Easy Steamed Mussels

Prep time: 5 Minutes Cooking time: 5 Minutes Serves: 2 Recipe by: Gary Maclean - Scotland's National Chef

This recipe is inspired by a day Gary spent harvesting mussels in Shetland. They were so good that he decided to simply steam them rather than anything fancier. The result was the best thing he'd tasted in his life. Now that's a big claim for a renowned chef! Everyone has a different method for this iconic dish, here’s is Gary's method. It involves cooking them very, very quickly. Only 6 ingredients too!


The method

  1. You will need s large pan with a tight-fitting lid. 
  2. Clean the mussels. Wash them in cold running water, using a table knife to scrape away any barnacles. You also have to remove any beards by out the beards that protrude from between the closed shell.
  3. If you find any mussels that are open, give them a short little tap on the side of the sink. This should encourage them to close. If they don’t close they should be thrown away.
  4. Place the cleaned mussels into a bowl and add the chopped shallots, butter, salt, pepper and wine. 
  5. Place your pan onto the stove and heat it up as hot as you can.
  6. Once the pot is hot pour in the mussels with the rest of the ingredients and as quickly as you can – put the lid on.
  7. The idea is that the heat from the pan creates instant steam. Which cooks the mussels very quickly.
  8. Don’t look in the pot! You will lose the steam and stop the cooking. Another thing to avoid is shaking the pan. If you shake the pot the mussels will fall out of the shell and you’ll be left with a bowl of empty shells.
  9. After a few minutes, have a look and if the mussels are wide open, they are ready.
  10. Spoon the into your serving bowls, discarding any that have not opened.
  11. To finish sprinkle with chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice and a couple of lemon wedges.