Brothers-in-law Rodger Gilson and Johan Billman have perfected the art of making their own shiraz, Rohan Roi ( – in a converted pigeon coop in Pretoria! While both have a passion for food, Johan is also a chef and owner of Van Wouw Catering (083 651 4235)


  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 20g fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 5 spring onions, cut into matchsticks
  • 10g fresh lemon grass, cut into 10cm stalks
  • 20ml tom yum paste
  • 2kg fresh mussels, cleaned and beards removed
  • 350ml dry white wine
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • half a bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • 25ml cornflour mixed with 30ml cold water
  • 300g egg noodles (Chinese noodles)
  • fresh coriander and chives, to serve


1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion until transparent. Add the ginger, garlic, spring onions and lemon grass and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tom yum paste and fry for another 2 minutes. Set aside.
2. Place the mussels in a big pot and add the white wine and coconut milk. Put the lid on and bring the pot to the boil. Cook the mussels for 5 minutes over a high heat.
3. Drain the mussels through a strainer over a large bowl to retain the cooking juices then add these juices to the pan with the onion and other flavourings. Heat this mixture and thicken it slightly with the cornflour and cold water. Add the mussels and chopped coriander and mix well.
4. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions.
5. To serve: dish some noodles onto each serving plate. Add the mussels and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with coriander and whole chives.

Cook’s note: For food safety reasons it is essential to discard any mussels that are open before being cooked and any that remain closed after being cooked.

This recipe serves 6 as a starter.