Mussels Recipe
French Seafood Recipe

mussels recipe

This mussels recipe is a contribution from fellow food writer, Robert-Gilles Martineau who publishes the blog Shizuoka Gourmet, At Shizouka Gourmet you'll find lots of great recipes, French and otherwise. I really enjoy Robert-Gilles recipes because they always seem to be something I could actually imagine myself making.

Mussels in France

Robert-Gilles points out that mussels are very popular in France, particularly in the north. Some people collect mussels in coastal tide pools, but they are also cultivated on the Atlantic and Mediterranean seaboards of France, as well as being imported from other countries.

One of the most popular seafood items at casual restaurants throughout France is moules-frites. If you order this, expect to find yourself with a mound of mussels still in their shell and a plate full of French fries. Meant to be eaten with gusto.

Moules au safran

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 3 quarts of fresh mussels in their shell (about 5 pounds)
  • A few filaments of saffron
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk


  1. Brush and clean the mussels twice under cold running water.
  2. Drop the mussels into a cast iron dish (le Creuset style) and cover with the wine, garlic, and bouquet garni. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and place on medium-high heat. Shake the mussels around regularly for uniform cooking. Cook until all mussels are open. It will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the liquid from the mussels over a bowl, filtering the juices through a sieve.
  4. Remove the mussels from their shells.
  5. Place the strained liquid, heavy cream and saffron threads in a saucepan and place on medium low heat, stirring continually and allowing the saffron to infuse the cream. Check taste and season as needed.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolk with a little of the heated saffron cream, then pour all of the cream and the egg yolk mixture back into the cast iron dish used earlier. Add the mussels and place on medium low heat to warm through.
  7. Serve the mussels as soon as they are hot enough into bowls or deep plates.
  8. Serve either as a starter or with rice (steam or buttered).

Enjoy with a strong white wine!

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