Black Mussels in Fermented Lemon Butter Broth

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What do mussels taste like? Like brine, a black mussel is salty and has a meaty, brothy flavor. Black mussels are absolutely lovely cooked in fermented lemon butter broth. Seafood mussels are a superfood loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein.



  • 2 pounds live mussels
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fermented lemon rind, rinsed and finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked black peppers to taste
  • Reserved mussel cooking liquid


  • baguette
  • fresh parsley


  1. Begin by cleaning the mussels, removing the beards and discarding of any with broken shells and any that don’t close when firmly tapped or squeezed.
  2. Chop the parsley leaves, mix with lemon juice, garlic clove finely grated, fermented lemon rind rinsed and finely chopped, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and set the mixture aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons butter to a large pan with a lid over medium-high heat. Finely slice the shallots.
  4. Once hot, add the shallots and cook for about a minute.
  5. Add the mussels water and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the pan and immediately cover it with the lid. Steam-cook, occasionally shaking the pan, for 3-4 minutes or until all the shells have opened up.
  6. Pass the mussels through a colander set over a bowl to collect the cooking juices.
  7. Discard any mussels which still remain closed and pick the mussel meat out of the open shells.
  8. Gently pull the mussel shells into 2 halves and reserve the neater halves for plating.
  9. Place a frying pan over medium heat with two tablespoons of butter and gently simmer the parsley-lemon juice mixture for about a minute.
  10. Add the mussel cooking juices and simmer until reduced a bit. About 7-10 minutes with stirring.
  11. Add the mussel meat to the pan and toss to coat and warm through.
  12. To serve, arrange the shells onto plates and carefully place the mussels back in the shells. Spoon over the sauce from the pan.
  13. Top with fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread.