Two people

When you’re short on time but your stomach can’t wait, this recipe is just the ticket. You’ll have this pot of mussels and sambal on the table in a flash.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

    WNK-Mussels Bookcover Mussels: An Homage in 50 Recipes Sergio Herman
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon minced (peeled) fresh ginger

  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped celery

  • 1 pound (500 grams) mussels

  • 1 makrut lime leaf (available in most Asian supermarkets)

  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Scant ½ cup (100 ml) white wine

  • 1 ½ tablespoons sambal manis (Indonesian sweet chili condiment; available in most Asian supermarkets or in the Asian food section of some supermarkets)

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, and celery and allow to sweat briefly. When the pan is nice and hot, add the mussels and the makrut lime leaf and season with pepper. Deglaze with the white wine and sambal. Immediately cover the pan for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until all the mussels have opened. Stir in the butter until the sauce has thickened. Finish with the lime zest and juice and the parsley.


•  All recipes serve two people.

• Unless otherwise specified, the mussels called for in the recipes are the largest mussels available (appx 20–25 per pound).

• Always use good quality olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, fine sea salt, and fleur de sel (coarse sea salt).

• Always use dry wine when cooking mussels.

• Grate your cheeses at the last minute while cooking or when plating.

• Sometimes you will need more mussel cooking liquid than the number of mussels in your recipe will yield. In that case, I recommend making some extra in advance (page 45). Whenever this is necessary, I include the page reference in the list of ingredients.

• You can buy fresh herbs in the supermarket or from produce stores or farmers markets. I like to use the leaves of tender herbs, but if you can’t find these, use what is available. Along with most other fresh herbs, bronze fennel and sorrel are also available as plants from garden centers. 

Reprinted with Permission from Mussels: An Homage in 50 Recipes November 14, 2023 / Copyright text and recipes © 2022 by Sergio Herman. Copyright photography © 2022 by Kris Vlegels and Chantal Arnts / Tra Publishing

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