How to Cook Delicious Fresh Mussels

Jan 30, 2012
Christina Cherrier

How to Cook Fresh Mussels and Clams - How to Steam Mussels - Cooking Fresh Mussels

Mussels are so delicious in restaurants but cooking seafood at home can look difficult for some people. So here’s how to cook mussels easily.

In fact it’s very quick and easy!

Mussels have a very short cooking time. It’s longer to clean them than cook them! Know that you can buy mussels already cleaned by your fishmonger. So there isn’t any reason not to try!

The technique for cooking mussels is very simple and you can add as many variations as you want. This methods also applies to other shelled seafoods like clams.

Today, I’ll show you the basic technique to cook mussel and other clams so we’ll keep ingredients at the minimum. It will be up to you to create your own variations. So let’s go:

Ingredients:

  • Raw cleaned mussels: 1/2 lb per person if mussel are eaten as an entree, 1 lb per person if it’s for a main course… or more, depending on your appetite.
  • A knob of butter
  • 1 schallot
  • 1 cup of dry white wine: this will enhance the taste of the mussels juice and compose the sauce.

Instructions:

How to Cook Fresh Mussels and Clams - How to Steam Mussels - Cooking Fresh Mussels

In a sauce pan, make sweat the diced schallots in butter, without coloring.

How to Cook Fresh Mussels and Clams - How to Steam Mussels - Cooking Fresh Mussels

Add mussels and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Note that you can add some pepper from the mill, but don’t add salt as mussel are already naturally salted.

How to Cook Fresh Mussels and Clams - How to Steam Mussels - Cooking Fresh Mussels

Add the white wine and stir. Bring quickly to a boil.

How to Cook Fresh Mussels and Clams - How to Steam Mussels - Cooking Fresh Mussels

When the sauce is boiling, reduce to medium heat, cover and let cook. Check from time to time if the mussels are opened.

How to Cook Fresh Mussels and Clams - How to Steam Mussels - Cooking Fresh Mussels

When mussels are opened, it’s a sign they are cooked. Don’t overcook them as they might get a rubber texture. You can serve them on a plate, a pot or a bowl with the sauce along french fries and bread.  Top with fresh parsley.

Tips:

This technique applies with various kind of bivalve seafood just like clams or scallops.

Along with schallots you can add any vegetable you want: parsley, thyme, leeks, mushrooms, diced carrots, garlic, onion…

It is also possible to add other ingredients to enhance the sauce such as blue cheese, bacon, chorizo…

There are no limit to your imagination! But remember to not add salt to the preparation as mussels are naturally salted.

I would be pleased to read about your own mussels recipes, please share them in the comments.

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