Needed some mussels for a broth the other day, but couldn't get my hands on any fresh, so I ended up with a package of frozen whole-shell New Zealand greenshells
. I've never worked with anything but fresh mussels, and realized I had no clue what was going on.
- Are they already pre-cooked? Most info I found about greenshells talks about a) fresh b) cooked & frozen on the half-shell or c) shucked, cooked & frozen. There's a conspicuous lack of information on the whole-shell frozen kind.
- What are some adjustments to think about when using them in recipes as a replacement for fresh mussels? In particular, when steaming them, how do you know when they're done, how do you know if any are bad, and should they be de-frosted prior to use?
My experience: I just tossed them in the broth to steam, but they never popped open the way good fresh ones do (photo
). That freaked me out: were they all bad? I left them in far longer than I normally would have, but they still didn't open, yet when I forcibly opened them by hand, they didn't look bad (photo
I ended up not eating them, but used the broth. Yummy, no side effects. I'm guessing they were at least blanched prior to freezing, with bad ones tossed at that point, but could use some reassurance.