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How To Cook Mussels on the Stovetop

Today, I'm sharing my favorite, most basic method for quickly steaming a batch of mussels. It's simple — just mussels steamed with broth and white wine — but oh so very good!


·         3 to 4 pounds mussels
·         2 tablespoons olive oil or butter, or a mix
·         2 medium shallots, minced
·         3 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
·         1/2 cup white wine, amber beer, cider, or more broth
·         Minced parsley, to garnish
·         Lemon wedges, to garnish
·         Crusty bread, like baguette or ciabatta, to serve


·         Strainer
·         Measuring cups

·         Saucepan with lid


·         Check over the mussels: Rinse the mussels in a strainer and check them over. All the mussels should be tightly closed. Discard any mussels with cracked shells. If the shell is open, tap the mussel lightly against the counter; if the shell doesn't close in a few minutes, discard the mussel.
·         Debeard the mussels: Many commercial mussels will already be debearded, but it's good to check them anyway. Look for a group of short brown strings coming out the mussel on one side where the two halves of the shell close — this is the "beard." Grip these strings with your fingers or a pair of tweezers and tug gently from side to side. As you tug, the strings will pull out and detach from the shell. It's ok if you don't remove all of the beard or if you miss the beard on a few mussels; it's not harmful to eat, just tough and not very pleasant.
·         Sauté the shallots and garlic: Warm the butter or olive oil over medium-high heat in the saucepan (if using butter, let it melt completely). Add the minced shallots and garlic. Sauté until the shallots are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
·         Add the mussels: Pour all of the mussels into the pot.
·         Add the broth and wine: Pour the broth and wine over the mussels.
·         Cover and cook: Immediately cover the pan with the lid. Cook with the lid on for 5 minutes. Shake the pan once or twice during cooking, with the lid still on, to distribute the mussels.
·         Check the mussels: After 5 minutes, remove the lid and check the mussels. Nearly all the mussels should be open by now. If not, cover and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven't opened after this time.
·         Serve the mussels: Serve the mussels straight from the pan or pour the mussels and the broth into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and squeeze with lemon. Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the broth.

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