Picture this: Last night, you went to your favorite seafood restaurant in the world, and while the mussels in your meal were delicious, you couldn't help but end up with some leftovers.
Now you're craving the delicacies from that precious to-go box in your fridge.
But the question stands: Can you microwave mussels? The good news is, YES, both cooking and reheating mussels in the microwave, is perfectly safe.
Keep in mind, though, similar to microwaved crab legs, there's a little bit of preparation involved, but it's worth it to keep your meal as delicious as any seafood-lover would want.
When cooking mussels from scratch, a microwave can be used to create a lovely steamed dish. This process isn't as intricate as the one it takes to reheat mussels, but there are still a few steps that should be heeded if you're going to use a microwave as opposed to a saucepan:
How do you microwave mussels?
1. Thaw any frozen mussels before cooking. You can use warm water for faster results, or place them in the fridge overnight for more tender meat. Mussels are best if cooked on the same day of purchase, but can keep for about a week if needed.
2. Arrange the mussels on the outer rim of a microwavable plate and cover tightly. This arrangement will allow the mussels to steam most optimally and efficiently, as the hearty meat can take a bit to cook thoroughly.
3. Cook on high for 2 to 5 minutes. This will allow the shells to open correctly and for the meat to be thoroughly cooked without becoming gummy. Some advise cooking the mussels until all of the shells open, but this won't occur with every dish; instead, if you fully cook the meal and a couple of shells are still closed, it's best to discard them entirely.
4. Season accordingly and serve. Whether you plan to partner them with a creamy spaghetti sauce or drizzle them in savory lemon butter, now's the time to add whatever flavorful touches you like to your mussels. Spice it up and enjoy it!
How do you reheat mussels in the microwave?
Now, what about reheating mussels in the microwave? This process is a little more detailed, as already-cooked mussels can become tough and rubbery very quickly upon reheating. However, it is possible to reheat this delicious dish without sacrificing the flavor you love.
(Note: If you are heating a dish that includes more than just mussels, such as pasta, remove the mussels from the meal, reheat the other ingredients to an incredibly hot temperature, and then set the mussels back in the dish. This will allow the meal itself to warm the mussels.
The following instructions are for heating mussels alone 🙂
1. Remove the mussels from their shells. While it is not toxic to reheat the shells, the clams often dry out the mussel meat until it's incredibly rubbery. You can preserve the sauces or juice the shells collect by drizzling it over the meat. After that, you can toss them.
2. Put all of the meat in a small bowl, keeping them as condensed as you can. This will allow any broth or juice to keep the meat moist and let the individual mussels keep each other warm. Cover them with a damp paper towel to keep the heat in further.
3. Heat the mussels at extremely low temperatures, checking them every 15 seconds. Keeping your microwave at 30% power is advisable for reheating something as tender as mussels. You can cook them to as warm as you'd like but check them frequently to make sure they aren't overheating or drying out.
4. Re-season if necessary, and serve.
In the end, mussels can be a savory dish for all occasions, even if they're right out of the microwave. To avoid the downfall of a tough and tasteless meal, follow these steps until you figure out a pattern that works swimmingly for you.
GetMaineLobster.com ("Cooking Frozen Mussels")
Leaf.tv ("How to Reheat Mussels")
TheSpruce.com ("Use the Microwave for Steamed Clams or Mussels")
SeriousEats.com ("Can You Reheat Mussels?")