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Classic Mussels

Classic Mussels

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Robert Wiedmaier, executive chef of Mussel Bar, Brasserie Beck, and Marcel’s, shares his recipe for mussels in the shell. There's nothing easier on a busy weeknight than steamed mussels. Warm up some garlic bread to sop up the flavorful broth.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 pound mussels in the shell, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley


Calories Per Serving765

Folate equivalent (total)106µg27%

Riboflavin (B2)0.6mg37.9%

Mussels are extremely healthy, nutritious food that has a sustainable eco-friendly supply. They are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate. They contain many essential vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B12 as well as important minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, and calcium.

Mussels are the very few shellfish that in fact are low in cholesterol, making them heart-friendly food.

All these make mussels an excellent DASH food. People also eat mussels to prevent anemia.


  • All-purpose flour: 1/4 cup
  • Dry white wine: 1 cup
  • Mussels: 3 quarts or about 3 pounds (scrubbed)
  • Minced scallions, leeks, or shallots: 1/4 cup
  • Bay leaf: 1/2
  • Parsley sprigs: 4
  • Parsley for garnishing: 1/4 cup
  • Unsalted butter: 3 tablespoons
  • Fresh thyme: 1/2 teaspoon (roughly chopped)
  • Black pepper: 1/8 teaspoon (freshly ground)
  • Baguette: 1 (cut into 1/2-inch slices, drizzle some olive oil, and toast them for some time!)


1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot or pan (we used the Le Creuset Buffet Casserole).
2. Gently fry the onion in the butter and oil until soft.
3. Add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.
4. Add the white wine and reduce until is has halved.
5. Add the cream and parsley, cook for 5 to 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Add the mussels to the pot and put the lid on and allow the mussels to steam for approximately 10 minutes until all of them have opened. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
7. Add the lemon juice, chives and spring onion and toss to finish.

Serve with a loaf of crusty bread for a meal that will leave you licking your lips and sighing with contentment.

As mentioned in previous posts, my husband is French (so romantic, right?). We have been fortunate enough to visit France a number of times. I love going during the Fall months…there is nothing more dreamy than wandering the streets of Paris amidst the changing leaves. Often we will pop into a cafe, order a bottle of wine and share an order of mussels in white wine sauce. There are many iterations of mussels but the classic white wine sauce is my favorite.

We have not visited Paris since we had my daughter so I decided I would learn to make this delectable dish for our anniversary last year. I could not believe how easy it is. This dish is one of my personal favorites and sure to delight.


Mussels with White Wine Sauce

2 medium tomatoes, chopped and seeded

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

freshly cracked pepper to taste

1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

Place mussels in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside. In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Cook shallots for approximately 3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, thyme, white wine, broth, lemon juice, salt, red pepper and black pepper. Adjust heat to medium high and allow to come to a boil. Add mussels and cover. Cook eight to ten minutes. Stir mussels in pan every few minutes. Reduce heat to low for 2 minutes and add the heavy cream. Pour into bowls and garnish with parsley (these herb scissors are the best) and lemon zest (use this microplane). Add crusty bread and you are ready to serve!

This delicious classic French recipe is a breeze to prepare…bon appetit! Keep scrolling for easy printing.

Classic Mussels - Recipes

  • 1 kg fresh mussels
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • A couple of big knobs butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • A couple of chillies, seeded and chopped


  1. If you harvest your own mussels and want to get rid of all the sand and grit, soak them in fresh seawater for a couple of hours and they’ll spit out the sand.
  2. Put the mussels into a potjie pot, add a splash of white wine and the fresh parsley, put the lid on and place onto the coals. Let the mussels steam until they pop open, then take them off the heat immediately.
  3. Spoon all the mussels into a separate bowl and keep the juice in the pot. Check through the mussels and toss out those that didn’t open up – unless you’re planning seafood poisoning for dessert (chances are that if they didn’t open, then they’re dead).
  4. Remove the mussels from their shells and it’s time to add the three things that are going to make these mussels out of this world – butter, garlic and lemon. I like to do three variations so choose one then do the following:

Variation 1: Melt the butter in a potjie, add the garlic, a little bit of that reserved water and the mussels and heat through. Serve.

Variation 2: Melt the butter in a potjie, add lemon, a splash of the reserved water and black pepper, then the mussels. Heat through and serve.

Variation 3: Melt the butter, add a splash of reserved water and chopped chilli (as much or as little as you like) stir though the mussels and serve.

How to Cook Mussels Like a Professional

Once you learn these simple steps to cooking mussels with white wine, you'll add it to your dinner rotation.

Mussels are a delicious seafood option when you want a quick-cooking feast for your family, but they can look intimidating to tackle with their hard outer shells. Once you learn how to cook mussels the correct way, plus how to buy and clean these bivalves, you'll be adding this tasty, brothy dinner to your rotation. Looking for a super-fast weeknight dinner or an easy appetizer for your family? Search no further: This one pot meal, full of garlicky broth, is ready in 20 minutes. Here, the easiest steps to get dinner on the table fast:

How do I choose mussels?

Mussels are alive and should be when you cook them. Once they die, they turn bad very quickly. So look for mussels that are sold on ice. They should have shiny shells and appear wet. They should smell briny like the ocean. Figure on about half pound of mussels per person for a dinner portion. If you plan on using them as a starter you can figure on about quarter pound per person.

What's the best way to clean mussels?

So now you've bought them, you're probably wondering, how do I clean mussels before cooking? It's super simple. Place the mussels in a colander. Under cold running water, scrub off any sand, barnacles, mud, or seaweed. Discard any mussels with cracked shells.

Give them a tap. Because mussels are alive and should be when you cook them, their shells should be closed (this is how you know they're still living!). If there are any open mussels in your bunch, tap them lightly, and they should close up. If they don&rsquot, throw those away. Also, scrape the beards. Mussels have tiny membranes called &ldquobeards&rdquo that they use to attach themselves to hard surfaces in the ocean. They aren't pleasant to eat (they can be sandy and grainy), so it's important to remove before cooking and eating. To de-beard: grab the membrane between your thumb and forefinger and pull downward towards the hinged-end of the shell (use a paper towel to help grasp, if needed).

How should I store fresh mussels?

It is best to purchase mussels the same day you plan on cooking them. But if plans change, place them in a bowl, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate them for a day or two max. They need to breathe, so resist the urge to put them in an airtight container or in water.

Do I need to soak mussels?

Most mussels available in the stores now are farmed, but if you happen to pick up a bag of wild mussels, make sure to give them a soak in cold water for 20 minutes and then drain before cooking to remove any sand and grit inside the shellfish.

How long does it take to cook mussels?

Once they are cleaned and de-bearded, they are ready to get cooked and eaten. How long does it take to actually cook mussels? Once they are in, they only take 3 to 4 minutes. How do you know when they are done? They are done when their shells are open. Any mussels that aren&rsquot open should be tossed (it&rsquos an indication that they might not have been alive when they were added to the pot).

Now you know how to cook and clean mussels, try these classic white wine mussels or one of our tasty variations. For us, it is all about the sauce, so make sure to have some toasty, crispy bread on hand for dunking.

Julia Child’s Mussels Mariniere


  • 2 lbs mussels
  • 2 Tb flour
  • 1/2 shallot chopped finely
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 parsley sprigs + more for garnish
  • 3 thyme sprigs leaves removed and chopped
  • 4 Tb butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


This post may contain amazon affiliate links which means if you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I will receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Filed Under: Dinner, French Recipes, Seafood Recipes

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  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″-thick sticks
  • 2 1 ⁄2 lb. mussels, debearded and scrubbed
  • 2 ⁄3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 1 1 ⁄2 leeks, light green and white parts, cut into 1/4″-thick slices
  • 1 ⁄2 large yellow onion, finely chopped

How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Drain the tomatoes, discarding the juice.
  4. Lightly crush the tomatoes with your fingers (careful, juice may splatter from inside the tomato).
  5. Add the tomatoes to the pot, along with the clam juice, chicken broth, wine, bay leaves, and thyme, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the fish, shrimp, and mussels.
  7. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the fish is firm, the shrimp is pink, and the mussels have opened.
  8. Discard any mussels that do not open. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
  9. Discard the bay leaves and serve the soup with the reserved fennel fronds for garnish.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

Watch the video: Μύδια αχνιστά γρήγορα και νόστιμα! Steamed mussels greek style. Greek Cooking by Katerina


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