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Aug 8, 2014 07:45 PM

I bought frozen mussels before I knew any better

So I went shopping for tinned seafood because lately that's what I'm into. Weird I know, but I wanted to try the many varieties of canned mackerel, sardine, shellfish, etc they sell at the Asian supermarket. Anyway...

Then I came upon the frozen section, and after oohing and aahing over the selection of fish balls, I finally grabbed a package of New Zealand mussels, frozen and without shells.

Then I looked on CH and saw quite a lot of folks warn against buying or eating frozen mussels. Bummer!

But I got em and I plan to eat em....somehow. Fortunately, no one in my house likes them but me, so I won't be making them soon, and, they're frozen so I have some time to figure out how to prepare them.

I assume they're not cooked although I can't find out for sure from the package.

I'd like to use them in pasta, but when I come home from work at an ungodly hour, would they be passable if I sauté them in butter?

Does the shell mean anything in terms of flavor or quality the way bones do in chicken?

So, any single-serving preparations for frozen mussels?

How do I know when they're "done?" Can't imagine sticking a meat thermometer in these things lol.

Please don't advise me to feed them to my cat. I don't have one.

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  1. Sauté anything in enough butter and it will be good! Odds are they are already cooked or partially cooked. They're done when they change color to a bright pinkish coral.

    Be warned they may have the texture of pink pearl erasers so have a taste before adding to your pasta and a tin of sardines on stand by....

    1. Use them as you would make clam sauce for pasta. I made clam chowder (mussel chowder?) once, and it was delic. Or, if you are into Asian cooking, you can do curry with coconut milk. Be warned .. don't cook too long, else it will be rubbery.

      1. They'll be great! NZ mussels are delicious, even frozen. They have a surprisingly good flavour and unaffected texture for a frozen sea creature product. Let them thaw then cook in any recipe calling for mussels. The frozen NZ mussels I've seen are the big orange ones (green shell in the photo on the packaging perhaps) and likely already cooked so will only need a few minutes to heat through. Even if they are raw, they will only need 5 mins tops once your sauce or whatever has reached bubbling point. The shell is not a big deal flavour wise, it's the liquor that you're missing out on compared to fresh.

        Lots of butter, lots of garlic, splash of white wine is beautiful. Tiny chopped carrot, onion, celery and fennel if you can be bothered will make it even better. A chopped tomato makes it into a delicious soupy stew. Bread.

        Or asian: saute garlic and/or ginger, add fermented black beans, sugar, soy, rice wine, mussels. Turn up the heat, let the sauces reduce and by then your mussels will be cooked too. Sprinkle with chopped coriander & green onion. Rice.

        1. I cook them all the time. Here's my recipe:

          500 g frozen New Zealand green-lipped mussels in the half shell
          about ¼ cup sake or sherry
          peanut oil
          ¼ cup sherry
          1 tsp soy sauce
          1 tsp Chinese sesame oil
          sprinkle of garlic powder or roasted sesame seeds

          1. Thaw the mussels overnight in the refrigerator.
          2. Remove the mussels from their shells, leaving aside the fibrous adductor muscle. Grate ginger over mussles and pour about ¼ cup of sake or sherry over them. Marinate for 1 hour, tossing them several times. Drain the mussels and discard the marinade.
          3. Bring ¼ cup of fresh sherry to a boil in a non-stick frying pan.
          4. Add the mussels, cover the pan, lower the heat, and steam for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the mussels to a plate.
          5. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut oil to the pan. Mix well with the sherry and mussel juices, raise the heat, and reduce the liquid in the pan to a few tablespoons. It should have a syrupy consistency. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Return the mussels to the pan and swirl them around until they are well coated with the glaze. Sprinkle with garlic powder or sesame seeds, if desired, and serve.