How to Prepare and Debeard Mussels – a step-by-step tutorial!
So you have this amazing recipe that calls for mussels. So you went to the store and bought several pounds worth. Your open the package and stare down at the mound of slimy mussels staring back and you and have a panic attack….. what do I do with these? Can I just start cooking with them? Some of them look a little weird… Wait. What do I do?! Calm down – here are a few easy steps to follow and you will be ready to dive into your latest mussel creation.
How to prepare mussels:
1. Scrub with Rough Brush under Running Water
Take two large bowls. In one put all your mussels. Take the other bowl and fill it halfway with water. Take the mussels one by one and scrub with a rough brush under runny water.
How to debeard mussels:
2. De-Beard the Mussels
As you take each one to scrub, check to see if it has a beard left on it. If it does, grab it and pull away from the hinge. Beard? What? I know – it sounds weird. It is one of those – you won’t know it until you see it. Buuuuuut….. here is a picture just so you know:
3. Make Sure the Mussels are still Alive.
The last thing you want is to serve mussels that are slimy and gross, which is what they will be if you don’t check for the dead ones. So if you see a mussel that is already open, it is an indicator that it is already dead, but it is not a sure sign. Take each mussel that is open and try pinching it closed.
Pinch it closed a couple times. If it stays shut after a couple tries, then it wasn’t actually dead, but rather being somewhat lazy and needed a wake up call.
Above is an example of one that I had to pinch a couple times to wake up and it eventually ended up closing.
Soak the mussels for approximately 30 minutes. This lets the rest of the grime come off and sink to the bottom. Remove the mussels from the water and begin cooking!
And that’s it! You are now ready to cook with them and make ALL the delicious things like:
- Fettuccine with Mussels, Clams and Bay Scallops
- Mussels in white wine sauce
- Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two