Wild Harvest Mussels

Posted on 10. Nov, 2011 by in Comfort Food, Quick Eats


Pull from the highest point on a rock bed when collecting mussels from the ocean.  Place the knife behind the mussel and hit the end of the handle with the base of your palm to wedge the knife between the rock and the mussel.

The wild harvest mussel requires a bit of muscle to clean the shell and debeard. I use a sharp paring knife holding the mussel in my left hand and bearing down across the top of the shell I scrap the surface to clean it of all the attachments. Pull the beard toward the hinge with the beard between the knife blade and thumb to remove as much as possible. It seems easier to pull the beard toward the open end of the mussel but this could kill the mussel so I opt to work a little harder and get a little less of it out.  I debeard and scrap while holding the mussel under running cool water and then I scrub the shells with a strong bristle brush. Often recipes tell you to place the mussels in a bowl of fresh water for 15 minutes so the mussels will release sand but with wild harvest mussels you run the risk of the mussel dying. Discard any shells that are cracked or open. To cook the mussels and make the rich broth i use…

  • 2lbs of mussels
  • 1 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 2 large garlic cloves thin sliced
  • 1 slice of ginger root about 2 inches long and 1/4 inch wide
  • 1 dry pasilla red pepper

Bring the wine to a simmer in a sauce pan and add all the ingredients. Simmer for 30 seconds and add the mussels. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until the mussels open.  Use the rich broth on top of risotto, pasta or a piece of crusty bread.

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