Cooking Mussels Article -
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How to Cook Mussels

Learn a simple way to cook delicious mussels--the steaming method.

1. We used 1 pound fresh cleaned mussels, 1/4 cup white wine, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon butter. This preparation begins after the mussels have been cleaned and takes about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Preheat a pan over medium heat. Once you have chopped your garlic, add a small amount of butter to your preheated pan. Stir the garlic into the butter. (You can substitute a light olive oil for butter.)

    3. Cook the garlic in the pan until it becomes a tan color. Do not burn the garlic. If you do wind up overcooking the garlic, throw out both the butter and the garlic, then wipe out the pan and start over.

      4. Once the garlic is tan, add the mussels. Do not add too many mussels to the pan at once. If the mussels are stacked on top of each other, the weight of the other mussels will make it more difficult for the mussels on the bottom to open. Using this method, you should only cook enough mussels to cover the bottom of the pan at one time. Toss the mussels around in the garlic butter and coat the shells with the fat. Be careful not to be too rough when tossing the mussels in the butter, as the shells are somewhat fragile and can crack and chip.

        5. Once the mussels have been coated, add about 1/4 cup of wine per dozen mussels. This creates the steam required to open the shells. It will also decrease the overall heat within the pan. Cover the mussels with a lid to finish cooking.

          6. After about 4 minutes, remove the lid. At this point, most if not all of the mussels will be open. Mussels, unlike clams, will open before they are cooked all of the way through. If some of your mussels have not opened, they were either not cooked long enough or they are bad and should be discarded. If most of them have not yet opened, place the cover back on the pan and wait another minute or two. Be careful not to cook mussels too long or they will become tough and grainy.

            7. Remove the mussels from the pan. Pour the juices left in the saucepan into your serving plate or bowl with the mussels. The juice is delicious when sopped up with slices of fresh bread.

            Jun. 29, 2009 6:23 am
            Simple and excellent.
            Oct. 11, 2009 3:58 am
            I have had problems in the past getting my mussels to open when following recipes for Paella. I decided to use this method to cook the mussels then add to the Paella. This was PERFECT! Every mussel opened and had a nice slight garlic and wine flavor which were a great addition to the Paella. Simple, quick and easy. Thanks!
            Apr. 28, 2010 12:28 pm
            Best mussels I ever had! I always got the ones from market already prepare and added butter and garlic. I read how to clean them here and how to prepare so I tried this recipe, delicious!
            Sep. 10, 2010 6:00 am
            We live on a body of water that has been infiltrated with Zebra mussels(freshwater). Are they edible? If yes, any good cleaning/cooking hints out there? Thanks in advance.
            Sep. 14, 2010 8:44 am
            These were the best instructions for steaming mussels that I have read! Very thorough and of course-Delicious!
            Dec. 19, 2010 1:05 pm
            Mussels cooked to prefection WOW Thanks
            Dec. 27, 2010 9:29 am
            I have never cooked mussels before but after reading how to prepare them, I am going to give it a shot... I ate mussels for the first time ata christmas eve party the other day and loved them!!!!!
            Mar. 8, 2011 4:05 pm
            The Best Mussel recipe. Must try! Thanks
            Aug. 1, 2011 9:29 am
            I have fresh frozen New Zealand green lipped mussels that are already blanched and on the half shell. Can I still use them in recipes (like paella) or should I just defrost them and toss in at last minute? I don't want them to get chewy
            Dec. 30, 2011 11:20 am
            I would love to add this to my recipe folder but do not see a link. Disappointed.
            Apr. 3, 2012 4:18 pm
            Absolutely excellent. This website has taught me how to clean and cook scallops and they were scrumptious. Thank you. Now I will diversify.
            Apr. 3, 2012 4:19 pm
            Mussels as a mussel should be another recipe from the best. Thank you.
            Aug. 9, 2012 10:52 am
            How easy and wonderful! My kitchen smelled terrific when I cooked mussels this way. My kids made me promise to always use this mussels recipe because they enjoyed them so much.
            sharon h 
            Nov. 22, 2013 2:08 pm
            1st time cooking mussels. The recipe was easy and the mussels came out terrific! This is a keeper.
            Feb. 9, 2014 3:22 pm
            Thank you. 1st time cooking mussels. It was easy and delicious, tender, moist mussels.
            Dec. 30, 2014 5:13 pm
            Simple and absolutely delicious. The sauce is absolutely exquisit with some bread.
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