Steamed Mussels 2.000

Len Spoden for The Washington Post

Chef on Call May 21, 2008

Many consider the payoff to be what's left in the bowl after the mussels are gone: the broth that gets sopped up with chunks of crusty bread. Adjust its flavor by substituting red wine for white, or using beer instead.

Servings: 2
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 pound mussels, cleaned
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon thinly sliced scallions (cut crosswise)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


Discard any mussels whose shells are cracked or do not close tightly when tapped.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot; cook for about 1 minute, stirring so the mixture does not burn. Add the mussels and cook, uncovered, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cover; cook for 3 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half and the mussels start to open. Uncover and add the lemon juice, scallions and parsley, stirring slightly to incorporate; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and reduce the heat to low. Swirl the butter in the pan, letting it incorporate to form a velvety sauce, with the mussels still in the pan. Remove from the heat and transfer the mussels and sauce to a large bowl; discard any mussels that have not opened. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Source

From chef Rob Klink at the Oceanaire Seafood Room in downtown Washington.

Tested by Tom Wilkinson.

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