• Mussels
Mussels
Different types
Most mussels sold in our supermarkets and fishmongers are cultivated rather than wild. There are several types of mussels, including European or blue mussels and larger green-lipped ones from New Zealand.
The flesh, at its best, is plump and juicy and varies in colour from off-white to light orange. Fresh mussels are normally bought live in their shell although frozen green-lipped mussels are also available.

In the kitchen
They should be used as soon as possible, on the same day as you bring them home. If you have to keep mussels for a few hours - tip them in a deep bowl and cover with a couple of layers of damp newspaper. Don't soak them in water though - it ruins them.

Live mussels should have shiny shells and feel full when handled. Before cooking, they need to be cleaned under cold running water and any beards removed with a bristle brush.

When you buy mussels, they should all have closed shells. If any are open, give them a firm tap on the kitchen counter on their base and they should close after a few seconds. Discard any that don't close, as they run the risk of contamination.

Mussels are usually steamed in a little flavoured liquid until the shells have opened. They're often baked or grilled on the half-shell too.

Cooked mussels work well with pastas, and make tasteful additions to rice-based dishes such as paellas and risottos.

Related recipes

 
Mussels in a bin lid
Mussels in a bin lid
By Arthur Potts Dawson on Market Kitchen

You will need to use scrupulously clean metal bin lid for Arthur Potts Dawson’s fabulous barbecue dish of mussels with fennel, pineapple and beer

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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easy

Total time
1 hr 5 min

Mussels with smoked chilli cream
Mussels with smoked chilli cream
By Thomasina Miers on Market Kitchen

Thomasina Miers adds a spicy Mexican touch to fresh mussels – for only £2.24 per person

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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easy

Total time
35 min

Mussels in beer
Mussels in beer
By Silvana Franco on Market Kitchen

Silvana Franco steams mussels in Belgian wheat beer - ideal with some crusty bread to mop up all the creamy juices and strips of bacon

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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easy

Total time
35 min

Mussels with garlic, chilli and tomato
Mussels with garlic, chilli and tomato
By John Torode

John Torode’s mussels with garlic, chilli and tomato take hardly any time to cook and have a great spicy kick

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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easy

Total time
25 min

Mussels in sweet and sour chilli sauce
Mussels in sweet and sour chilli sauce


Mussels make the perfect mid-week supper as they take virtually no time to prepare and taste absolutely delicious, especially with this sweet and sour chilli sauce.

Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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easy

Total time
20 min

Mussels with stout and beer
Mussels with stout and beer
By John Torode

John Torode’s mussels with stout and beer recipe is an aromatic and easy meal that’s on the table in just 15 minutes

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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easy

Total time
15 min

Mussels with chipotle cream and fresh coriander
Mussels with chipotle cream and fresh coriander
By Thomasina Miers on Market Kitchen

Thomasina Miers uses smoky dried peppers to transform moules à la crème into a Mexican fiesta of flavours

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
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Jerk mussels
Jerk mussels
By Charita Jones on Market Kitchen

Charita Jones adds a touch of soul to a simple bowl of mussels, with a vibrant taste of the Caribbean

Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
20 min

Highland mussels with juicy leaky whisky creamy sauce
Highland mussels with juicy leaky whisky creamy sauce
By Jamie Oliver

Jamie says: "Mussels are one of the most sustainable types of seafood. They can be cultivated on a large or small scale, they clean the water around them, take literally 4 minutes to cook and are nutritious and wonderful to eat… I can’t think of any negatives! What are you waiting for?"

Avg user rating: 5 out of 5 stars



easy

Total time
30 min

Monkfish in puff pastry with a ragout of curried mussels
Monkfish in puff pastry with a ragout of curried mussels
By Frank Bordoni

Creamy curried mussels, crisp puff pastry and succulent monkfish combine in this stunning recipe from Frank Bordoni

Avg user rating: 1 out of 5 stars



intermediate

Total time
1 hr 40 min