Beer Steamed Mussels

May 21st, 2008

Beer Steamed Mussels Recipe

Steamed shellfish are one of my favorite ways to entertain guests. It is a true delicacy that any home cook can easily prepare and execute, and do so at a very reasonable price.

To celebrate the completion of our gardening project, we made some steamed mussels last night. The beer drinker that I am, I prefer my mussels steamed in beer over the more traditional mussels in white wine broth. Steamed clams are a different story entirely, but I will save that for another post.

Mussels Nutrition

The black gold of the ocean, mussels are high in protein, low in fat, and when compared to beef low in calories as well. They are also rich in calcium, iron and vitamins C and B12. Not to mention the fact that they pack plenty of essential Omega-3 fatty acids known to help reduce the risk for heart disease. One serving of mussels (quarter of a pound of meat) contains 25 grams of protein, 4.5 grams of fat, 7.4 grams of carbohydrates and a whopping 172 calories. One pound of mussels per person is what I typically serve up for a main course dish.

Beer Steamed Mussels Recipe

Cleaning Mussels

As with any shellfish (clams, oysters and the like), mussels must be cooked while they are still alive. Smell them before purchase, they should smell like the ocean and should not have any major odor. Soak the mussels in cool fresh water for 20-30 minutes before cooking and the scrub the mussels under running water with your hands, or a brush to remove sand, kelp, barnacles, or other attachments. If you find a bearded mussels, give the beard a nice tug with your hand or use kitchen scissors and it should come right off. Discard mussels that are broken, cracked, chipped or not tightly closed.

Steamed Mussels Recipe for Two

Olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, minced
12 oz bottle of beer of your choice - Lager is the way to go. Nothing too hoppy :)
2 lbs mussels
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves and stems, finely minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

Cooking Mussels

  1. Heat large pot or a Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil and melt the butter. Add shallots; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  2. Add mussels to the pot, and pour in the lager. Close lid and let mussels steam over medium heat until shells are open and the mussels turn opaque, 5~6 minutes. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  3. Remove the mussels and place in a serving dish. Let the broth rest a few minutes allowing any remaining sand to settle to the bottom of the pan. Carefully pour out the broth using a ladle, avoiding the bottom.
  4. Top with cilantro leaves, black pepper, and a nice squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to finish off. Serve hot with crusty bread to mop up the juices!

What is your favorite steamed shellfish dish? Share us your delicious story.

20 Responses to “Beer Steamed Mussels”

  1. Beer Butt Chicken Recipe | Beer Can Chicken | Drunken Chicken Oven | Beer Can Chicken Rack Says:

    […] If you like cooking with beer, try the beer steamed mussels. […]

  2. nicmccNo Gravatar Says:

    Now you have me craving mussels & it’s only 8AM in the morning. This sounds like a winner for Memorial Day!

  3. nicholeNo Gravatar Says:

    Yum! Thanks for the nutrition info as well. So, 1lb/person is in-shell weight, and yields about 4oz of meat? Had I known that I would have gone for a few more bowls at Le Chardonnay‘s moules and frites night. Guess it’s just the buttery sauces you have to watch out for. :)

  4. Mark BoxshusNo Gravatar Says:

    Just thought I’d let you know (quietly……shhhhh) that you forgot to specify how much “lager” to use. I know, having done this a zillion times, but thought you’d appreciate a heads up before you get bombarded with requests…………..


  5. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    @nichole 4oz of meat is US FDA “approved” single serving. Around my place, we serve a whole lbs :) I will have to check out Le Chardonnay’s next time I am in Madison!

    @nicmcc will you be joining us at Wing Fling this weekend?

    @Mark aka Cookie Doctor Good looking out, thanks for the heads up! I will update the recipe.

  6. PatNo Gravatar Says:

    I’m not a veer/ale drinker. What, pray tell, would be a non-hoppy lager? Brand name would be appreciated. Thx.

  7. adminNo Gravatar Says:

    @Pat – I suggested nothing too hoppy as you don’t want to kill the clean taste of mussels with complicated beer. (You know who you are, hop addicts :)

    This recent time we used Pab’s Blue Ribbon, a left over beer from the camping trip few weeks ago. The time before that was Negro Bohemia. If my memory serves me correct, the time before was San Diego’s finest Karl Strauss Amber and that came out good too. Really anything goes I guess. Let us know what you end up using.

    If you are not much of a beer drinker, we may suggest you use Vermouth. Vermouth comes in handy substitute as a replacement for dry white wine, they keep in room temperature and are very affordable. Great tip for those of you who can’t seem to keep “cooking wine” around long enough when the recipe calls for it.

  8. seosurvivorNo Gravatar Says:

    Looks yummy!!! @Mark – Just pour the whole bottle man, the more the merrier :)

  9. babyNo Gravatar Says:

    Nice website!!

  10. adminNo Gravatar Says:


  11. Joel sNo Gravatar Says:

    We did the beer steamed mussels using the same ingredients, only Land Shark lager. We paired it with sourdough bread (a little healthier) and a small beef tenderloin from the grill. We bought 4 pounds of mussels for 3 people and were about a pound heavy, so the 1 pound per person rule works. The mussels were a great hit and we will do it again. Great tastes! Thanks for the recipe!!

  12. adminNo Gravatar Says:


    Thank you for taking the time to give us a feedback, we love that you are sharing your story and we are excited that you enjoyed it Joel!

    We have been experimenting with curry and mussels lately, and the recipe is almost there. Will post the recipe up in the near future so stay tuned.

    How is Landshark? Have not had the pleasure to try any beer brewed by Margaritaville Brewing.

  13. CanadianCanuckNo Gravatar Says:

    Just a great recipe, simple and full of flavour…this is my second time doing it tonight.


  14. John BainNo Gravatar Says:

    Could you please tell me how much olive oil to use – thank you – sounds like a great recipe.

  15. Fumi MatsubaraNo Gravatar Says:

    @John Bain – Hi John, you need but a table spoon of olive oil. It’s mainly to cook the shallots and garlic with out burning the butter. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the recipe.

  16. SeanNo Gravatar Says:

    Didn’t have much flavor.

    Try that, it’s amazing!

  17. Ames McGeeNo Gravatar Says:

    Very very tasty! Thanks for Sharing!

  18. frankNo Gravatar Says:

    added 1/2 an onion, and some chopped celery for more flavor

  19. CristyNo Gravatar Says:

    Delicious – I used Blue Moon. I used to only cook mussels using the “usual suspects” – olive oil, butter, shallots, garlic, white wine, lemon & parsley. This recipe is definitely one to try.

  20. OmgNo Gravatar Says:

    They were soooooooooooooo good! THX I USED BUD LIGHT

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