How to Clean Mussels Before Eating

Written by athena hessong Google
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How to Clean Mussels Before Eating
(Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Gritty mussels need no longer trouble you. Proper preparation and cleaning of these mollusks before eating them rids them of dirt inside and keeps them alive until cooking. Once cleaned, you can choose any of your favourite preparation and eating methods, but the fastest and easiest is steaming them. Using this preparation for your mollusks will add a low-fat source of protein to any meal with the same speed as cooking a frozen television dinner.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • Colander
  • Scrub brush
  • Scissors
  • Steamer insert
  • Cooking pot with lid

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  1. 1

    Combine the live mussels with the salt, a gallon of water and cornmeal in a bucket.

  2. 2

    Leave the mussels to soak for one hour so the animals eat the cornmeal and spit out any dirt or grit inside them into the water.

  3. 3

    Drain the mussels through a colander.

  4. 4

    Scrub any dirt on the exterior of the shells off with a scrub brush.

  5. 5

    Cut off the tissue hanging out of the mussels' shells--known as the beard--with a pair of scissors.

  1. 1

    Place the cleaned and trimmed mussels into the steamer insert.

  2. 2

    Bring 2 inches of water to a boil over high heat in the pot.

  3. 3

    Set the steamer inside the pot and cover.

  4. 4

    Steam the mussels for five to six minutes or until their shells open. Serve immediately.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not eat mussels without cleaning them first.
  • Always clean and prepare only live mussels as they become toxic quickly after dying.
  • Pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems should avoid consuming all raw and undercooked seafood, including shellfish and mollusks, to avoid becoming ill.

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