Although New Zealand is rightly known as the home of some fabulous fish and seafood, many people are unsure of how to cook it themselves. Perhaps they are worried about the dangers of food poisoning, which is indeed a risk when seafood is not prepared correctly. However, a little time and effort spent on learning the basics will pay dividends. There is nothing sweeter than eating freshly cooked seafood at home.

One of the most abundant and popular seafood species are mussels, and in particular, New Zealand’s world-famous Green-Lipped Mussels. One of the largest, and tastiest species, it is vitally important to the economy of the country.

Preparing the mussels for cooking is, of course, half the battle. Those people of a squeamish nature, may not relish the thought that they have to be cooked while still alive, to prevent illness. The first step is to check that all the mussels are closed. If any aren’t, they should be tapped gently. If they still don’t close, they should be thrown away, along with any that are damaged or cracked.

There may be barnacles attached to the mussel, which can be removed with a stiff brush. If there are any with “beards” or tendrils at the side of the shell, they can just be pulled away. Now the mussels are ready for cooking, and here is a great recipe.

  • Place the mussels in a large saucepan with water, for five minutes until they open
  • Meanwhile, place parsley, bread and lemon rind in a processor to make crumbs
  • Chop garlic and mix with salt and butter
  • Arrange the shells with one mussel on each, and top with the garlic butter
  • Sprinkle with the crumbs and place under a hot grill until bubbling

Now, these delicious mussels with parsley crumbs and garlic butter are ready to be served to your friends and family.