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Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

When buying mussels, make sure they don't smell fishy. You should be able to smell the sea. Discard those whose shells are cracked or open or any that refuse to close their shells when you tap them. Those are likely dying or dead. Cook the mussels the same day, preferably within 2 hours after buying them. If you have to store them, place them in a bowl and cover them with a damp towel so they can breathe.

Steamed Mussels with Saffron Sauce

Category: Fish & seafood

Recipe in PDF format (print friendly)

  • Serves 2
  • Prep time: 10min
  • Cook time: 20min
  • Total time: 30min
  • Difficulty: Basic


  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and bearded
  • 100ml heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Soak saffron in hot water in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add wine and bring to the boil. Increase heat to high. Add mussels, cover, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes or until mussels open. Transfer mussels to a bowl and set aside. Discard any unopened mussels. Bring liquid to the boil and cook for 5-10 minutes or until reduced slightly. Add saffron and cream and bring to the boil. Stir through mussels to reheat and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Divide mussels among plates and pour over the sauce. Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread and a glass of wine.

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