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An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Mussels
    Mussels should be purchased alive. Look for tightly closed shells or shells that snap shut when tapped. Avoid mussels with broken shells or those that feel heavy, which means they are filled with mud. Another good sign: The juice from shucked mussels should be clear.

  • How to Store Mussels
    Store fresh mussels (live or shucked) in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

    How to Prepare Mussels
    The hardest part of preparing mussels is cleaning them: Run them under cold water gently, and discard any with shells that are broken or that remain open after you tap them lightly (a live mussel should respond to this by snapping shut). As you clean, pull off the beard (the weedy growth attached to the bottom of each shell).

  • How to Use Mussels
    Mussels can be steamed, fried, or baked. Do not eat any mussels that remain closed after cooking.

    —Jenny Rosenstrach

    Real Simple Mussel Recipes:

    See all Mussel recipes »

What's your favorite mussel recipe?

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