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These mussels are ready in just under 25 minutes and are steamed in the most delicious sauce packed with saffron and lime flavors. You’ll be blown away by how easy they are to make and want to soak up every last drop with crusty bread.

What makes this so delicious is the saffron and kaffir lime simmering in a seafood broth to intensify their flavors. Then steaming the mussels directly in the broth to further infuse the seafood into the broth for mere minutes.

There isn’t much cooking required here, which makes this a perfect weeknight meal. They are a great option for special occasions as they are fairly inexpensive and can be presented quite elegantly as a beautiful appetizer or main course.

When purchasing mussels always be sure to buy fresh. Many local grocers have them available at the seafood counter and can be purchased by the pound already debearded and cleaned. Otherwise going to a fish monger is a great option as well and you can purchase a more exact amount. Something to keep in mind is 1 pound is ideal for 2 people as a main course.

As most come already debearded and cleaned, its always best to rinse them under cold water when preparing. One by one so you can carefully examine them and give them a quick scrub if needed. Make sure they are closed tightly and check for opened mussels. If you come across any that are slightly opened a good tip is to tap them a few times with another mussel to see if they will close. If they don’t they have gone bad and should be discarded. If you purchased mussels with a beard all you need to do is pull on it to remove.

You can find kaffir lime leaves at asian markets and Thai grocers. Here we purchased a freshly packaged bunch at T&T supermarket which is a large asian grocer. They are very inexpensive and cost less than $2. Since you don’t need to cook with very many leaves at once 1-3 will do it, they can be stored in the freezer to avoid going bad. Simply defrost when needed for a recipe.

If you haven’t cooked with kaffir lime leaves before, they are an aromatic leaf most commonly used in Thai recipes. It’s the perfect addition to coconut-based broths, curries, and seafood. It’s best to think of them as a bay leaf where they are added near the end to slowly simmer and infuse their flavors. The best way to release their aromas is to slap them in your hands like you would mint.

If you make this recipe be sure to tag us @thecommunalfeast we would love to hear from you!

steamed mussels in kaffir lime saffron broth

steamed mussels in a seafood saffron broth infused with kaffir lime create the perfect affordable and elegant dinner.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: seafood
Author: the communal feast


  • 1 lb mussels scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp saffron threads
  • 3 cups seafood broth
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • parsley for garnish
  • serve with baguette


  • Rinse mussels in cold water and scrub clean, discard any mussels that have opened
  • In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and cook shallots for 1 minute, add garlic clove and saffron and stir an additional minute. Add broth and lime leaves and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer when boiling.
  • Slowly add the mussels and cover. Remove mussels that have opened and set them aside. Check mussels every 30 seconds as to avoid over cooking. Continue until all the mussels have cooked.
  • Once all the mussels have cooked, increase the heat to medium and stir in the cream to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • To serve: Place the mussels in a serving dish and laddle the broth overtop . Serve hot with bread on the side, sprinkle a bit of parsley and enjoy!

steamed mussels in kaffir lime saffron broth


February 14, 2020


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