Classic steamed mussels recipe

Classic steamed mussels

Classic steamed mussels


Personally I love mussels. Mussels in provencal, Roquefort or wine sauce, on the grill or just simply boiled in salted water. Farm-raised mussels and clams are not only healthy to eat, they are good for the ocean environment. Now, that we are in the peak of mussels season (October to March) the fish departments and markets are offering for sale beautiful European mussels with sleek, shiny shells and tender, nutritious flesh. Because I am the only one who eats mussels in the house, I usually buy around 1kg, (2lb)  more than enough for one hungry person. So if you are cooking for 4,  3 kg, (aprox. 4 lb) should do it. I prefer farm raised  to wild ones. Try not to choose mussels that have chipped, broken or damaged shells. Fresh mussels tend to be tightly closed. You can store mussels loosely wrapped in a wet kitchen towel (so they can breathe) in the fridge for up to a day before cooking. So here is my classic steamed mussels recipe:


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, or a 1/2 small onion finely chopped

1 small stick of Pascal celery, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 pound (1 kg) mussels, cleaned

1/2 cup (100 ml) dry white wine (one time I used with success beer)

1/2 cup (100 ml) heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

fresh cilantro, chopped ( you can use fresh parsley if you don’t like or have cilantro)

salt & pepper

Crusty bread, to serve


To clean mussels, scrub them in plenty of cold water to remove barnacles or sand. Remove the ‘beard’ – a fibrous clump of hairs that sprouts from the shell. Rinse well.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add the shallots, garlic and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the cleaned mussels, wine and give it a good stir.

Cover the pot, and cook until the mussels open and are cooked through, about 10 – 15 minutes.

With a spoon sifter take out the mussels and place them into a ceramic bowl. Cover the bowl.

Over the juices in the pot, add the butter cut in small pieces, heavy cream and parsley. Turn up the heat and reduce the sauce until it thickens a little.

Pour the sauce over the mussels and serve  with the crusty bread. Don’t forget the spoon, the sauce it’s the best part – I assure you.

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