How To Cook Mussels

Mussels are a very popular seafood dish in many countries. They are delicious, easy to cook, and can be used in a variety of dishes. If you want to learn how to cook mussels, read on. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know to cook mussels perfectly every time.

Step 1: Buying Mussels

Before you start cooking your mussels, you need to buy them. Here’s how to select the best mussels:

– Choose live mussels: Always choose live mussels. If the mussels are already open or if their shells are broken, it means they are dead and should not be eaten.
– Buy fresh mussels: Make sure that the mussels are fresh. The best way to do this is to smell them. If the mussels smell like the ocean, it means that they are fresh.

Step 2: Cleaning Mussels

Once you have bought your mussels, the next step is to clean them. Here’s how to clean mussels:

1. Scrub: Gently scrub the mussels with a brush to remove any dirt or sand grains that are stuck to the shells.

2. Debeard: Check if the mussels have beards attached to their shells. If they do, then remove them by gripping the beard and pulling it away from the shell.

3. Soak: Soak the mussels in cold water for about 20 minutes. This will help to remove any remaining dirt or sand grains.

4. Rinse: After soaking, rinse the mussels under running water to remove any dirt or sand grains.

Step 3: Cooking Mussels

Now, it’s time to cook your mussels. Here’s how to do it:

1. Heat the pan: Heat a large pot or deep pan over medium-high heat.

2. Add aromatics: Add some aromatics like garlic, shallots, onions, or herbs like thyme and parsley to the pan and sauté them until fragrant.

3. Add liquid: Pour in one or two cups of liquid, such as white wine, beer, or fish stock. This will create steam that will cook the mussels.

4. Add mussels: Add your cleaned mussels to the pan and cover it with a lid.

5. Cook: Cook the mussels for 5 to 7 minutes or until their shells have opened. Don’t overcook them, or they will become rubbery and tough.

6. Discard unopened mussels: After cooking, discard any mussels that did not open during the cooking process.

Step 4: Serving Mussels

Once your mussels are cooked, it’s time to serve them. Here are some serving suggestions:

– Serve in the pot: Serve the mussels directly in the pot with some crusty bread on the side to soak up the delicious broth.
– Garnish: Garnish the mussels with some fresh herbs, like parsley, and a slice of lemon.
– With pasta: Serve mussels with pasta and a tomato-based sauce for a delicious seafood pasta dish.
– With fries: Serve mussels with fries and a dipping sauce, like aioli, for a classic Belgian meal.


Q: Are mussels healthy?

A: Yes, mussels are healthy. They are low in fat, high in protein, and a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, and selenium.

Q: How long do mussels last in the fridge?

A: Mussels should be consumed within two days of purchase if stored in the refrigerator. Do not freeze them.

Q: How do you store mussels before cooking them?

A: Store the mussels in the refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth or paper towel to keep them moist.

Q: Can you cook mussels without wine?

A: Yes, you can use other liquids like beer, fish stock, or vegetable broth instead of white wine.

Q: Can you cook mussels in a slow cooker?

A: No, mussels should not be cooked in a slow cooker as they cook quickly and may become overcooked and rubbery.


Mussels are an easy and delicious seafood dish that anyone can make. Just make sure to choose fresh mussels and clean them properly before cooking. Cook them in a flavorful broth and serve with crusty bread for a simple and satisfying meal.

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