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5 delicious recipes using New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels

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A person wearing an apron cooks vegetables in a stainless steel pan on a gas stove. Ingredients such as sliced carrots, snow peas, and mushrooms are on the marble countertop nearby. The background features a white subway tile backsplash.
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel is among the most versatile shellfish on the planet. To prove it (more than we already have on our blog), we present these five recipes, each built around the mussel and designed to satisfy a specific culinary craving.

Each of these recipes is heavy on the Omega-3 fatty acids, making them a hot choice for cool relief of arthritis and other joint ailments. And, the best part about these recipes is that the prep is generally the same on each. Once you’ve cooked your mussels following the instructions below, simply top with the specified ingredients!

Now, it’s time to get cooking, because the road to someone’s heart begins in the kitchen. Added bonus if you can also help them to reduce joint pain and inflammation.

How to cook Green Lipped Mussels

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds frozen New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels
  • Cilantro
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Before you begin cooking the mussels, they need to be defrosted and ready to go. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove. Before adding the mussels, dice a small handful of basil, parsley, and thyme. 

Add the fully shelled mussels and the diced ingredients to the pot. Cover and boil for five minutes or until the shells on the mussels have popped open.

Remove the mussels using a ladle. Remove the top half of the shell, leaving the mussel sitting in the bottom half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

As a bonus, you can serve the leftover broth as a side! Ladle a scoop into soup bowls, add a garnish of cilantro, perhaps some crushed pepper flakes, and you have yourself an easy warm-weather pleaser.

Tri-continent green-lipped mussel recipe

Take your New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels and add a dose of Indian and Mediterranean flare!

Ingredients:

  • ⅛ teaspoon Saffron
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Add saffron to olive oil. Drizzle over mussels.
  2. Top with diced tomato

Garlic green-lipped mussels with toast recipe

Garlic is a “love it or hate it” condiment, but for this recipe, we’re calling to the “go garlic or go home” crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic or dried garlic powder
  • Small fistful of chopped cilantro
  • Toast, buttered

Method:

  1. Add garlic to melted butter and drizzle over the mussels
  2. Top with cilantro
  3. Serve with a slice of buttered toast

Pesto green-lipped mussels with a side salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Side salad ingredients to taste

Method:

  1. Combine above ingredients (minus side salad ingredients and parmesan) into a pesto sauce.
  2. Drizzle over the mussels
  3. Top with parmesan
  4. Serve with a light salad topped with olive oil and vinegar

Spicy green-lipped mussels recipe

If you have a penchant for spicy goodness, this recipe will light the fire.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp Tobasco or your favorite hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp diced cucumber
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Spritz mussels with hot sauce
  2. Finely dice cucumber and top mussels
  3. Add a pinch of pepper for flavor

Sauced green-lipped mussels with pasta recipe

For a hearty meal, add pasta and a tomato sauce. Do not de-shell mussels for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package pasta, your choice
  • For sauce:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • T tbsp onion, chopped finely
  • ½ tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ cup white wine

Method:

  1. Boil pasta in a large pot
  2. In a large frying pan, combine sauce ingredients. Stir in mussels and cook until shells pop open. 
  3. Add salt and pepper
  4. Serve while hot

Where can I buy Green Lipped Mussels to cook?

Green-lipped mussels can be found in some grocery stores, but they are more commonly available online or at specialty health food stores. Here are some places where you can buy green-lipped mussels:

  • Online: There are a number of online retailers that sell green-lipped mussels, including Wild Fork Foods, Hilltop Seafood, and Raw Feeding Miami.  
  • Specialty health food stores: Some specialty health food stores, such as Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market, carry green-lipped mussels some or all of the time.
  • Grocery stores: Some grocery stores, such as Kroger and Safeway, carry green-lipped mussels in the frozen section. Keep in mind, however, that not all locations carry the mussels, so call in advance to see if your local store has them in stock.

 

When buying green-lipped mussels, it’s important to choose a reputable source. The mussels should look clean and be free of any blemishes. You should also look for mussels that are sourced sustainably, which generally means they were produced in a regenerative farming manner off the east coast of New Zealand (for more on this, check out our quick guide to sustainable mussel sourcing).

If you find yourself somewhere where buying fresh mussels is an option, we encourage you to partake in what we’ve dubbed the “fresh mussel test.” If the mussels are open, tap them gently. If they do not close, they are in fact dead (not fresh as promised!) and should be discarded.

What tips should I know before cooking Green Lipped Mussels?

Here are some tips you should know before cooking green lipped mussels:

  • Choose fresh mussels if possible. When buying green lipped mussels, it is important to choose the freshest mussels. The mussels should be tightly closed and, as noted above, free of any blemishes. 
  • Scrub the mussels. Once you have chosen your mussels, scrub them under cold running water with a vegetable brush. This will help to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Remove the beards. The beards are the long, stringy appendages that extend from the mussels. They can be easily removed by pulling them off with your fingers.
  • Steam or grill the mussels. Green lipped mussels can be cooked in a variety of ways, but steaming or grilling are the most common methods. To steam mussels, place them in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Steam for 3-5 minutes, or until the mussels open. To grill mussels, brush them with olive oil and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they open.
  • Discard any unopened mussels. It is important to discard any mussels that do not open after cooking. These mussels may be dead or spoiled and could make you sick.

 

Here are some additional hints for cooking green lipped mussels to get the most out of your dish:

  • Add your favorite seasonings. When steaming or grilling mussels, you can add your favorite seasonings to the water or grill pan. This could include things like garlic, lemon juice, or herbs.
  • Serve with crusty bread. Green lipped mussels are delicious served with crusty bread. The bread can be used to soak up the juices from the mussels.
  • Enjoy! Green lipped mussels are a delicious and healthy seafood option. They can be enjoyed as a main course or as an appetizer.

Why are Green Lipped Mussels better to cook than other mussels?

The actual process of cooking Green lipped mussels isn’t inherently different from preparing other types of mussels – but there are perks that you don’t get with other varieties. Notably:

  • They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health. Green-lipped mussels are a good source of ETA (not found in other marine species!) EPA and DHA, three types of omega-3 fatty acids that are particularly beneficial for these health conditions.
  • They have a mild flavor. Green-lipped mussels have a mild flavor that is not as strong as some other types of mussels. This makes them a good choice for people who are not used to eating seafood.
  • They are easy to cook. Green-lipped mussels can be cooked in a variety of ways, but they are most commonly steamed or grilled. This makes them a convenient option for busy cooks.

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