Mussels are not only inexpensive and tasty, they’re one of the most sustainable types of seafood—and can even help improve the environment. Here’s how to make mussels your go-to choice for sustainable seafood.
Photo by bugmonkey
Buying seafood responsibly is essential for protecting our environment, but choosing the right seafood can be complicated because of all the variables involved with the “sustainable seafood” label. At a restaurant or market, you might not know where a fish was caught or how it was caught, for example. With mussels, though, “you’ll almost always get responsibly farmed shellfish that actually clean the water they’re grown in,” writes Francis Lam at Salon.
Mussels are also incredibly versatile and very easy to prepare. You can start with a standard garlic, white wine, butter, and herbs preparation and take off from there:
Basically, if you can imagine a bunch of flavors tasting good together, they will probably be good with mussels. Like a version with leeks or onions (aromatics), bacon (just because) and dark beer (liquid), and finished with a stir-in of crushed or ground nuts for more richness. (And maybe a final splash of malt vinegar or something if it wants a little brightness.)
If you’ve never made mussels, check out Salon’s primer, which includes instructions on how to clean, store, and cook mussels (pay particular heed to the warning about tossing shells that aren’t opening).
See also simple rules for buying fish responsibly and feel free to comment on cooking mussels or other sustainable seafood topics.