How To Choose Mussels For Cooking?
When choosing mussels for cooking, you must keep two things in mind. That is their smell and appearance. Fresh mussels smell like the ocean. They have a subtle oceanic smell. But they are not overpoweringly fishy. Anything other than the oceanic smell is not up to mark. If the mussels smell funny, leave them. Secondly, they should be fresh and whole in appearance. Most mussels experience cracks while being brought to the shop or fish market. So, if you see some cracks on them or they are broken, leave them. Always pick fresh and wholesome mussels for cooking.
There is another way through which you can check whether the mussels are good or not. All you have to do is tap the slightly opened mussels or squeeze them a bit. As you irritate them, they would close on their own. If so, it means they are fresh and ready to be used.
How To Tell If Mussels Are Overcooked?
It is very easy to overcook the mussels. So, when cooking them, you have to be very careful. The slightest mistake can overcook them and leave you with a bad cooking experience. Since they are very delicate, cooking them needs patience and careful attention. The first rule to not overcook the mussels is simple. Don't boil the mussels. Reduce the heat and let them simmer. It's alright, and it takes a while to cook them.
Moreover, once they are open, take the pan off the heat. No need to cook them more, or they will be overcooked. Lastly, never crowd the mussels. Always use a wide surfaced pot when cooking mussels. This way, each mussel will get equal heat, and they will cook evenly.
What To Serve with Steamed Mussels?
Steamed mussels are versatile. It means you can serve them with a number of different ingredients. If you are lacking ideas, here are a few amazing sides you can enjoy with steamed mussels:
Bread: Steamed mussels are traditionally served with bread. Baguette bread absorbs the steamed mussel juice very well with its crispness and becomes a cherry on top. You can also serve it with cheese bread or garlic bread.
Rice: The broth of the steamed mussels is a great way to add flavor to the rice. Serve it with saffron rice, garlic rice or plain jasmine rice.
Potato Fries/Wedges: Fries and potato wedges go well with almost everything. They are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and taste good with steamed mussels.
Roasted Vegetables: Herb roasted vegetables like potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, green beans etc., are a great side dish and go very well with steamed mussels.
Pasta: There is no dish that does not go well with pasta. The same is the case with steamed mussels. Serve it with spaghetti and top with parmesan cheese.
Cheese Crackers: Cheese crackers are a great side dish. Thanks to their cheesy flavor and crispy texture, you can enjoy them with steamed mussels.
Here are our delicious recipes that you can serve with Steamed Mussels:
How To Store Mussels?
Storing uncooked or fresh mussels is rather easy. Once you buy them, place them in a bowl filled with water and cover them with a mesh cloth. Place them in a refrigerator where the temperature is between 1°C to 4 °C. Change their water daily, and the mussels will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
As for the steamed mussels, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate. They will last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the microwave or on the stovetop.