Moules Marinières

Moules Marinières is simply mussels cooked in white wine, onions, herbs and tiny splash of cream. Moules Marinière is one the classic French dishes that you can find at any Brasseries in France when mussels are in season. As you may know, Belgium is a nation that is internationally well-known for its Mussels and Fries (Moules Frits).

There are many ways to cook mussels, such as Mouclade (Baked Mussels), Moules à la Provençale (Mussels Provence-Style) and Moules Au Curry (Mussels in Curry Sauce). Amongst the 3 ways of cooking mussels, I love Moules Au Curry (Mussels in Curry Sauce) a lot! You may be thinking that it could be a slightly spicy dish for French people. In fact, it’s not so. In France, curry powder they use is not as pungent as what we use in Malaysia. I learnt that Ducros curry powder is very much widely used. I bought one when I was in France, it is a mild curry powder.

Moules Marinières is the second mussels dish that I’ve made so far. I once cooked Mussels in Herby Tomato Sauce,if you have not tried this.

Moules Marinières is not a time consuming dish. It takes probably 45 minutes overall to get Moules Marinière served. One important thing is to always remember to throw away those mussels that haven’t opened after 3 minutes of cooking!

Here’s the recipe that I have taken from A Little Taste of France.

Moules Marinières

Yield: 4 persons


2kg mussels
40g butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
400ml white wine
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
180ml double cream
2 tbsp parsley, chopped


1. Scrub the mussels an remove their beards. Discard any that are open already and don’t close when tapped on the work surface.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion, celery and garlic. Stirring occasionally, over moderate heat until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the wine, bay leaf and thyme to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the mussels, cover the saucepan tightly and simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.

3. Use tongs to lift out the mussels as they open, putting them into a warm dish. Throw away any mussels that haven’t opened after 3 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, leaving behind any grit or sand.

4. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. Add the cream and reheat the sauce without boiling. Season well.

5. Serve the mussels in individual bowls with the liquid poured over. Sprinkle with the parsley.