food item on planet Earth! Surpassing, top performers like Alba White Truffles and Wagyu beef, Saffron is still pound for pound the priciest.

But it’s so good when it hits your lips! Saffron’s earthy, sweet, honey and floral characteristics are truly unique and often hard to explain. Often at a loss for words about how to describe these subtle flavors, it’s often what gives paella, bouillabaisse and crispy rice that je ne sais quoi.

What is saffron anyway? Saffron is the dried stamen of the crocus plant. Ok that doesn’t sound so fancy. Well now imagine enough crocus plants roughly the area of a football field, and removing these stamen threads from each of their beautiful individual purple flowers . Only then, would you have about 1 pound of the sought after Saffron threads! Starting to make sense now? Harvesting these threads is very labor intensive and so pound for pound it’s more expensive than even gold.

Good thing a little goes a long way! The good news is that you will never need a pound to create a beautiful dish. These little threads are packed with power while also delicate and a little goes a long way. Also a once difficult to find spice can now be found even at your local grocery store.

Saffron plays a supporting but important role in this winter saffron steamed mussels dish. I hope you enjoy!


Saffron Steamed Mussels in Coconut Curry Broth

Flavorful, aromatic and perfect for bread dipping. These steamed mussels make a great appetizer or main dish. Prepare the broth ahead of time and cook the muscles just 6-8 minutes before serving.

  • Author: Pip
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 2 pounds live fresh mussels⠀
  • 20 oz full fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine⠀
  • 2 T yellow curry paste
  • 2 shallots, minced⠀
  • 2 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 sweet onion, diced small⠀
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced⠀
  • 1 jalapeño or Serrano, minced⠀
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 lime, juiced⠀
  • 1 T olive oil⠀


  1. In a ceramic pot (with a lid) like @lecreuset on the stovetop heat olive oil and add shallots, onions, ginger, garlic and jalapeño until soft and aromatic.
  2. Deglaze pan with white wine and cook until almost evaporated.
  3. Add coconut milk, curry paste, saffron, lime and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  4. Add mussels and cover for 3 minutes. Uncover, stir and cover for 3 additional minutes or until cooked.
  5. Serve with crusty bread. Feeds 4 as a meal, 6 as an appetizer. ⠀


Pip Tip: Discard any mussels that don’t open once steamed.

Pip Tip: If you’re buying live mussels make sure you don’t seal them in plastic. They need to breath. Leave the bag open and keep them nice and cold until steam time.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 425
  • Sugar: 4.5g
  • Sodium: 238mg
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 21g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg

Keywords: saffron steamed mussels, mussels, coconut milk, curry, crusty bread, broth, le creuset, one pot meals, seafood

Hi, I'm Pip!

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