Preparing mussels correctly – the classic in white wine

Preparing mussels correctly - the classic in white wine sauce

Fresh mussels are a wonderful delicacy and a great source of protein, but only as long as they are cooked properly. Here you can find out how long you have to cook mussels, how many mussels you need per person and why you should not eat closed mussels.

The main season for mussels is from September to February. This is easy to remember – that is, always in the months whose names contain the letter "R". In this time you can almost always be sure to find fresh mussels in your local fishmonger or supermarket. By the way: The smell of sea water and seaweed is a good indicator for fresh mussels.

Table of Contents:

Fresh mussels in vegetable-white wine sauce

Mussels are classically cooked in a broth of vegetables and white wine for about 8-10 minutes. Mussels that have not opened should not be eaten and should be discarded – they are inedible. By the way, many people have the idea that they have to boil the mussels in several liters of water. Exactly the opposite. Half a liter of liquid is usually enough to cover at least the bottom of the pot.

Here’s what you should have in the house:

2 kg fresh mussels (enough for 2-3 hungry people)
1 bunch of soup vegetables (leek, celery and carrots)
1 onion
1 clove of garlic, fresh
3 tablespoons of good olive oil
0,5 L dry white wine
fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1 chili

Mussels in white wine sauce

Prepare as follows:

Water and wash the mussels thoroughly. If individual mussels are already open or. if they do NOT close by themselves during washing and soaking, they should be discarded. Wash soup vegetables, peel and cut into tender (5×5 mm) cubes. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Now in a large pot

large pot

Heat some good olive oil. Saute the chopped soup vegetables with the onions and garlic.

Deglaze with half a liter of white wine, add a little pepper and salt (if you like, add the chili at this point), bring to a boil and add the mussels. Now put on medium heat for approx. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes.

After the cooking time you can remove them with a slotted spoon


Remove the mussels from the pot, sorting out those that have not opened. Sprinkle with flat-leaf parsley and serve with fresh ciabatta or homemade bread. Serve with a chilled, good white wine, of course. Bon appetit!

In short – after a good 30 minutes you will have delicious mussels in vegetable-white wine sauce on the table.

How long do I have to soak mussels?

I put fresh mussels before cooking ca. half an hour in cold, salty water. In between you can also change the water. Then put them in a sieve and drain well.

How long to cook mussels?

mussels should be cooked for about eight to ten minutes. Already after the first few minutes they will open. During the cooking time you should stir them several times, so that the ones on the top also reach the bottom of the cooking broth. Mussels that have not opened during preparation should not be eaten and should be discarded.

How to recognize bad mussels?

Mussels are usually processed alive. Mussels should be closed when you buy them. If some of them are already open and do NOT close by themselves when you wash and tap them, you should discard them. Conversely, those that do NOT open during cooking should also be discarded.

When not to eat mussels?

In the summer months mussels are usually of lower quality. The reason for this is that mussels spawn in the summer months and are therefore leaner. This also has a detrimental effect on the taste.

How healthy are mussels?

Mussels contain many nutrients, vitamins and trace elements. However, the consumption is not always risk-free. They can accumulate toxic substances, which in increased concentration can possibly lead to poisoning in some people. By the way: since mussels consist of 80 percent water, they only have a low calorie content of approx. 60 kilocalories per 100 grams on.

How many kg of mussels per person?

If you really want to eat your fill of mussels, you should expect to eat at least 1 kilogram per person. This results finally in approx. 150 grams of mussel meat. When I cook mussels, 1.5 kilograms are usually enough for 3 people.

Would you have known this about mussels?

Mussels in the sea

Where mussels live there is usually a strong current. In order to survive in such places and not to be washed out to sea, mussels have a kind of "super glue". With the help of this "super glue," they can stick to almost any surface. Science has also been interested in this for a long time. Such a glue is interesting for science because it z. B. can be used under water. The oldest mussels (Mytilidae), also called pile mussels, are known from the Devonian period. By the way, the Devonian age began about 419.2 million years ago and ended about 358.9 million years ago. Some types of mussels can become very old. Crenomytilus grayanus, for example, has been shown to be up to 126 years old.

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  • Published in: Low carb, recipe book, trivia
  • Keywords: vegetables, mussels, clams, Mytilidae, pile mussels, white wine
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Rolf Bartel

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