Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Seafood)

Spicy Steamed Mussels Recipe

(So Hap Xa)

This dish, called so hap xa, is Vietnam's version of the French classic, moules mariniere. Here the mussels are steamed open in a herb-infused stock with lemon grass and chili instead of wine and parsley. It is a popular Vietnamese method of steaming clams and snails. Beer is sometimes used instead of stock and it makes a rich, fragrant sauce.

Ingredients : Serves 4

600 ml



2-3 stalks

1 bunch

1 kg

1/4 teaspoon

1/4 teaspoon

Chicken stock or beer, or a mixture of the two

Green or red Thai chili, seeded and finely chopped

Shallots, finely chopped

Lemon grass, finely chopped

Ginger leaves

Fresh mussels, cleaned and bearded


Ground black pepper

Method :
  • Pour the stock into a deep pan. Add the chili, shallots, lemon grass and ginger leaves.

  • Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors infuse, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Discard any mussels that remain open when sharply tapped, then tip the remaining mussels into the stock.

  • Give the pan a good shake, cover and cook for 2 minutes, or until the mussels have opened.

  • Discard any that remain closed. Ladle the mussels into individual bowls, making sure everyone gets some of the cooking liquid.

Ginger leaves

Aromatic ginger leaves are hard to find outside Asia. If you can't find them, basil or coriander (cilantro) will work well in this recipe.

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