A while ago during a cooking workshop I was asked how to cook mussels. The answer is simpler than the question. Because cooking mussels is as easy as boiling water!

In this blog I will give you tips on cooking mussels and much more information about the mussel. This way you will be able to prepare mussels in different ways and you will see that it is not difficult!

Buying fresh mussels for cooking

It starts with buying the fresh mussels in the supermarket or from a good fishmonger. Then you have a choice of Gold Brand, Jumbo, Super, Extra, Medium, Large, X-Large and so on. Each producer thus has its own name. What makes all the difference is the size of the shell. So it says little about the amount of mussel meat that is in the shell.

For example, if you want to make a nice Spanish Paella,  you can opt for a larger mussel because it is more clearly visible in the Paella.

How many mussels do you need per person?

If you want to serve mussels as a starter, 70 grams of mussel meat is enough.

If you want to serve the mussels as a main course, 1000 grams per person would be enough.

There is 2 kilos of mussels in a container, enough for 2 people. To complete the main course, eat a nice salad, fries and a sauce. If you do that, you can easily share a 2 kilo container of mussels with 3 people.

Cooking mussels starts with sorting the mussels well!

Okay, let’s get to work cooking mussels.

You start by picking out the mussels. Remove all open mussels and discard them.

Then grab a large bowl fill it with cold water and put the remaining mussels in it. You will see that several mussels come up. Remove the mussels that come up from the water and discard these mussels.

It’s best not to eat the mussels you’ve taken out now. Because if the mussels are open or float up, they’re dead!

Most of the work you’ve done, now it’s a matter of how you want to prepare the mussels. The mussel is an all-man friend. You can cook mussels with white wine, cook mussels with beer, cook mussels with chorizo and so on.

For convenience, assume that you would like to cook the 1 kilo of mussels in white wine, that goes as follows!

  • Put a large wide pan on the heat put a layer of olive oil in it and let it heat up well.
  • Then add the mussel vegetables and fry them briefly.
  • Add the mussels and stir them into the vegetables (the heat always remains high).
  • Then extinguish with the white wine (broth is also possible) and put the lid on the pan.
  • After 4 minutes, put the lid on the pan and shake up the pan so that the lower mussels will lie on top.
  • Put the lid back on the pan and after 4 minutes repeat this process and you will see that there are already a lot of mussels open.
  • Then put the lid back on the pan and wait another 1 to 2 minutes.
  • The mussels are well cooked when most are open.


Don’t worry if you have mussels left!

If you remove the mussel from the shell and put it together with some mussel moisture in a covered container, you can store the mussel well for up to 2 days.

You can bake the cooked mussel in some butter. It’s even better if you pan the mussels first (just like you would with a schnitzel). Then fry the breaded mussel in some butter or fry. Want to make this cooked mussel preparation more exciting?

Then pass the mussel through a paneer mix of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) with dried lemon zest and togarashi pepper, very tasty!

This way you can serve this fried mussel as a snack or as a nice snack for a festive evening.

Mussels cooking the pros and cons

Let me start by talking about the benefits. Shellfish are rich in various vitamin B species, iodine, phosphorus and selenium. The mussel is again a very good source for vitamin B2. That promotes the energy level in your body. Disadvantage of the mussel: if you have an allergy to eating mussels then it is due to the protein tropomyosin. And that can make you pretty sick.

Mussels the new miracle in science

The mussel has many special properties that are now fully investigated by the technical and medical world. For example, the Swiss research centre Empa has developed a tissue-friendly adhesive based on mussel glue.  Chances are you’ll be helped with it in the future. There are still several studies on mother-of-pearl, this could be used for better growth of leg tissue.

Mussel recipes and fun books with cooking tips

I have a few nice tips for you if you are looking for cookbooks about mussels

  • The Great Mussel Book (Tine Bral )
  • Mussels The tastiest dishes (Piet Devriendt)
  • Mussels (Leon de Bruxelles)
  • The Love of mussels (Willemt Asaert)
  • Mussel Time (Jaap van Rijn)
  • Mosselkookboek (Florine Boucher)


To make things a little easier for you, I made several videos for you about cooking mussels.


Preparing mussel | additional tips

Before cooking, use a large wide pan.

When the mussels open during cooking, they take up a lot of space.

In the text about cooking mussels I started from 1 kilo of fresh mussels. If you want to cook more mussels, it will take a little longer. And fewer mussels, of course, a little shorter

Mussels (cooked) can also be served as part of a platter of fruit de mer.

You can use the moisture you have left over while preparing the mussels to prepare a delicious sauce or soup.

The cooking time for mussels depends on the amount of mussels you are going to cook. Mussels are perfectly cooked when they are well open (do not continue cooking otherwise they will dry)

Suppose you left mussels after cooking then you can still use them for the days afterwards. Make sure you remove the cooked mussels from the shell and put them away in the moisture in which you cooked the mussels.

Have fun cooking

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