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Expat Cookbook: Mussels in Citrusy Passata


While the time-honored way of cooking mussels is the Belgians’ love of using white wine, some more contemporary takes have shifted towards substituting with tomatoes in all forms and consistencies, with a few throwing in the chilli for the Asian influence.

My happy marriage of these sources of inspiration gives a deeply flavoursome tangy broth in which the al dente mussels gleefully swim, making it perfect for days when you just want a quick to prepare meal that is still sumptuously scrumptious with lazy but hearty quenches of ice cold beer.



1 kg fresh raw mussels, washed and bearded
750 ml passata
375 ml white wine
45 g fresh basil, finely chopped
40 g fresh coriander leaves & stems, roughly chopped
4.5 tangerines – zest and juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
75 g butter
1.5 large onions, finely diced
Crack black pepper


  1. Melt the butter in a deep pot.
  2. Sautee the onions in the butter, over medium heat, till they are soft.
  3. Stir in the passata, white wine, basil, tangerine zest and juice as well as brown sugar.
  4. Bring the passata mixture to the boil.
  5. Add the mussels and bring the mixture back to the boil.
  6. As the mussels begin to open, stir till all the shellfish are that way, discarding any that remains shut.
  7. Turn off the heat and taste the broth; seasoning with salt if needed.
  8. Stir ¾ of the coriander through the mussels in the broth.
  9. Generously season with crack black pepper.
  10. Immediately serve, garnished with the remaining coriander and accompanied with warm generously buttered slices of crusty baguette.


Serves 4

About Wai Lin Coultas

Wai Lin Coultas
Wai Lin is a Singaporean married to an Australian. Besides being mad about putting her own twists and fusions into recipes from diverse continents, she spends her time writing and subbing for an Aussie newspaper as well as covering the contemporary arts scene in Singapore as a gallery docent and online reviewer. She and her hubby love Stockholm's exciting arts and culture, along with the food and wine it offers.

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