This delightful seafood recipe was a long time fave at the famed Grace Cafe in Auckland. Mussel Chowder is kiwiana as its best.

1 heaped tbspn Indian Spice Paste
1 onion, finely diced
vegetable oil (or rice bran oil)
2 dozen cooked mussels finely chopped  (you can buy 500 gram bags of frozen cooked mussels at good supermarkets – brand Future Zone)
1 packet of leek and potato soup mix, or seafood soup mix.
1 litre water approx
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into smallish cubes
half a cup of cream, or milk if you are watching your weight
chopped coriander leaves

Using a good size pot, fry the onion gently in a lug or two of good vegetable oil.  Add the Indian Spice Paste and potatoes and stir for a few minutes.  Add the water and chopped mussels and bring to a simmer.  Continue to simmer gently for around 7 or 8 minutes or until the potato cubes are tender.  Add the powdered soup mix and cook gently for another few minutes.  Add the cream and chopped coriander.   Taste as you bring it back to heat.  It should not need seasoning because of the soup mix, but a few extra chilli flakes are a great addition on a cold day….

Seves 4

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