Curried Mussels, Not Muscles

We weren’t sure how this meal would go over.  It was one of our first “Paleo meals”, we made 2 1/2 lbs of mussels for 3 adults and 2 children.  My oldest son had 5 bowls before we cut him off.  Another pound probably would’ve been the right amount, but since it was our first time feeding the boys seafood still in the shell (although they used to LOVE linguine with clams) I was worried how much we’d eat and didn’t want to waste food since seafood doesn’t reheat well.  It was requested the next day by both children.      

Curried Mussels, Not Muscles

Serving Size: serves 4-6



  1. * Heat oil, soften onions, add tomatoes, garlic and curry powder
  2. * Add water and coconut milk, bring to a soft boil on medium heat
  3. * Add mussels, stir and cover for 8 minutes

*steps your children can help you with!

Most important component of the meal: spend all of those 8 minutes discussing with your child how mussels are spelled differently than muscles and that they are creatures who live in the water.  They make their own shells and the beard we pulled off is what allows them to cling onto the side of whales or boats, which is where they live.  Brace yourself for an extended discussion on how they were still alive when they were washed (hence why they were opening and closing their shells in the water) but that when they hit the steam and hot sauce their shells will open and they will cook and die.  Children will then want to consume massive quantities, evidently. After examining the dead mussels, we ate them with the the tomatoes, onions and broth with a spoon like a soup.  A salad is a nice side, too.

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  • My daughter regularly confirms TO us that the animal that provided the meat on her plate is now dead. It seems to be an important point for her to ensure we’re aware of. That, and what they used to “say”.
    She can take mussels out of their shells, but prefers to have us take the “jackets” off her shrimp. Either way, seafood calls for a full-body bib.

    • That’s adorable! I especially love the idea of “jackets” on the shrimp. The boys really get into things like the idea of exoskeletons on shellfish and what part of the animal meat comes from (Pulled pork is from the shoulder! Ham is from the butt!). It’s really interesting to see how normal these topics can be for them.

  • BarbaraKaplan

    I’ve been craving for seafood since I was a child and this dish is outstanding. Thanks for sharing, also if you want some fish facts and some other recipes, you can visit “FISHLOGY.COM”

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  • Jenny

    I got your book through a Ultimate Bundles deal last year because I collect recipes from all over. Anyways I had to google this recipe because the book listed different ingredients than this post. Haven’t made any of the recipes yet but I am sure my son (13) will love the 50/50 Burger since he likes bacon so much.