5 simple steps to preparing mussels
Irish mussels - nutritious and delicious!
The mighty mussel is becoming more popular and is now taking its place at the table as a savvy choice for home cooking.
From a traditional moules marinieres served with crusty bread or salad to the kick of chilli with garlic in a tasty linguine with mussels, to a simple mussel, hake and tomato soup, there are many ways to enjoy this very special seafood.
Are you tempted by cider braised mussels with bacon and crème fraiche, or mussels simply grilled with pesto? Why not try cooking mussels with pak choi and bean sprouts for a one-pot, low-fat, healthy mid-week meal or dinner party?
So how do you set about preparing mussels? Here are the simple steps to buying, cleaning, preparing and cooking mussels:
1. Check that the mussels look and smell fresh and that the shells are closed. Discard any mussels with broken or cracked shells.
2. Refrigerate the mussels as soon as possible. Remember, they are highly perishable and must be kept cool, so store in the coldest part of the fridge. Fresh mussels in good condition and properly stored should last a day or two after purchase.
3. To prepare, wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water or place in the sink or in a large bowl of cold water. Swish them around with your hands to wash them thoroughly.
4. Use a small sharp knife to scrape off any barnacles that may be attached to the shells. Some mussels may have ‘beards’ which are the brown wispy bit hanging out of the join in the shells. Remove any beards by giving them a quick tug.
5. If any mussels are open, tap them against the side of the sink or lightly squeeze. If they don’t close, discard them as they are not edible. Give the mussels one last rinse in cold water.
Finally, cook and enjoy!
For more information and recipes on mussels go to www.bordbia.ie/fish.