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Mussel recipe with no alcolhol

  • w

I love mussels. However, almost every recipe calls for wine or pernod.

Any ideas on what I can make sans alcohol?


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  1. You can just omit the alcohol from the recipes you have. I don't think it will taste dramatically different. To compensate for the difference in liquid, add stock or lemon juice.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      maybe a dumb question - what stock? Fish or chicken?

      1. re: Westy

        The recipe I use calls for chicken stock, but if you have fish stock, use it. I don't think there are any hard rules for mussels. The key is making a flavorful broth, and you can achieve that many different ways.

        1. re: Westy

          Bottled clam juice is a good sub for fish stock if you don't have the latter. Better Than Bouillon, which is a good line of bases, comes in fish, clam, and lobster.

          1. re: greygarious


            Greygarious nailed it.

            Use chicken stock when called for but clam juice works awesome for seafood based dishes.

            I just do steamed mussels, pressed garlic, butter, chix stock, olive oil, fresh basil from my garden , salt pepper and chili flake over linguini all day long. White wine if on hand and it does help when used but is is NOT crucial in my eyes. At least for my day to day home cooking needs.

            And here's a recipe from Dan over at thefoodinmybeard.com

            Replace beer with clam broth.
            Done . Still delicious.

      2. The simplest thing is to just put the mussels on a hot skillet and cover it. They will steam in their own juices. Works very well with the otherwise tasteless PEI mussels that are clean, fresh, bland, and ubiquitous. Gives them a lot more flavor.

        1. If you'd like a little of the Pernod flavor you can add some diced fennel along with the onions. I too vote for clam broth.

          1. If you like sort of pan-Asian (for lack of a better term) flavors, mussels in a coconut milk broth are very nice. This is a good recipe-it's for clams but I've used it for both clams and mussels and both were good.


            1. I steam mussels in chicken broth, but add a small amount (about 1/2 teaspoon) of apple cider vinegar. The amount is small enough that when mixed with the chicken broth, it doesn't taste like vinegar, but more like white wine.


              1. My grandmother does them with just water.

                1 Reply
                1. re: limoen


                  While frequently add several dollops of a nice dry white wine, a couple of inches of plain old water works just as well. The mussels will release their juices as they begin to steam open, & turn that plain old water into a nice broth. Will be especially nice if you add a few seasonings - crushed red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, etc., etc.

                2. Bacon, leeks, apple cider, grainy mustard, and cream. I did this this weekend with a sweet hard cider; it would have been just as good with regular cider.

                  2 Replies
                    1. Growing up we usually steamed mussels in a simple broth of water, chilies, ginger and garlic or else baked them with a cheesy, bubbly crumb topping. Innovation came when my aunt started steaming them in Italian dressing (which actually was rather tasty).

                      Nowadays I usually steam mussels in coconut milk with red curry paste, lime zest and fish sauce. Finish with torn basil and mint.

                        1. re: letsindulge

                          letsin, I'm going to make this version Sunday. thanks for the link!

                        2. V-8, tomato juice, lemon water, broth, mushrooms & onions (combined give off great flavor and moisture), but my favorite is a combo of clam juice and vegetable broth and one cut up leek.

                          1. Superior Touch makes an excellent Clam Base that's used by many chefs. Combine it with chopped shallots, a little fresh garlic, some fresh chopped parsley, fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper and it yields sublime results. Certainly wouldn't recommend using V-8 as the flavor would overpower the delicate mussels.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: LindyCindy

                              I do enjoy using V8 broth with garlic and herbs. A jarred bouillion loaded with salt wouldn't make me happy.

                              1. re: LindyCindy

                                YES! Their 'lobster' base is excellent as well.

                                1. re: The Professor

                                  I use the lobster base in my étouffée. It is heavenly good. Their entire line is first class.

                                2. re: LindyCindy

                                  Hi Cindy, What is Superior Touch. I live in South Florida if you have any idea where I can buy it I would love to..Thank you for you help. I love the ingredients you add.

                                  1. re: neely15

                                    Amazon is my savior for all things elusive ingredient-wise.


                                    1. re: CafeteriaFraiche

                                      Thank you for you advise..I will be sure to check it out and I's sure I will find it there.
                                      Have a good day.
                                      Thank you, I will be sure to go on Amazon and check it out. Thank you for you help.

                                    2. re: neely15

                                      thank you. appreciate your help...Eileen

                                  2. Nah, I don't think I like the idea of using a bottle of liquid salt aka V8 juice. That stuff has twice the salt of McDonald's french fries. Yeeeeew!

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: LindyCindy

                                      I agree.
                                      They used to make a salt free V-8 that was excellent. They discontinued it some years ago and replaced it with a "low sodium" version. No salt in it, but it has a salt substitute in it instead that makes it taste ...SALTY. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

                                      1. re: The Professor

                                        You two are very funny. Thanks for the chuckle.


                                        way more sodium than V8.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Oh and that other healthy stuff... Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate! Great product (not).

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            You misunderstand me...I have no problem with salt, and am not on a mission to avoid it, not by any means. A lot of foods would be pretty bland without it.

                                            I just liked the _taste_ of the original 'no salt' V8 better...it actually tasted like the melange of veggies it is supposed to be!

                                            As far as the salt and other ingredients in the BYB soup stuff...they don't bother me at all. It is still the best 'boullion' product out there.

                                            1. re: The Professor

                                              Proff-I can still get the low salt V8 but I don't care for it. V8 is just one prep method (along with other delicious fixins) but how we zero'd in on "just" that I have no idea, doesn't really matter does it.

                                              I just bought the mussels this morning and now with all these great ideas I'm going coconut milk/spice for 2 lbs and garlic herb the other 2.
                                              Nice way to start the weekend! Now I'm off to bake bread.

                                          2. re: The Professor

                                            Goodness, we must have hit a nerve. Such a defense mounted all in the name of salty V-8 juice.

                                            1. re: LindyCindy

                                              Aren't you the sweetest CH ever, LC. I think I'll celebrate with a nice meal of musels this weekend. Cheers!

                                        2. This is one of my favourite recipes.

                                          You'll need; 3 tbsp Butter, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/8 tsp salt, 2lbs of mussels, 1 cup chopped pepper (I like red for the colour pop), 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 1 lime thinly sliced and 1 lime quartered.

                                          Mix the butter with the garlic, curry, cumin and salt. Arrange 4 large squares of foil and evenly distribute the mussels. Dot the butter over the mussels, then sprinkle with the peppers and parsley and lime slices. Tightly wrap the packets up and cook on a pre-heated to med-high griddle until they have opened (about 10 mins).

                                          Serve in a bowl with some bread.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Musie

                                            The bread! Can't make that wonderful broth and neglect the bread!

                                            1. re: Musie

                                              I love the flavor possibilities and the use of a lime, makes this worth a try. Sounds like a keeper. Thank you for sharing.

                                              1. re: Musie

                                                This sounds absolutely genius. it is what i am having on Sunday.
                                                Maybe a dumb question: Do you need to rinse/de-sand mussels?

                                                1. re: Westy

                                                  Absolutely unless you enjoy a gritty aftertaste. :)

                                                  1. re: Westy

                                                    No need to soak them as so many folks do with clams (even though it really doesn't work - lol!!); just give them a rinse & scrub with a vegetable brush.

                                                    But even that most likely won't be necessary unless you've gathered the mussels yourself. These days 99% of the mussels you'll buy at market have been farmed - meaning they're raised/grown on large "ropes" dangled free in the water. They don't come in contact with the bottom, thus keeping them grit-free.

                                                2. Here's a huge favorite around here. I make it every time I come across good LARGE (or at least decent medium-size) mussels (it's a pain in the a** to make it with tiny ones). Easy, different, & delicious. Can be served as an appetizer or as a main course.

                                                  Bacardi1 Mussels Au Gratin
                                                  This is a terrific mussel recipe I make all the time that originated at the Legal Seafood restaurant in Boston. The original recipe was obtained & printed in a cookbook put out by Willard Scott, but it's pretty basic & I now make my own adaptation of it as follows. Yes, it is an artery-hardening special - but heck, once in awhile you gotta live - lol!!! All ingredient amounts are "to taste", so be tame or run wild as you wish.

                                                  Fresh mussels – at least 2 pounds
                                                  Unsalted butter, softened but not melted
                                                  fresh garlic, peeled & finely chopped
                                                  flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
                                                  Dry Italian-seasoned bread crumbs (like Progresso, 4-C, etc.)
                                                  Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
                                                  Italian bread or French baguette

                                                  First off, soften at least 1 stick of unsalted butter (depending on how many mussels you have, you may need 2 sticks) & combine with fresh minced garlic & minced Italian flat-leaf parsley to taste.

                                                  Toss your rinsed & debearded (if necessary) mussels in a pot & steam with about an inch of water until just open enough for you to remove the top shell & discard. Arrange the mussels - on their half shells - on a rimmed baking sheet.

                                                  Divide the garlic butter atop the mussels, top with as much grated Monterey Jack cheese as desired, & sprinkle with bread crumbs.

                                                  Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven just until cheese is melted.

                                                  Place/scrape mussels into serving bowls & serve with bread to sop up all that great garlic butter. A green salad also goes well - if you can find the room - lol!!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Bacardi1

                                                    Oh that sounds delicious too. Just bought my mussels this morning!

                                                  2. Take a piece of heave duty tin foil, put mussels in center, add a dollop of butter, salt and pepper. If you like, add chopped garlic or shallot. Fold foil over, seal edges and put on a medium grill 350-400 for about 10 minutes. when you take them off, roll the packet around a bit. Open and drain liquid to a small bowl. Eat clams and dunk a nice piece of crusty bread in the liquid. Yummy.

                                                    1. Agree that the classic Pernod flavor can be had sans-Pernod by sweating shaved fennel bulb along with onion and a bit of garlic before adding the mussels. But a splash of dry white wine is almost essential to steamed mussels IMHO.

                                                      1. Whatever happened to a good marinara sauce!! Is that no longer "in style"?

                                                        2 Replies
                                                          1. re: jeansboat

                                                            I don't mind mussels in marinara, but only if they're out of the shell. Don't enjoy slogging through messy sauces to deal with in-shell shellfish.

                                                          2. I replaced any white wine / sherry in the recipe with 3 parts water and 1 part Apple cider vinegar. The mussels came out better than they do when I cook them with wine. I will be making a permanent switch!