How to Cook Fresh Mussels
Learn how to cook fresh mussels and you will be able to prepare this delicious seafood whenever you’re in the mood. Mussels can be purchased or you can pick your own, depending of course where you live. If you are collecting your own then ensure the water is unpolluted.
Mussels are nicer during the colder months which are not in the breeding season. If you are shopping for them, then shop around and choose ones with tightly closed shells.
When cooked, you will want juicy, plump flesh and the taste of the sea. Mussels are white if male and orange if female, so color does not indicate freshness. Knowing how to cook fresh mussels means you can prepare all kinds of mussel recipes from simple ones with white wine and parsley to bolder mussel dishes, paella and more.
How to Cook Fresh Mussels: Keep Them Fresh
Eat mussels the day you get them unless you are sure how fresh they are. Put them carefully into a sink filled with cold water.
Discard any which stay open when you tap the shells because those are dead and when shellfish dies it begins to rot immediately and could potentially make you sick.
You might find one or two like this, or you might not have any ‘off’ ones.
Pull the beards off and scrub the shells if you are going to serve them in the shells.
If you aren’t so bothered about how they look you don’t have to do this.
How to Cook Fresh Mussels: Perfect Cooking
Mussels do not take long to cook. You just need to put them in a big, heavy pan with a little liquid and turn the heat up so they steam.
When the shells open, they are ready to serve.
Don’t overcook them unless you want rubbery shellfish. If there are any mussels which don’t open, discard them because they might have been dead when you started.
Mussel Steaming Liquid
Although water would work, a lot of home cooks use white wine to steam mussels because the flavor works so well.
Try vermouth for a different flavor, or how about ginger, coconut, lemongrass and chili with a splash of wine, for an Asian twist?
Serve the finished mussels with plenty of bread to soak up the juices, and some napkins to clean those fingers. Once you have discovered how easy this is to make you will want to steam mussels on a regular basis.
I usually use the same recipe (white wine, parsley and some garlic) but sometimes it’s nice to use other ingredients. My husband likes cream and a little curry powder instead of the wine and parsley, and that’s nice too (messier to eat of course!) Now you know how to cook fresh mussels you can try the following recipe and enjoy these wonderful shellfish.
- 2 pounds (1 kilo) live mussels, in shells
- 1 finely chopped shallot or ½ an onion
- Small glass of white wine
- Chopped parsley, to serve
- Swish the mussels around in a sink full of cold water to clean them, using a small knife to scrape off any barnacles or beards.
- Discard any mussels that don't close when tapped, or any with broken shells.
- Tip the mussels into a big pot, then add the shallot and wine.
- The pan should be half full or less, to allow the mussels to cook properly.
- Turn the heat to high and cover the pan tightly.
- When it starts to steam cook the mussels for 3 or 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
- When all the shells have opened, they are done.
- Any closed shell mussels are OK to eat if the shells open easily, but discard any others.
- Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle the parsley on top.
- Spoon the mussels into warmed bowls and pour the juices from the pan over them.
- Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices and perhaps a glass of white wine.
Still curious about cleaning mussels and wanting to ensure you do it right? Here is a handy video about cleaning mussels which will put your mind at rest.
Some More Hot Content For You
- Hot Herring Starter Recipe with Mustard SauceMustard and white wine sauce goes beautifully with many types of fish and herring is no exception. The following hot herring starter recipe combines potatoes, herring, onion and mustard sauce for a full flavored starter recipe. The herring is flavored with lemon juice and grilled, the potatoes are boiled and the onion is served raw, to make a crunchy and piquant garnish. How to Serve this Hot Herring Starter This fish appetizer is suitable for a buffet table or a dinner party. Just serve it with a big serving spoon and let people help themselves. You can serve extra mustard sauce on the side if you like, as well as underneath the potato .....
- Best Chicken Pumpkin Risotto RecipeThis is such a great recipe for the fall (or maybe you call it autumn, depending where you’re from) and the juicy chicken, sweet pumpkin, comforting rice, and other tasty flavors in here combine beautifully to make this gorgeous chicken pumpkin risotto. To make a flavor-packed risotto, stick to delicate, fragrant flavors, and you will experience this timeless Italian dish the way it was meant to be enjoyed. That Wonderful Risotto Texture To get the texture of the chicken pumpkin risotto just right, use risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli perhaps) and keep adding the liquid in small amounts, letting the rice absorb the liquid before .....
- Easy Chicken and Peach SaladThis easy chicken and peach salad takes mere minutes to put together and it’s a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. I’ve made it with chicken breast but you could use other cooked chicken pieces or some deli chicken slices. You could even use rotisserie chicken to make this (perhaps, still warm – yum!) This easy chicken and peach salad is made on a bed of iceberg lettuce, but of course you can switch the iceberg for any variety. Baby salad leaves would be good or chopped romaine. I like to add some lamb’s lettuce or a contrasting variety as well. Then you have the chicken on top, plus some peach for juicy .....
- Easy Tofu PhoPho is a delicious Vietnamese noodle soup made with rice noodles, broth, meat, seafood or a vegetarian alternative, and herbs. Beef and chicken are the most popular flavors but you can make a great vegetarian pho with tofu. This easy tofu pho is just gorgeous and you’ll love the flavors. This is a well-loved street food in Vietnam, and the Southern Vietnamese enjoy it for breakfast or lunch, while those in the north of the country have it at any time of the day or evening. History of Pho Soup This dish dates back to the early 1900s and refugees introduced it to the rest of the world after the Vietnam War. There is no proof of the .....
- What to Expect from Cheilectomy SurgeryA cheilectomy operation is a surgical procedure which is done to remove bone spurs from the big toe. If you suffer from big toe pain or stiffness, big toe arthritis or hallux rigidus, this operation might help you. You will want to know what to expect from cheilectomy surgery if you or a loved one are going to have this surgery. I am writing this lens about what to expect from cheilectomy (sometimes misspelled kailectomy or chilectomy) because I had the procedure myself nearly 2 years ago. I want to share my own experience and tell you what to expect. I also have some great tips, as someone who has been through a cheilectomy surgery. This .....
- Best Collection of Cheeseball RecipesFind out how to make a delicious cheeseball by combining ingredients like cheese, garlic, cream cheese, nuts, bacon and other ingredients. Cheeseball recipes have been around for decades but they never lose their appeal! So what do you serve with cheeseball recipes? Well they are great for dipping crackers, chips or bread slices and the softer ones are even good with softer ingredients. Take your pick but crackers are my preference. Do You Serve Cheese Balls Chilled or Not? Well you can leave your cheese ball at room temperature to soften it or keep it chilled until serving for extra firmness. But don’t serve it too cold or you .....
- Top Tips for Gorgeous FoodStarters are supposed to make people want to tuck into them, so choosing a nice garnish as well as the best recipes is important. Learn some top tips for gorgeous food and find out how to present the most gorgeous looking dishes imaginable. You can even serve something basic like raw broccoli and carrot pieces with a dip in style. Make sure you only use perfect crudites and make them all the same size. Present the dip in a nice bowl and arrange the crudites around the outside. You can make any meal look good, even if it is something quite plain and not colorful. That’s what tips for gorgeous food are all about. Take meatballs for .....
- Beef Wontons with Cabbage and GingerTry out these beef wontons with cabbage and ginger if you want to rustle up something delicious that you can make in bulk and freeze too. These are healthier than pork wontons and they freeze really well. This is a very simple wonton recipe so it is ideal for beginners. Use extra lean beef if you are watching your fat intake. Once they are cooked you can serve them or freeze them in a well-labeled plastic bag. You can cook them from frozen so you don’t need to thaw them the night before you want to cook them. Because they freeze so well it’s worth making a batch of these delicious beef wontons! Beef, ginger and Napa cabbage combine to make .....
- Types of ShowersShowers have become popular additions to bathrooms all over the world as more people become aware of saving water. Another reason for having a shower fitted is to save space, and for many people this is vital. You can choose between a variety of different types of showers to suit your needs and budget. Before rushing out to purchase a new shower, you will need to consider several different elements, which will determine the style of shower that you choose. You will need to think about the amount of people in the household, and your current heating system. The right shower should cater to all your needs and suit you perfectly. Choosing a .....
- Pork Potstickers Wonton RecipeThese easy potstickers or soft wontons are nice served with a homemade hot garlic potsticker sauce. You can make this by mashing 4 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon of Szechuan hot oil and a teaspoon each of sherry and vinegar. Stir in 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and you will have a wonderful garlic sauce. Anyone who loves pork and Chinese cuisine is going to enjoy this pork potstickers wonton recipe because it’s so satisfying. The Perfect Dipping Sauce You can use a bottled garlic sauce if you prefer, or serve this pan-fried pork potstickers wonton recipe with sweet chili sauce. Chinese mustard or hoisin sauce are other options. Perhaps you .....