Last Updated on 3 years by Tim
Steamed mussels are popular all across Germany even though I do consider them to be a dish that originated from the Rhineland which is close to the border of the Netherlands.
I got to admit that this blog is lacking seafood recipes so far. And that is even though I eat a lot of it. I guess I just don’t have the patience to wait and photograph it before devouring.
Mussels are one of the few things you can easily buy fresh in German. They should still be alive before you cook them. Fresh mussels taste a thousand times better than anything frozen.
It’s a shame that fresh seafood isn’t really a thing in central Europe. Most people nowadays seem to be ok with all their stuff being frozen. And while that is convenient, nothing beats a fish or shrimp that was still alive minutes before it went on the plate.
Don’t overcook your mussels
Mussels are one of the easiest seafood to prepare. The only thing you need to make sure is to not overcook them. Once their shells have opened, take them out of the pot and serve. They don’t go rubbery as quickly as squid but there’s always a risk.
The sauce I like to serve my mussels in is simple. You just add some heavy cream and mustard to the white wine that was used to steam the mussels. The sauce doesn’t need to be very thick. It’s ok if it is on the thin side.
Make sure to pour the sauce over your mussels before serving so that a small amount of sauce is in every mussel shell. I love to slurp the shells empty.
It’s best to serve the mussels with a few slices of baguette or sourdough bread. That way you can soak up all the leftover sauce. It’s a quick and elegant dinner. Perfect with a few glasses of white wine.
Steamed Mussels in Mustard Sauce (‘Mießmuscheln in Senfsoße’)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large shallots, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) live mussels, cleaned
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt, to taste
- roughly chopped dill leaves, for garnishing
- Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat the aromatics for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the white wine, bring it to a simmer, and let it reduce by about one third.
- Add the mussels into your pot and cover it with a lid. Steam the mussels for 2-3 minutes or until they have just opened up. Once cooked, remove them from the pot and set aside. Discard any mussels that didn’t open.
- Whisk together the mustard and heavy cream and add them to your pot. Bring the sauce to a light simmer, then add the sugar and salt to taste.
- Place the mussels in a large serving bowl and pour the sauce over them. Sprinkle with dill leaves and enjoy together with a slice of bread.