Fresh Mussels with White Wine, Butter, Garlic and Parsley

I’m a sucker for most things shellfish… bar oysters; I’ve got to draw a line somewhere!

The reason why I don’t eat shellfish often is that J doesn’t like it; and I usually get belly ache after eating them (most likely due to the restaurant’s bad handling of the shellfish).

I rarely cook shellfish at home, but when I heard the local supermarket (grocery store) was having a sale on seafood, I had to have a look. Fresh mussels from local waters were only $2.99/lb ($6.50/kg)!! I couldn’t help but buy 2 ¾ lb (1.25 kg). My plan was to cook half of them for myself on Saturday, and the other half for Sunday.

It didn’t really turn out that way. As I was rinsing, scrubbing and pulling off their beards, I thought about cooking them all. I did in fact cook them all… all 70 of them. I ate all of them in one sitting. They were big, plump and incredibly juicy. The simple cooking of them in white wine, garlic, butter and parsley brings out a wonderful flavor. I dabbed up the juices with lightly toasted ciabatta.

It was my first time ever cooking mussels, and it was a great success. I didn’t even get belly ache after!! I can’t wait to make another batch.


Serves 2-3


  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250 ml (1 c and 2 teaspoons) white wine
  • 1.25 kg (2 ¾ lb) fresh mussels, scrubbed, rinsed and beards removed
  • 30 g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh bread to serve


1. Gently heat the wine and garlic together in a large lidded frying pan, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Do not boil.

2. Add mussels, and stir to coat in the garlic seasoned white wine. Season generously with freshly cracked black pepper, but go easy on the salt.

3. Cover and let the mussels steam for about 5 minutes, or until all of the mussels have opened up*. Shake the pan occasionally during the 5 minutes.

4. Stir in butter until melted, and then stir in parsley.

5. Divide into bowls and serve with fresh crusty bread, enjoy!

* There may be a couple of mussels that don’t open. Do not attempt to eat these, they are bad – simply discard.


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