Mussels are a popular seafood dish. They are often added to paella, broths and soups, and seafood stews. They can be served in a white wine and garlic sauce or a lemon and garlic butter sauce.
Try linguine with mussels in a tomato sauce or risotto with mussels. The options seem endless. However, what if they are on sale and you want to stock up on them while they are inexpensive?
What is the best way to preserve them? The answer is simple. You can freeze them. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze them and how to defrost them.
How To Freeze Mussels
1. Check the shells.
You will need to check each shell before you freeze them. They should be closed. If they aren’t, tap them and see if they close. If they don’t, throw them away as they won’t be safe to eat.
2. Put the mussels in freezer bags.
If you have a lot of mussels, it is a good idea to freeze them in meal-size portions so that you only freeze as many as you will need at any one time. Don’t fill the bags right up to the top as the shells may expand when in the freezer. Squeeze out the air from the bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn ruins the taste and texture of your food and can strip it of nutrients. Put labels on the bags with the date so that you don’t keep the mussels in the freezer for too long.
3. Put the bags in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Mussels
- Squeeze all the air out of the freezer bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Alternatively, you can use airtight containers.
- You can freeze cooked mussels. You will need to wrap them in foil before putting them in the freezer bags.
- Wash the shells before cooking the mussels. They are likely to have all sorts of debris and dirt on them as they have come directly out of the ocean. You could make yourself ill if you don’t wash them.
- Don’t eat dead mussels. Make sure that the shells have opened before you eat them. Don’t try and force the shells open. If the shells are closed or the shells are cracked, the mussels are dead and shouldn’t be eaten. There is a high risk of food poisoning if you do eat them. Only eat the mussels that have opened.
For How Long Can You Freeze Mussels?
You can freeze raw mussels for up to three months. If you forget to eat them within this time, it is advisable to throw them away. Seafood has a high risk of giving you stomach upsets so make sure that you freeze and prepare them correctly and throw away any that don’t open when you cook them.
However, cooked mussels will keep for up to six months in the freezer so if you want to preserve your mussels for a long time, it’s a good idea to freeze cooked mussels.
How Do You Defrost Mussels?
You can cook mussels from frozen but it is best to defrost them slowly and steadily. By doing this, they will retain taste, texture, and nutrients. Take them out of the freezer and put them in a dish, leaving them in the freezer bag. Place this in the fridge and leave the mussels to thaw out. They will be defrosted within around six hours.
Can You Refreeze Mussels?
We don’t recommend that you refreeze mussels. You should only freeze them once because if you refreeze them, there is a high chance that bacteria will grow and you could get food poisoning if you eat them. In addition, the texture of the mussels will change and they will become rubbery and practically inedible.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Mussels?
Mussels freeze very well, whether they are raw or cooked. Just remember that you should only freeze mussels that are alive otherwise you could get food poisoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing mussels but in case you still have questions about freezing mussels or measles in general, we have answered a few questions here.
For how long can I keep my mussels in the fridge?
You can keep fresh or cooked mussels in the fridge for between three and four days. If you want to keep them for longer, it is best to freeze them as they will keep for much longer.
Can I freeze mussels in a white wine sauce?
It’s not a good idea to freeze mussels in a white wine sauce. Alcohol doesn’t freeze well and there is a high chance that the sauce will split and become grainy. The same goes for a garlic butter sauce. Dairy nearly always splits when you freeze it, so it is better to make the sauce before you cook the mussels. However, you can freeze mussels in tomato sauce. As long as there’s no dairy or alcohol, you should be fine.
Can I freeze mussels in paella?
You can freeze mussels in paella but it is best to remove the shells before freezing. If you want to have your mussels in their shells you will have to buy fresh mussels.
Can you freeze other shellfish?
Yes, you can freeze other shellfish like clams and crab using the same method as for mussels. They can also be frozen for around three months and they can be frozen either raw or cooked. All shellfish are highly perishable and proper handling is required to avoid food poisoning.
What do mussels taste like?
The texture of mussels is chewy but soft to the mouth. When you take your first bite, juices pour out with a rich, sweet, ocean taste.
What do mussels pair well with?
They go well with rice and pasta as well as French fries and crusty French bread. A tomato or garlic sauce goes well as does a white wine sauce.