I Binged On Mussels And Loved Every Moment

Mussels are incredibly easy to make, and actually, much cheaper if you make them at home yourself. The only one time consuming aspect is pulling the beards/thread off. Now in order to take the beards off, all you have to do is hold the mussel firmly in one hand, grab the beard and pull it off. If it’s giving you problems, just zig-zag it back and forth a couple of times.

You can make the base whatever you want it to be. It can be something simple like white wine, shallots and garlic. Or maybe fancy it up a bit with crushed tomatoes, garlic, chorizo and parsley. Just remember to keep tasting that base because it will flavor your mussels, and you will also want to dip your mussels or bread or fries in it, so you should enjoy the taste of this base, before you throw your mussels in. For this batch that I whipped up in a wok, I pretty much put everything and the kitchen sink because I was too lazy to go to the supermarket across the street so decided to use whatever I had in my kitchen to figure something out. And like I said, it tasted funny in the beginning, but I was able to balance everything out and create a delicious broth simply by tasting it each step of the way and adding whatever I felt needed to be added. Once you have the base ready, throw in the mussels, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. If the mussels don’t open, chuck them, you will get sick. Mr. Juice freak out when I eat the ones that are only maybe a centimeter open, but I’ve never gotten sick from them, so I’m assuming that as long as they open while they are cooking, they are edible. In this batch that I whipped up, I went with the below.

Ingredients (keep in mind I would have had a lot less ingredients to use, if I just went to the grocery store)

2 lbs of cleaned mussels, de-bearded, rinsed and scrubbed

1 medium onion diced

8 garlic gloves sliced

2 pints of tortilla soup

1 cup of tomato sauce

1 big handful of torn basil

1 big handful of torn parsley

3 TBS balsamic vinegar

2 TBS grain mustard

A sprinkle of sugar

1 TBS of salt

A big sprinkling of fresh ground pepper

6 TBS butter

3 TBS olive oil

Now What?


In a big pot (I used a wok), heat up the oil + 1 TBS of butter up, and start cooking up the onions.

When you see they are on their way to becoming see-thru, toss in your garlic and cook till before it starts turning brown.

Throw in everything else, EXCEPT, for the mussels and bring to a boil, stirring once in a while, then bring it to a low simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Throw in the mussels, cover the pot, bring to a medium heat and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Your mussels should be beautifully cooked and you are all set. I served mine with a baguette to soak up all those juices after the mussels were gone.

-Joyce Huang

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