Back when I used to live in Senegal, my family and I would go to Ngor beach, a popular beach that had restaurants and food vendors. Every time we went, we would get a platter of steamed mussels with lemon and the most delicious clam sandwiches ever. I would go just for those clam sandwiches. Maybe I’ll try recreating it one day. Anyway, back to the mussels. Mussels aren’t something I have ever really thought of making but I got these ones for free and they reminded me of Senegal. Hence why I am telling you this pretty irrelevant story.
It turns out mussels are really easy to make so this was easier than I expected. All you have to do is make sure you keep them alive until you cook them, and clean them well. When cooked right, they are tender and flavorful. You can enjoy them with bread or French fries; a lot people would dip the bread or fries into the broth mixture.
Tips on storing and preparing mussels:
- Mussels can keep for 1 to 2 days so don’t wait too long to make them after purchasing them.
- Store them in an open container or mesh bag so they can breathe. Do not store them in a plastic bag or in an air tight container if not they will suffocate.
- If not making them right away, drain any water that collects in the container they are stored in so they don’t drown.
- When preparing them to eat, keep them in a strainer making sure they are not standing in water, again so they don’t drown.
- Scrub each of them under running cold water and drag away any ropes that may be hanging at the edges of their shells.
- Discard any mussels that are cracked, broken or open, these ones are dead.
- Cooked mussels can store for a couple of days in the fridge but do not reheat them in the microwave or overeat them if not they will get tough. You can also eat them cold.
Ok now you are ready to go to the recipe.
Mussels in Broth
This recipe serves about 2 to 4 people.
- 2 lbs mussels
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Half an onion or 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup vegetable broth (other types are fine too)
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- French fries or bread for serving
Clean the mussels and set aside (read the tips above). Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring frequently until they are soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic then add salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind that your broth might have salt already).
About 30 seconds after adding the garlic, add the mussels and stir them until completely coated. Add the broth and stir. Put a lid on the pot and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the mussels open. Discard any shells that don’t open after five minutes.
Add the parsley and stir then serve with french fries of bread. Enjoy!