Green mussels are a very famous mussel variety from New Zealand, and a delicacy all around the world. They are larger and sweeter than regular black mussels, so are perfect stuffed, fried, or broiled!
Since there are so many ways to cook green mussels, this recipe post is going to focus more on the main ingredient than any specific recipe. Because one of my favorite ways of eating these delectable shellfish is also one of the most simple!
What Are Green Mussels?
Green mussels, also known as New Zealand Green-lipped Mussels, or scientifically Perna canaliculus, are a species of mussel found along New Zealand’s mainland coast. They are the largest mussel species, with some reaching lengths of 24cm (9 inches).
Green mussels are an important resource for New Zealand, and have been collected for international export since the 1970s. They have recently gotten quite the reputation in culinary circles, as they are considered both tastier and healthier than regular black mussels.
Where Can You Buy New Zealand Green Mussels?
You can buy New Zealand green mussels at most major grocery stores worldwide. They are especially popular in Australia, East Asia, Europe, and North America. Conveniently, they are flash frozen on the half-shell so you can choose how many you want to take out when you are ready to make a tasty meal.
Best Ways To Cook Green Mussels
The best way to cook green mussels is however you want! Seriously, you can use your favorite black mussel recipe, or find a completely new one. My favorite way to cook green mussels frozen on the half shell is broiled mussels with garlic and shallot.
- 1 dozen New Zealand Green Mussels – these are usually available in the frozen seafood section of large or quality grocery stores.
- 4 cloves Garlic – minced
- 1-2 Shallots – about two tablespoons worth finely chopped, so if your shallots are very small like mine, then go for two.
- 1 pinch Salt
- Black Pepper – freshly cracked, to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Parsley – roughly chopped, sprinkled on before serving
- Lemon – wedge, optional
Lay out the mussels on a baking tray. You should do this straight from the freezer, so don’t defrost before. Cover the mussels with a sheet of foil and pop in an oven at 180C or 350F for 10 minutes.
While the mussels are basically steaming, combine the shallot, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to a bowl. Quickly mix and set aside until the mussels are done.
After 10 minutes remove the foil and spoon about a teaspoon of the garlic/shallot mix onto the mussels. If it doesn’t look like enough, then quickly drizzle some more olive oil all over everything. Move the tray to the top shelf about 10-12 cm from the heat source and let broil for 3 minutes.
Remove the tray and quickly garnish the broiled green mussels with the chopped parsley. You can drizzle over lemon juice now if you want, but I like to just serve them with a wedge or two on the side so my guests can add however much they want.
Other Ways To Cook And Serve New Zealand Green-lipped Mussels
You can cook green mussels so many ways, here are a few delicious mussel recipes I think you will enjoy:
- Mussels In Blue Cheese Sauce (Moules au Roquefort)
- Asian Baked Mussels
- Pasta All’Arrabbiata Con Le Cozze (Mussels With Spicy Pasta)
- Fried Mussels
Remember, any recipe that you would make with black mussels, you can make with green mussels. In fact, the green version is likely to be even better!
Green Mussels With Garlic And Shallot
- 1 Baking Tray
- 1 Oven
- 1 Sheet Aluminum Foil
- 1 dozen New Zealand Green Mussels these are usually available in the frozen seafood section of large or quality grocery stores.
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1-2 Shallots about two tablespoons worth finely chopped so if your shallots are very small like mine, then go for two.
- 1 pinch Salt
- Black Pepper freshly cracked to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
- Parsley roughly chopped sprinkled on before serving
- Lemon wedge, optional
- Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F on fan-forced convection.
- Place your frozen mussels shell side down on a baking tray. Cover with foil and pop in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes.
- While the mussels are steaming make the garlic/shallot mix. Combine the minced garlic, finely chopped shallot, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl.
- Open the oven and remove the foil. Spoon a bit of the mix onto each mussel and move the tray to the top row of the oven about 12cm away from the heat source. Broil for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove, plate, and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley for garnish. Serve alongside a wedge or two of lemon