Steamed, boiled, stuffed, in a soup or paella, with pasta – there are numerous quick and easy mussels recipes that you can try and the sea mood is guaranteed! How to choose, store and cook mussels? What is important to know and keep in mind when going to the market? How to recognize fresh mussels? We shall give you the answers and will tell you how to serve delicious meals to your family and friends!
All seafood is an invaluable source of protein, iodine, vitamins and phosphorus. Mussels surpass beef and fish in protein content. They contain a lot of mineral salts, B vitamins, vitamins D and E, as well as phosphorus and iron. The meat of these mollusks is distinguished by a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Mussel meat also improves metabolism and strengthens the immune system, it is even recommended for a number of blood diseases.
How to Choose Mussels?
You can buy fresh or frozen mussels. Mussels can be frozen with the shells or peeled. Always read the directions on the package! Mussels in shells should be cleaned and then cooked. However, frozen mussels without shell are already cooked. You can simply defrost them in the refrigerator overnight and add to any dish.
With live mussels, things are a little more complicated. You will get incredible pleasure from their taste and aroma, but remember the main rules for handling them. Make sure the mussels are fresh first and then process them properly. Here are the main rules that you need to know when buying mussels:
Mussels should have wet and shiny shells and they must be kept on ice. The shells of live mussels must be intact, without damage or cracks. Those with chipped or cracked shells must be discarded.
The shells should be closed tightly. If you find mussels with slightly open shells you can tap them or drip lemon juice inside, wait a minute, and see if they close. A live mussel will definitely react and close. If not, discard it immediately.
Fresh mussels should have a fresh smell of sea. They should not smell overly fishy. Any unpleasant smell is a reason to be on your guard.
Make sure that you transport the mussels in bag which allows them to breathe (open top is fine). Do not tie them in a plastic bag because lack of air will spoil them.
How to Store Mussels?
Ideally, mussels should be cooked on the day you buy them, but you can refrigerate them for up to 2 days.
You must remove the mussels from the mesh bag and place them in a colander. Place the colander in a large bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Change the paper towel daily. Do not refrigerate mussels submerged in water as the need to breathe!
When you are ready to cook them, make sure that they still smell fresh.
How to Clean Mussels Before Cooking?
Thoroughly rinse the mussels, remove and discard the beard.
Scrub the shells under running, cool water with a stiff brush and remove any barnacles or debris on the outside of the shell.
If you notice open shells, discard the mussel.
Any mussels that do not open during cooking should be discarded.
Mussels Recipes – Basic Rules for Cooking Mussels
Mussel meat is light, tender and soft, has a sweetish flavor. It can be stewed in various sauces, as well as fried, smoked and marinated. Mussels go well with potatoes, pasta, vegetables, mayonnaise.
Whatever mussels recipes and cooking methods you choose, make sure that you do not overcook them as they will become chewy and rubbery. The recommended time for cooking a pound (500g) of fresh mussels is 5-6 minutes. Once the shells open, your mussels are ready!
Make sure you do not boil the mussels covered in water. Mussels need to steam, not boil.
It is best if you use a wide, shallow pot or sauté pan and cook the mussels with the lid on.
The finished dish must be eaten immediately, it should not be reheated.
Quick and Easy Mussels Recipes – Healthy Prawn and Mussels Salad
1 pound/450g medium shrimp
8 cups mixed greens
1 avocado, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and cook the shrimp. Set aside to cool.
In a large pan steam the mussels. Discard the shells.
Put the salad greens in a large bowl. Add prawns, mussels and sliced avocado.
Lightly drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss lightly to coat.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Steamed Mussels with Garlic and Parsley
2 pounds/900g of live mussels, debearded and scrubbed
2-3 Tbsp of Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Shallot, minced
1 cup dry white wine
2-3 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Add the oil and butter to a skillet or heavy pan over medium heat.
Add the garlic, shallot and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the wine and mussels and cover the pan with the lid to steam them.
Cook for 3 minutes and remove the lid to help reduce the liquids.
Transfer the mussels to a serving plate, season with lemon juice and top with parsley. Serve immediately.
Quick and Easy Mussels Recipes – Mussels Marinara
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
8 ounces/220g can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound/450g mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
pasta of your choice, prepared as directed
In a large skillet with a lid heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden.
Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid. The mussels should be starting to open.
Add the white wine, turn the heat to medium high, and cook to slightly thicken the wine, about 5 more minutes.
Add the tomatoes. Stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
Garnish with fresh oregano and parsley.
Serve hot with sliced baguette or freshly cooked pasta.
Mussels in Creamy Sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 pounds/900g mussels, cleaned
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Crusty bread, to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the wine, cream, butter and season with salt and pepper.
Add mussels, cover the pot, and cook until mussels open and are cooked through.
Remove from the heat, spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.
Mussels Recipes for Your Summer Menu – Spaghetti with Mussels Recipe
2.2 lbs/ 1 kg mussels, cleaned
1 1/3 lbs/ 600 g tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp parlsey, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
12.7 oz. /360 g Spaghetti
Sauté the garlic cloves in a frying pan with the extra virgin olive oil for about a minute.
Add the diced tomatoes and cook them over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Set the sauce aside.
Put the mussels in a pot, cover with a lid and put on a high flame to open up. When open, remove them from the liquid and filter the liquid through a sieve.
Remove the mussels from the shells, preserving several for decoration.
Add the mussels and the filtered liquid to the warm tomato sauce. Cook on a high flame for 5 minutes.
Add the chopped parsley, mix, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta following the instructions on the package. When cooked al dente drain the pasta and transfer it to the frying pan with the sauce. Mix well and cook over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes.
Mussels Au Gratin Recipe
4 pounds/1,8kg mussels
3 ounces/85g breadcrumbs
4 cloves of garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
Carefully wash the mussels under running water to remove any dirt.
Place a saute pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil.
When hot, add 1 clove of peeled garlic.
When the garlic becomes golden, add the mussels.
Cover and cook until open, then remove from the heat and let cool.
In the meantime, mix parsley, remaining garlic finely chopped, breadcrumbs, salt and remaining olive oil in a bowl.
Once the mussels are cool, open them and separate the empty half shells from the ones with the mussels.
Place the half shells with the mussels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill the shells with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400° F/200° C oven for a couple of minutes until the mussels are golden.
Serve either warm of cold, with a squirt of lemon juice.
Quick and Easy Mussels Recipes – Peruvian Choros A La Chalaca
Two red onions, finely chopped
½ red hot pepper, veined and chopped
½ cup tomato, diced
1 ½ tablespoon parsley, minced
¾ cup corn, shelled
Juice of 3-4 lemons
1 tablespoon yellow chili pepper, ground
1 tablespoon of oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean the mussels well with a brush. Steam them in a pot. Remove them as they open to avoid overcooking. Discard the ones that don’t open. Let the open mussels cool down, open them and separate the empty half shells from the ones with the mussels.
In a bowl, mix the onion, hot pepper, tomato, parsley, shelled corn, lemon juice, yellow pepper, oil, salt and pepper. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the mixed ingredients into each mussel shell.
Serve and enjoy!
Mussels Recipes – How to Make Skewers
4,4 pounds/ 2kg live mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
1 cup BBQ sauce
Salt and ground black pepper
wooden skewers, soaked in water
Steam the fresh mussels on a high heat in a large pot until the shells open.
Remove the mussels from the shells.
Coat the mussels in the BBQ sauce and season well with salt and black pepper.
Skewer mussels onto the wooden skewers.
Lightly grill the mussels for 1 minute per side.
Remove from the fire, squeeze over some lemon juice, and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
Spicy Marinated Mussels
10,5 oz/300 g Mussel meat
1 Chili pepper, chopped
1 tbsp Lemon juice
3 cloves Garlic, cut into slices
5 tbsp Olive oil
½ cup Water
1 tbsp White wine vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
Ground black pepper
Pinch of Paprika
Dill, to taste
In a frying pan, preheat olive oil, put the cut garlic and chili pepper and fry on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add salt, sugar and ground seasoning.
Pour water, lemon juice and vinegar.
When marinade boils, add the mussels to the frying pan.
Then add chopped dill and mix.
Let mussels stew in marinade for 2-3 minutes then switch off fire.
Leave to cool down to room temperature and transfer mussels together with marinade in a glass container.
Refrigerate for 3-4 hours and then serve.
Mussels in Roquefort Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 stems thyme
cup Roquefort, crumbled
2 pounds/900g mussels, cleaned and debearded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parsley, roughly chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the shallots, and cook, stirring constantly about two minutes.
Add the wine and the thyme, and increase the heat to high. When the wine boils, add the Roquefort and mussels. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the pot, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until all the mussels have opened, 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat, stir in the cream, sprinkle with parsley and serve.