Mollusks found in both saltwater and freshwater, mussels have the taste of the ocean with every bite and a subtle mushroom-like flavor undertones. Its overall flavor is mild and slightly briny with a chewy texture unlike other shell food.
Mussels are excellent sources of Vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re great for using in various cuisines because they take on the flavor profile of whatever ingredients they’re mixed in. Whether it’s moules et frites, paella, or mixed in coconut milk and green curry, it’s considered a favorite.
So, how to cook frozen mussels? Thaw and clean the mussels in cold running water while removing any barnacles or beads, pan-fry in garlic and olive oil then add wine and lemon juice. Afterward, you can serve it as it is or with side dishes of your choice.
How To Cook Frozen Mussels?
Frozen mussels should first be thawed in the refrigerator and then further thawed under cold water for about 10 minutes. They should be thoroughly cleaned and free from any beads or barnacles present in or outside of the shells. Use a knife or your bare fingers when cleaning.
You can also opt to put the mussels in a sealed bag then placed on top of water for 30 minutes. Remember to drain and change the water every 10 minutes.
Then, once the mussels are thawed, cleaned, and ready for cooking, you can use the following guide to cook them:
1. Pan Fried Mussels
Mix half a cup of olive oil and minced garlic into a skillet then pan-fry the mussels for 5 minutes or until they open up completely. You can choose to add a bit of white wine or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice if you want an extra tangy kick. Garnish using chopped parsley and serve with rice or side dishes.
2. Steamed Mussels
You can also steam frozen mussels for 3 to 4 minutes in a medium-heat saucepan with garlic, butter, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the shells fully open or for 5 minutes. Remember to throw away any that are still closed. Eat it as is or you can add it to pasta
3. Sautéed Mussels
In a medium-high heat pan, throw in garlic slices in olive oil then sauté some shallots. Stir in chicken or seafood stock once the shallot begins to soften. Add in the mussels, cover the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes or if the mussels are fully opened—don’t forget to discard unopened mussels.
4. Baked Mussels
Place the mussels (octopus taste) in a pot with hot water and cook in medium-high heat until they’re opened. Create a mixture of breadcrumbs, oregano, parmesan, garlic, parsley and olive oil in a separate bowl. Remove the mussels from their shells then cover them using the breadcrumb mixture then bake for 7 to 10 minutes.
Should Mussels Be Cooked With Or Without The Shell?
Either works completely fine! When you cook without their shells, you can just boil them for 5 to 7 minutes, take them out, then add to a different pan with white wine. Add the necessary herbs and spices such as garlic or cilantro then let the shellfish simmer.
You can do the same with their shells on—simply boil in a covered pot for 5 to 7 minutes, add the herbs and spices plus some olive oil, then let the mussels simmer. Make sure the shells are completely opened and that those that aren’t should be discarded.
How To Store Frozen And Cooked Mussels?
Whether you have fresh or cooked mussels, you should know the proper way to store them in the fridge or in the freezer to prevent the risk of contamination and spoilage so that it would either remain fresh before cooking or still be edible after they’re cooked.
Take a look at these storing guides:
In The Refrigerator
For fresh mussels, place them in a loose or mesh bag and put on top of a bowl. Cover the entire thing using a damp towel or cloth and put inside the refrigerator. You can also opt to place the mussels on top of ice but you shouldn’t let them be submerged in water or they’ll die. Shelf life: 2 to 3 days.
For cooked mussels, simply either wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap or place them in airtight bags before putting them inside the fridge. You can also do both for the best results. Shelf life: 3 to 4 days.
In The Freezer
For fresh mussels, use a plastic bag to store the mussels then place inside the freezer. This will kill the mussels but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe for consumption. Just cook them hot enough to kill any bacteria present—make sure they’re able to snap shut when tapped. Shelf life: 2 to 3 months.
For cooked mussels, cover them using heavy-duty plastic bags or aluminum foil then place inside the freezer. Make sure the temperature is at 0°F or lower. Shelf life: 2 to 3 months.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Mussels?
Mussels are highly nutritious and filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and zinc. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamins A and C, and calcium. Growing them in farms also doesn’t negatively impact the environment and is, in fact, sustainable.
Refer to the table below for the nutritional information of mussels for a typical 3-ounce serving:
|Nutrition||Total Amount per 3-ounce serving||Percentage of Daily Value (DV) based on a 2000-calorie diet|
|Saturated Fat||0.7 grams||3%|
What To Serve With Mussels?
For side dishes, you can use saffron rice, bread (plain or garlic), potatoes (fried, mashed, or sweet potatoes), salad (fennel, green or tomato), baguettes, sauce (tomato, white wine or horseradish), potato leek soup, pasta (spaghetti or angel hair), and roasted vegetables (broccoli, artichokes or asparagus).
When serving mussels with beverages, you can use white wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Gris or red wines such as Beaujolais, Red Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. For non-alcoholic drinks, you can use lemonade, ginger ale, lime or orange juice, black tea, and iced tea.