kook & wijn

Mussels, steamed in white wine

Mussels the classic way. Like the Belgiums prepare mussels. Without cream but with white wine or, sometimes, beer. With vegetables and herbs. ‘Pure’, so you can taste this beautiful sea fruit as she is. Serve with French fries, garlic sauce and baguette.


Serves 4-6

5 kilo fresh mussels
2 leeks
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped and crushed
2 carrots
a few stalks of celery
Italian parsley, hand full, washed and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
3 glasses of dry white wine (water, beer or fish stock will do as well if you prefer so)
lump of butter
black pepper

for a simple but divine garlic sauce:
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of full cream yoghurt
1 clove of garlic, crushed


Rinse the mussels in the sink with cold, clean water, if necessary remove seaweed, remove the ‘beards’ and other dirt. Check for broken mussels and throw away. If mussels are open and don’t close after a ferm tap on the surface, throw away – the mussel is dead then (and not fresh anymore).

Make the garlic sauce by mixing together all ingredients. Taste and season if you like more pepper, salt or garlic. One can add chives or parsley to taste.

Cut the leeks, carrot, celery and onion in more or less the same size brunoise or rings. Finely chop the garlic, or crush. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, with a lump of butter (or olive oil if you prefer), until soft but not brown. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and leeks. Fry and stir, let it simmer for some minutes. Add the mussels, pepper, and shake and stir well. Add bay leaves and half of the parsley, stir a few minutes.

Add the white wine (of other liquid if you prefer so) and bring to boil with a lid on the pot, high fire.

Wait for the cooking liquid for three times; It has to lift the lid for about 3 times, shake and stir the mussels, and place the lid back for the ‘next round’. This whole process will take only 5-7 minutes. But it’s important that you let the wine, water, beer or stock ‘come up’ for about 3 times.

Now the mussels are ready to serve and cooked. Remove the bay leaves (if you can find them), add the other half of (still fresh) parsley and serve directly. Add black pepper to taste.
Serve the mussels in bowls, together with some of the cooking liquid, vegetables and herbs.

Delicious with French fries, Baguette and the garlic sauce.

Bon Appétit!

IMG_0203 Mussels, the Belgium way, steamed in white wine

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