From selecting and cleaning to steaming and seasoning, follow these tips for cooking up the prefect, tender and flavour-packed mussels. Master the basics and try experimenting with these classic flavour suggestions.
A steaming pot of mussels is sure to wow your guests at any dinner party or provide an impressive weekend dinner for two. But mastering the art of this Belgian staple can be tricky. Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure your mussels are cooked to perfection and packed with flavour.
When buying mussels, make sure the shells aren't broken and are closed shut. Never buy mussels whose shells have opened as this means they are no longer fresh and these can make you ill. If they are slightly open, tap them gently; if they close at the touch, they are still alive and you can buy them without fear.
Wash the mussels under cold running water. Remove the beards (a small piece of thread on the outside of the mussel that looks a little like seaweed) by pulling them with your thumb and index finger, using a side to side motion towards the hinge edge of the mussel. You can also remove them with a sharp knife. Then rinse to remove any remaining bits.
Pour about 250 ml of Knorr Chicken Stock and any desired spices into a large saucepan. Add the mussels and cook quickly over a high heat. Don't overcook; as soon as the shells open, they are done. Keep a lid on during the cooking process for maximum steaming. Any mussels that do not open after you cook them should be discarded; this means that they were already dead before you started cooking them.
The trick is to cook the mussels quickly over a high heat. If the pan is too full then cook in two pans. For variations of flavour you can cook with some chopped onions and garlic and freshly chopped herbs of your choice.
Transfer the mussels to a serving platter, and decorate with lemon and some extra garlic and herbs.
Mussels in Garlic Butter Sauce
Heat some Stork Margarine in a large saucepan, add chopped onions or shallots and garlic and cook gently until onions soften but do not brown. Then add a Knorr Chicken Stock Pot and some water. Bring to the boil, add the mussels, cover and steam. Remove from the heat once the mussels open and serve immediately with some chopped herbs.
Heat some Stork Margarine in a large saucepan, add chopped shallots and garlic and cook gently until shallots soften but do not brown. Then add a Knorr Chicken Stock Pot, some water, some white wine and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, add the mussels, cover and steam. After 2-3 minutes add some cream and chopped parsley. Remove from the heat once the mussels open and serve immediately with some chopped herbs.
As a great variation try adding some spring onions, a tiny dash of pernod and some crème fraiche instead of cream.
Heat some Stork Margarine in a large saucepan, add chopped shallots, some finely chopped leek (white parts only) and garlic and cook gently until shallots soften but do not brown. Then add a Knorr Chicken Stock Pot, some water, white wine, chopped tomatoes, a dash of tomato puree and a couple of bay leaves. Bring to the boil, add the mussels, cover and steam. Remove from the heat once the mussels open and serve immediately with some chopped herbs.
As a great variation add a couple of finely chopped hot red peppers along with the chopped leeks.
There are many more ideas for sauces that make mussels great and have fun trying these out. Just remember the basics and you won’t go wrong:- That’s fresh mussels, fast cooking and a great stock. Throw away shells that are open before cooking and discard shells that remain closed after cooking.
For something different, try out our Mussels in Creamy Garlic Sauce Recipe from the Knorr kitchens. It’s quick, fresh and delicious.
The burst of flavour from Knorr Creamy Garlic Sauce makes mixing the sauce easy, and enhances all the great tastes for you. Simply add white wine, spring onions and milk to create a delicious sauce that perfectly complements your mussels.