Cleaning the mussels is a fundamental step in the preparation of a fish dish or a fish sauté. However you want to cook your mussels, it is important to clean them carefully to avoid risks related to the poor hygiene that generally accumulate these molluscs. Always choose fresh mussels and remove all possible encrustations and filament from the shells.

Cleaning the mussels is a fundamental step in the preparation of a fish dish or a fish sauté. However you want to cook your mussels, it is important to clean them carefully to avoid risks related to the poor hygiene that generally accumulate these molluscs.

First of all, make sure to always cook fresh mussels, checking that the shells are not open, that they do not open too easily or that they are not dry inside. It is also important to eliminate all possible deposits and filament from the shells. Let's see how to clean the mussels in the right way, in a few simple steps.

Cleaning the mussels, the rules for doing it correctly

First select the mussels, discarding those with a broken shell, those already open or those ruined. Then wash them under running water to remove surface dirt.

Remove the byssus that starts from the inside of each mussel, extracting the filament with your thumb and forefinger from the side of the molluscs and taking care not to leave any residue.

With a brush with stiff bristles, or with a sponge with a metal net, brush the mussels one by one, under running water. This step is essential to remove any encrustations from the shells before going to cook them in the pot.

Fill a bowl with cold water and salt and dip the mussels. Let them rest for at least half an hour.

How to open mussels

You can open the molluscs before cooking and remove them from their shell, or let them open on their own with the steam from cooking. The choice is up to you and the type of preparation you need to make.

After having washed them, to open raw mussels help yourself with a knife. Lightly squeeze the shell with your hands, to make the valves begin to hatch on their own. Then insert the tip of the knife into the most protruding side of the mussel. Point the tip downwards, so as to cut the muscle. Go around the mussel with the knife and pry it open.

If you want to open the mussels while cooking, with the steam, put them in a large pan and cover with the lid. On a high flame, let them open spontaneously. It will take 5 to 10 minutes. At this point, check the mussels: throw away those that have not opened and use the others for your preparations.

How to preserve mussels

If you want to preserve the mussels, it is advisable to wash them first. At that point you can put them in a bowl with cold water and preserve them in the refrigerator, or out of the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. The important thing is that they stay cool, possibly covered with a damp cloth. In this way the mussels will not tend to open until they have to be cooked.

You can also freeze mussels, but it is important that they are already cooked and that you have removed them from their shell. In order to freeze them, it is important to make sure that the mussels are really fresh.