Kupang Masak Lemak (Mussels in light Coconut Milk)

Quick, easy and deliciously full of South East Asian flavours! Perfect with bread or rice.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Kupang Masak Lemak
Kupang Masak Lemak

Some years ago, a friend of mine asked if I could come up with a South East Asian style tapas dish for a charity event he was holding. As I was due to fly out to Israel first thing the next morning, I had to keep it really, really quick and easy – and Kupang Masak Lemak was the result! I gave it a Malay name, just for the fun of it!

I have since made these mussels many, many times, it’s very light yet packs a full flavour profile. Some crusty bread on the side to mop up all that lovely sauce is a must! But if you fancy rice, that’ll be just as perfect!

The spices used are your standard South East Asian. If you have trouble getting the galangal, lemongrass or lime leaves, leave them out, you will still get a wonderful dish. Click on the aromatics above to read more about them.

Malay Language Lesson:

Kupang – Mussels

Masak – Cook

Lemak – Cream, ie the coconut milk

Let’s get our aprons on!

If you like the recipe, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

Kupang Masak Lemak (Mussels in light Coconut Milk)

Quick, easy and deliciously full of South East Asian flavours! Perfect with bread or rice.
5 from 14 votes
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Course: Starter
Cuisine: Singaporean and Malaysian
Keyword: seafood
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 260kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 1 kg mussels scrubbed and cleaned
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 2.5 cm ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass bruised
  • 1 cm galangal
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • juice of half a lime
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves optional
  • small handful fresh coriander finely chopped


  • Clean your mussels by scrubbing the shells.
  • Pound or finely chop the garlic, chilli, ginger and galangal.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion slices, the lemongrass & the pounded ingredients, stirring and cooking for a minute, you’ll get a lovely aroma at this stage.
  • Pour the coconut milk in, add the soy sauce and lime leaves too. Stir it all in.
  • Add the mussels in, give them a very quick stir, cover & leave to steam on the same heat for about 3-4 minutes, giving it a shake or two during this time. At the end of the 3-4 minutes, they will be done.
  • Tip everything onto a warm serving platter, squeeze the lime juice all over, scatter with the fresh coriander and serve immediately.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 625mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 314IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 7mg
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29 thoughts on “Kupang Masak Lemak (Mussels in light Coconut Milk)”

  1. Using mussels in a seafood dish and all these other flavor compliments sounds amazing. I need this in my life!

  2. Seafood is one of my favorites. Although I have never had mussels before I have heard that they are so good.

  3. Krystle Cook

    I have never had these before but they look delicious. I would love to be able to try them!

  4. I am not a fan of mussels to be honest but I am a fan of SE Asian foods and flavors. I would try this just to see the difference in flavors.

  5. Elizabeth O.

    I love mussels because they’re versatile. You can cook them with any kind of sauce and they’re still going to taste amazing. This recipe looks delightful! Easy too!

  6. That’s pretty yummy! We just usually cooked mussels (tahong) in ginger soup at home, although coconut milk is most used condiments in cooking here.

  7. Seafoods are something I really wanted to eat! I’m really craving. Maybe I can do this at home. Bookmarked this recipe.

  8. OMG I need to make this! It sounds so amazing, I love all seaford and like to try different recipes whenever I travel. I will be making this at ome and giving it a go

  9. Michelle Gwynn Jones

    I love mussels. I am always buying coconut milk and then looking for a new recipe. Thank you, I will be trying this.

  10. Amber Myers

    My husband would really love this. I’ve never been a fan of mussels, but he enjoys them.

  11. Tina Gleisner

    I’m seeing a lot more coconut milk at the store & now your recipe. Guess it’s time to learn what makes coconut milk so special

  12. My husband is a huge fan of seafood and mussels are one of his favorite. I really like that your Mussels in light Coconut Milk are really easy to make! Have to add them to our menu asap!

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