As with any shellfish (clams, oysters and the like), mussels must be cooked while they are still alive. Smell them before purchase, they should smell like the ocean and should not have any major odor. Soak the mussels in cool fresh water for 20-30 minutes before cooking and the scrub the mussels under running water with your hands, or a brush to remove sand, kelp, barnacles, or other attachments. If you find a bearded mussels, give the beard a nice tug with your hand or use kitchen scissors and it should come right off. Discard mussels that are broken, cracked, chipped or not tightly closed.
Steamed Mussels Recipe for Two
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, minced
12 oz bottle of beer of your choice - Lager is the way to go. Nothing too hoppy :)
2 lbs mussels
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves and stems, finely minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated
- Heat large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and melt the butter. Add shallots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
- Add mussels to the pot, and pour in the lager. Close lid and let mussels steam over medium heat until shells are open and the mussels turn opaque, 5~6 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Remove the mussels and place in a serving dish. Let the broth rest a few minutes allowing any remaining sand to settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour out the broth using a ladle, avoiding the bottom.
- Top with cilantro leaves, black pepper, and a nice squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to finish off. Serve hot with crusty bread to mop up the juices!
What is your favorite steamed shellfish dish? Share us your delicious story.