Preparing Live New Zealand Greenshell Mussels


Ideally, you should prepare live mussels within 48 hours of purchase.

Rinse the mussels under running water and tug out their beards. If any of the mussels are already open and don’t close when you tap them, discard them as they could be dead.

Cooking Methods

Mussels need very little cooking. As soon as the shells start gaping open, you know they’re ready. Don’t overcook them or you’ll end up with a rubbery texture.

To steam the mussels, place two cups of water (or one cup water, one cup white wine) in a large pot and cover with a tight fitting lid. Bring to the boil and add the mussels, replace the lid and over a high heat steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pot twice during this process. The mussels are cooked when the shells open, remove from the heat and discard any mussels that don’t open.

To cook live mussels on the BBQ, pre-heat the hot plate to a high heat. Place mussels on the hot plate, pour over ½ cup water (or white wine) cover BBQ with hood (if relevant) or being very careful of the steam cover the mussels with a pot, allowing time to steam open the mussels (this should take approx 2-5 minutes).


Live mussels should be refrigerated in an open container covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. Live mussels need to breathe so do not store them in plastic bags.