I have two confessions about this mussels recipe. The first is it’s not mine; I stole it from my future father-in-law. The second disclosure is that I haven’t always eagerly enjoyed those little mollusks. Sure, dipping bread into the resulting warm buttery sauce is one thing. But, actually consuming that weird looking thing that lives inside the shell…

I normally pass, thank you very much.

Anytime I have felt pressured to eat them; I swallow them whole. No need to chew that rubbery thing; the goal is always just to get it down and not look like a food wussy.

No one is ever going to call me a food wussy! I eat all sorts of strange things- liver, bone marrow, even head cheese. If it’s edible, I usually give it a shot. Maybe it’s because mussels occasionally smell like the low tide in which they’ve been caught. As a kid, those elongated black shells were always stuck to the side of the docks at the marina, clumped together with barnacles, tiny crabs, and other marine life. Seeing them on the sides of the docks and pilings were fine. I just didn’t want to see them on my dish.

Now, back to my first confession – This isn’t my recipe. Not that long ago, I enjoyed a lovely dinner at my future in-laws. In the lineup of appetizers were mussels. Hmmmm. How to decline politely? You don’t. Remember the just swallow and get it down routine? That was my plan.

But to my surprise, these little guys were marvelous, no low-tide taste with these babies. It didn’t hurt that the sauce included two of my favorite flavors – cilantro and garlic. I gobbled up more than my fair share, and yes, I chewed them. Plus, there was still the best part – garlicy butter sauce to dip warm French bread.

Since my reintroduction to mussels, I’ve since enjoyed them a few times in restaurants. I’ve also made this recipe several times for friends, always with them requesting the mussels recipe for themselves! And so, now I’m sharing it with you, in hopes you’ll muscle up the strength to give mussels a try. 😉

If all that doesn’t sell you on trying this mussels recipe, perhaps this little pearl will- an actual pearl! Pretty amazing to find a little gem in this gem from the sea!


Mussels Recipe With Garlic and Cilantro


  • 2 Dozen or so fresh mussels
  • 6 Minced garlic cloves
  • 1 Stick of salted butter
  • 1/4 Cup of white wine
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Rinse mussels with fresh water. Discard any that have opened.
  2. In a steamer pot, boil water.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan.
  4. Add garlic and reduce heat to medium to avoid burning the garlic.
  5. Once the water is boiling, add the mussels to the upper-level colander. Cover and cook for about three minutes.
  6. Add lemon juice and wine to garlic butter. You might want to add a little bit of the water from the steamer pot.
  7. Prepare a baking sheet. Separate mussel shells and line the baking pan with the shell halves that have the little sucker still attached.
  8. Individually dollop the garlic butter sauce onto each mussel.
  9. Broil for about three minutes.
  10. Top with fresh cilantro and a few cracks of fresh pepper.
  11. Enjoy with bread and a nice Albarino wine.