Mussel Broth Recipe

Recipe By:  Gastón Acurio

A satisfying soup from Gastón Acurio's Peru: The Cookbook. "As a child, I used to love going to the market to enjoy some mussel broth. Fall can be a tough season in Lima, but a shot of mussel broth makes it all worthwhile."


1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Yellow Chili Paste (see below)
48 mussels, cleaned, in their shells
4 tbsp white wine
4 cups vegetable broth (stock)
1 tbsp chopped culantro or cilantro (coriander)
1 limo chili, seeded, membrane removed, and chopped
2 small lemons

Yellow Chili Paste
2-1/4 lb. yellow chilies, seeded, membrane removed, and cut into pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil


Step 1: Heat the olive oil in a large pan over low heat, add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili paste and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion has softened.

Step 2: Add the mussels and pour over the white wine and vegetable broth (stock). Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the mussels have opened and cooked through.

Step 3: Season to taste with salt and stir through the chopped culantro or cilantro (coriander) and limo chili to finish. Ladle the broth into large shallow bowls, drizzle over the lemon juice, and serve.

Yellow Chili Paste

Step 1: Place the chilies in a pan with enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and drain. Repeat the process 3 times, changing the water each time.

Step 2: Put the blanched chilies in a blender with the vegetable oil and a tablespoon of water and blend for about 5 minutes, to form a thick paste. Once the mixture is well blended, push it through a strainer (sieve). This chili paste is best used immediately, though it will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days. It can be used to prepare dressings and stews.

Reprinted with permission from Gastón Acurio’s Peru: The Cookbook (2015 Phaidon).