A Fishmongers Guide: How To Prepare Mussels

Mussels Can Be A Daunting Thing To Cook And Handle, With This Handy Guide, All Your Queries Should Be Answered.


Your Mussels Will Arrive In A Waxed Cardboard Carton, Designed To Allow The Mussels To Breathe And To Keep Any Liquid In. When You First Receive, The Mussels, Some May Be Open, Do Not Panic! A Common Myth Is That An Open Mussel Is A Bad One, This Isn’t The Case. Mussels Will Naturally Open And Close When They Are Out Of The Water.


If You Do Not Plan To Cook Straight Away, Store In Your Refrigerator. Decant Into A Colander And Cover Loosely With A Damp Cloth, Ensure There’s Gaps To Allow The Mussels To Breathe. We Recommend Mussels Are Cooked Within 2 Days Of Receipt (Day 1 Is The Day You Receive) To Ensure The Best Possible Taste And To Ensure They Are As Fresh As Possible.

How To Prepare Mussels:

Step 1:

If You Have Not Already Done So, Place Them In A Colander And Run Under Cold Water For A Couple Of Minutes While Sharply Tapping Any Open Mussels (A Wooden Spoon Will Do) And They Should Slowly Begin To Close. Even If They Don’t Close Fully, But Do Still Move To Close, This Means The Mussel Is Still Live And Ok To Eat.

If Any Mussel Has A Very Strong Smell, It May Have Gone Bad And Best To Discard. They Will Naturally Smell Of The Sea But Any Very Unpleasant Smell Is A Natural Warning Sign.

Some Of The Mussel Shells May Appear Damaged Or Cracked. We’d Recommend Discarding These. Around 10% May Be Damaged, This Is Common With Mussels And To Be Expected.

Step 2:

Your Next Step Will Be To Clean The Mussels. You Can Use A Blunt Knife To Scrape Off Barnacles And Any White Matter. To Remove Their Beards (The Seaweed Like Protrusion), Grip Firmly And Pull Away From The Mussel. Not All Mussels Will Have Beards.

Step 3:

Once You’ve Finished Cleaning, Rinse Under Cold Water.

It Is Best To Prepare The Mussels Immediately Prior To Cooking, Rather Than Prepping Then Storing.

Using our step-by-step guide on how to prepare mussels, you should now be equipped to tackle these delectable mollusks with confidence and explore their versatility in a variety of dishes. Whether you prefer classic steamed mussels in white wine and garlic, spicy Thai curries, or inventive creations of your own, the possibilities are endless. And should you crave more advice and recipes, our extensive resource on cooking mussels is here to fuel your culinary adventures.

Learn How To Cook Mussels 

Mussel Recipes:

Mussels With Apple In A Cream Sauce 

Seafood Spaghetti Recipe 

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