Moules Frites – Thai Style

Moules Frites – Thai Style

Moules Frites – Thai Style


Creamy coconut sauce flavoured with fragrant chilli, lime and coriander!

Moules Frites is a delicious main dish of steamed mussels and fries. This recipe is super easy and so tasty – perfect for a hot summers day! These mussels are cooked in a delicious creamy coconut sauce with tomatoes, chilli, coriander and lime! Perfect for dunking some homemade fries and crusty warm bread!

The title of the dish is French but the origins of this dish are Belgium, where it is considered the national dish. Moules Frites reminds me of summer days in South West France. Fresh seafood in a gorgeous sauce with homemade fries to dunk in that spicy delicious sauce! This recipe is inspired by my time on the French coast eating mussels almost everyday. At any good mussel place there are always more than one sauce to choose from. Although, I love a good moules marinere or a la creme, this sauce takes things to another level. The sauce is inspired by Thai and French flavours!

When buying mussels the best place to go is your local fish monger, where they can be seen and tapped to check whether they are still alive. Mussels need to be live when you cook them otherwise they can be quite poisonous. So do buy them from somewhere you trust and make sure you can see the mussels you are buying. This time I got mine from Costco, Loch Fyne and all! With it being Easter this weekend they have lots of seasonal goodies in store for amazing prices. These bad boys were just £3.59 for 2kg!!! Insane price right? If you are not a Costco member already, what are you waiting for – SIGN UP!!

moules frites - thai style

What do i need?

  • The star of the dish mussels – Good quality fresh live mussels this will guarantee your moules frites are authentic and reminding you of that sweet restaurant on the coast.
  • Coconut milk for that creamy fragrant sauce.
  • Chilli, fresh coriander and lime – these 3 ingredients are going to brighten up and bring lots of flavour to your sauce.
  • Give the sauce some sweetness, acidity and colour with some sweet cherry tomatoes!
  • Good quality potatoes for chips. I like to use maris piper potatoes for chips – guaranteed fluffy centres every time.

How to Clean Mussels?

  1. Once you get home remove the mussels from their packaging and carefully pour into a sieve and rinse all over with cold water.
  2. Place the sieve over a bowl to collect the liquid that is produced and begin cleaning the individual mussels.
  3. Discard of any mussels with cracked shells. Open mussels should be gently tapped and will close if still alive. Any that do not close should also be discarded.
  4. Take each mussel one by one and de beard them. The beard is the line that is used to grow mussels. Most mussels are sold uncleaned and so will still have this attached. To de beard locate the line and firmly pull towards the top and away from the shell to remove it completely. This can be difficult but it will eventually come away.
  5. Use your nail to clean any dirt and debris from the surface of the shell – you can also use a bristled brush to assist with this part.
  6. Don’t worry about any barnacles stuck to the shell, some will come off but others wont. As long as you clean the mussels there is nothing to worry about.
  7. Once you have cleaned and de bearded all mussels, rinse once more under cold running water and place back over your bowl ready for cooking.

Tips & Tricks

  • While cleaning do not let the mussels sit in water have them in a sieve over a bowl.
  • Clean the mussels as close to cooking as possible. The mussels will begin to die after being cleaned.
  • Any mussels that have not opened after cooking should not be eaten and discarded.
  • If you are concerned about the mussels being out of the fridge after cleaning. Simply rinse them under cold water from time to time to ensure they remain cool and live.
  • Mussels should smell pleasantly like the sea. Any unpleasant smell coming from them is a sign you may have bought poor quality mussels or many of them have died.
  • Mussels cook very quickly so have all your utensils and ingredients nearby and stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on them. You dont want to overcook them just like prawns and most seafood.
  • For the fries test to see if the oil is ready by sticking a chopstick in the centre of the pan. It will bubble almost immediately if the oil is hot and ready! This trick is from Quang Tran – check his YouTube for amazing cooking videos.
close up moules frites

Serving Suggestions –

Moules Frites is a complete recipe, but if you are not a fan of potatoes give it a go with some steamed Basmati Rice. The sauce works amazingly with rice. Feeling extra hungry, grab a chunky slice of crusty warm bread for dunking in that gorgeous sauce! Love mussels? Let me know in the comments if you want more mussel recipes!

5 from 1 vote

Moules Frites

Mussels steamed in a creamy coconut sauce with chilli, coriander and lime!
Servings 2 people
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • Sieve
  • Bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Deep pot
  • Deep frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Skimmer spoon
  • Wooden spoon
  • Kitchen roll
  • 2 Plates



  • 1 kg live mussels
  • 1 cup tomatoes halved
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 garlic
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coriander chopped
  • 2 limes

Homemade Fries

  • 6 large maris piper potatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups sunflower oil



  • Clean the mussels by pouring them into a sieve and rinsing them with cold water. Rest over a bowl to collect any liquid and ensure they are not sitting in water. Clean each mussel individually by removing the beard and using your nail or a hard bristle brush to remove any dirt and beard from the area of the shell. Once done rinse once more and leave the mussels in the sieve in the sink or resting in a bowl.


  • Wash the tomatoes and coriander. Halve the tomatoes, chop the lime in half, slice the chilli and finely chop the coriander. Mince the garlic and chop the shallots into cubes and set the ingredients aside into bowls. Measure out your seasoning into one bowl ready for later.
  • Turn the pot on and heat the olive oil for a couple of minutes before pouring in the shallots and frying. After 2 minutes or so add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes or until golden.
  • Add the tomatoes and sliced chilli and fry for about 4 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened slightly.
  • Add the coconut milk, half of the coriander and all the spices and cover and leave to come to the boil, about 5 minutes.
  • Once the Sauce is boiling taste and add any more salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining coriander and squeeze the lime into the sauce. Stir and then throw the mussels into the sauce and cover and leave to steam for 4 minutes.
  • After 4 minutes swirl the pot to move the mussels from the bottom to the top – uncover and use a spoon is you need to. Recover and leave to steam for another 4 minutes or until all the mussels have opened.
  • Serve out of the pot to keep the heat in. Optional – sprinkle with some more coriander and lime wedges for an extra zing!

Homemade Fries

  • Peel and wash the potatoes and cut them into your desired shape ensuring they are all similar sizes for even frying.
  • Put your cut potatoes in a deep pasta pot and fill with cold water to 2 inches above the level of the potatoes. Turn heat to high and boil for about 10 minutes or until the water has started to foam and bubble but not boil.
  • Drain the potatoes and lay them out onto your plate lined with kitchen roll. Leave to dry for at least 10 minutes before frying.
  • 20 minutes before you start your mussels begin heating your oil in the frying pan.
  • Test oil by sticking a chopstick in the middle of the frying pan. When ready pour in you parboiled potatoes and fry on high heat until crisp and or golden brown (about 10-15 minutes) You want your oil really hot for a golden brown colour. Careful not to overcrowd your pan.
  • When done remove from oil to another kitchen roll covered plate, sprinkle with salt, toss and your homemade fries are ready!


TIP – Wash, clean and prep all your vegetables at the start, then turn on the oil for the fries, clean the mussels and then start the sauce.
Author: Daniel Devereux
Cost: £6
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: French, Fusion
Keyword: French Flavour, Shellfish, Summer

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @chilliandlife on Instagram and hashtag it #chilliandlife #CANDL.


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