I think this might be one of the easiest things I’ve cooked all year, and maybe the cheapest. One pound of mussels, which is way more than you’d usually get at a restaurant, cost me less than $5. The rest was easy and very springy: garlic, green onions, coconut milk, a couple of limes and my favorite beer.

A few words about the beer I used, Sweetwater 420: it was a bad choice. 420 is a pretty hoppy pale ale, for those unfamiliar with it, and the bitterness does not go well with the sweet, subtle lime and coconut milk. If I were to make this again, which I’m sure I will because the mussels were still delicious, I’d use a wheat-based farmhouse ale or hefeweizen, or just some white wine or water. Sometimes two things you really like just don’t mix.

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1 pound mussels, de-bearded and scrubbed clean

2 limes

1 can wheat beer/1 cup white wine

1 can coconut milk

4 green onions, white and green halves separated, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the white parts of the green onion in the olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. When the onions have softened, after about five minutes, add the garlic.
  2. When the garlic is fragrant and softened, after about a minute, add the beer/wine and coconut milk. Using a microplane or fine grater, zest one of the limes into the pot. Squeeze both limes into the pot, stir, and bring the pot to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the pot simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. After the mixture has come together and simmered well, add the mussels and cover the pot. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and uncover the pot. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened after this time. Serve the mussels in a bowl with some broth and the green onion slices scattered across the top.