How to cook mussels in shells

How to cook mussels in shells

Mussels are relatively inexpensive, but very useful clams. Despite the fact that they are called “oysters for the poor”, the dishes from them are very tasty. Today, clams can be purchased both peeled and in shells. Many people prefer the second option, as in the process of cooking mollusks in the shells it is easy to find and discard all the stale. Of course, in this case you need to know how to cook mussels in shells correctly. Today, the subtleties of this technology are familiar not only to the cooks of elite restaurants. Many housewives easily cope with the task at home.

Choice and preparation

In order for a mussel dish in shells to be tasty, healthy and safe, you need to know the basic rules for their selection and preparation.

  • When choosing fresh or frozen mussels in shells, preference should be given to large ones, since there will be very little in small valuable meat - with a bean grain.
  • Carefully consider mussels when buying. You can only take clams, the shells are not damaged and closed. Damaged shells are usually the case if the product has been repeatedly frozen and thawed. Open shells indicate that the clam is sick, dead, or simply badly stale. If you buy fresh mussels, you can try to knock on the sink - if it closes, then everything is in order, the mussel is alive, and you can safely take and cook it.
  • If you are going to cook frozen mussels in shells, you must first defrost them. Let them thaw out best in the fridge. So mollusks better retain useful properties.
  • Before cooking, mussel shells must be cleaned to smoothness. This can be done with a blunt knife, which shells should be carefully scraped.
  • Before washing, mussels can be dipped for a couple of hours in cold water. In this case, it will be easier to clean them from sand. In addition, this procedure will help to immediately get rid of dead mollusks: the living will descend to the bottom, and the dead will remain on the surface.
  • Mussels in shells can be boiled, stewed, baked in the oven. Regardless of the method of preparation, it is important to select and throw away mussels, the shells of which did not open after 5-7 minutes of heat treatment. This indicates a product stale, and it is easy to poison oneself with missing mussels.
  • To improve the taste of mussels, boil and simmer them with the addition of wine, lemon juice, tomatoes, milk, garlic sauce, dill, pepper, celery. The choice of one or more of these ingredients depends on the recipe.
  • The mussels are served by removing the top of the shell. To remove the clam from the bottom of the sink, you can use a fork. In some restaurants when serving mussels table served with tongs. They are needed in order to grab the removed part of the shell and use it to extract the meat of the mollusk from the rest.

Mussel meat harmonizes well with white wine. If you offer these mollusks to the guests, it is worthwhile to put a bottle of white wine on the table.

How to cook boiled mussels in shells


  • mussels in shells - 2 kg;
  • water - 1 l;
  • lemon - 1 pc .;
  • salt - 20 g;
  • ground black pepper - to taste.

Method of preparation:

  • Dip mussels for half an hour in cool water, remove, brush from all sides with a brush, scrape with a knife and rinse in running water.
  • Wash the lemon, cut it in half, squeeze the juice out of it. Remove the stones that have fallen into the juice. Pour juice into a thick-walled pot.
  • Pour a liter of cold water into a saucepan, add salt and pepper and stir.
  • Put the clean mussels in the shells in the pan. Put the pot on a medium heat, covered with a lid.
  • When the water boils, wait 5 minutes and check the mussels. Mollusks, the shells of which have already opened, remove from the pan.
  • Re-check the readiness of mussels after 2-3 minutes. Take out the open out of the pan, discard unopened.

Serve the boiled mussels immediately after cooking. Of the drinks besides white wine, beer approaches them.

You can boil mussels in water mixed with dry white wine. The optimal ratio of these components is 1: 1. In this case, the taste of ready-made mussels will be completely different, more gentle and refined.

It is not necessary to take care that the liquid completely covers the clams during cooking. Mussel shells open under the action of steam.

Cook on the recipe mussels can be any: and frozen, and fresh. They can be eaten immediately, but often they are based on other dishes. Including salads.

How to cook stewed mussels in shells


  • fresh mussels in shells - 1 kg;
  • garlic - 5 cloves;
  • water - 1 l;
  • lemon - 1 pc .;
  • fresh parsley - 50 g;
  • ground black pepper to taste;
  • salt - to taste;
  • butter - 50 g;
  • drinking cream - 150 ml.

Method of preparation:

  • Clean and rinse the mussels well. Put them in the pan.
  • Fill with water, squeezing the juice of one lemon into it, adding a little pepper and salt.
  • Put the pan on a strong fire and wait until the mussels begin to open. Take them out as soon as the sink opens. Copies that did not have time to open up in 7 minutes will have to be thrown away.
  • Remove the top of the shell from each mussel.
  • Put mollusks in a frying pan, after having melted butter on it.
  • Pass a clove of garlic through a press, pour cream over it.
  • Pour the garlic-cream sauce on the pan with mussels. Put it on medium heat. Stew the clams for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the mussels from the sauce, put on the dish.
  • Wash, dry, finely chop the parsley with a knife, add to the creamy garlic sauce. You can add pepper and salt. Stir.
  • Pour over mussels ready sauce.

Serve mussels stewed in a creamy garlic sauce can be a la carte.

Fresh mussels baked in shells


  • fresh mussels in shells - 1 kg;
  • fresh tomatoes - 0, 3 kg;
  • stale bread - 40 g;
  • olive oil - 20 ml;
  • garlic - 2 cloves;
  • parsley - 1 sprig;
  • cloves - 1 pc .;
  • salt, pepper - to taste;
  • water - 0, 5 l.

Method of preparation:

  • Pour water into the pan. Put the peeled and washed mussels in shells into it.
  • Put the pan on high heat. Wait until the shells unfold. Remove the top of them by removing the mussels from the pan and slightly cooling.
  • Crush the garlic.
  • Tomatoes boil the water, peel off the skins. Rub the tomato pulp, chop with a blender or rub through a sieve. Mix with garlic.
  • In a mortar, grind salt, pepper, cloves.
  • Rub stale bread, add to tomato puree.
  • Place the spicy mixture there.
  • Add olive oil, stir.
  • Place the mussels with shells on a baking sheet covered with parchment. Put a tomato mixture on each mussel.
  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees and place a baking sheet in it.

After 10 minutes, mussels baked in tomato sauce are ready. More often, fresh mussels are prepared according to this recipe, but it can also be used for frozen clams.

Mussels baked in shells with cheese


  • large frozen or fresh mussels - 1 kg;
  • hard cheese - 120 g;
  • mayonnaise or sour cream - 100 ml;
  • lemon - 0, 25 pcs .;
  • garlic - 2 cloves;
  • water - 0, 5 l.

Method of preparation:

  • Thoroughly wash, clean the mussels, cover with cold water and set on high heat.
  • Cook 7-8 minutes. Throw away all unopened shells. Cool the rest.
  • Remove the mussel meat, cut each into 3-4 pieces.
  • Put the mussel meat in a bowl. Squeeze lemon juice on them.
  • Add garlic, sour cream or mayonnaise passed through a press to mussels, mix.
  • Fill the shells with the resulting mixture.
  • Finely rub the cheese, sprinkle it on the shells.
  • Fold the shells on a baking sheet and send to bake for 5 minutes in a preheated 200 degree oven.

The dish prepared according to this recipe can be called exquisite. It will perfectly decorate the festive table.

Do not be afraid to buy mussels in shells. Cooking them at home is easy. At the same time, the appearance of the finished dish and its taste will almost certainly impress your guests.

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