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Mejillones al Vapor

"Spanish Steamed Mussels Recipe"

These steamed mussels - Mejillones al Vapor - are heated quickly to cook the mussels and open the shells, whereafter the shells can be split. The difference with the usual mussel cooking is the absence of added water, stock or white wine. Steaming mussels means that the mussels are cooked in the steam of their own moisture.

How to cook mussels? This Spanish way of cooking mussels is quick and easy and results in delicious mussels that can be eaten immediately as a main course or as mussels tapas. However, you can also use them as the basis for a special mussels recipe like the great Mussels a la Marinera or the truly superb Spanish Gratinated Mussels.

The added aromas are simple though effective: garlic, black pepper, bayleaf and lemon. We use a fair size casserole or stew pan for these Spanish mussels. Steaming in a wok is also very well possible if you have a wok with a lid, or if you cover them with aluminium foil to ensure that the upper layer of mussels is properly steamed.

Steamed Mussels Recipe:   Ingedients;   How To Cook Mussels;

Photo of Spanish steamed mussels (Mejillones al Vapor). Spanish Steamed Mussels - Mejillones al Vapor


For this Spanish mussels recipe you will need the following ingredients:

(As a main course for 4 persons, but if you are going to serve them as mussels tapas the quantity will do for 16-20 persons)

2 kilo (4.5 lbs)
2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon
Garlic, squeezed flat and cleaned;
Black Pepper;
Bay leaf;
Olive Oil (for frying, so not "Virgen Extra");
Lemon or Lime, cut in 4 quarts;

Photo of fresh mussels in the shell.

How To Cook Mussels?

Preparation of this Spanish mussels recipe is really quick and simple:

Remove any beards and any irregularities from the mussels, remove any broken ones;

Heat a dash of oil in a large casserole, stew pan or wok;

Shortly sautee the peppercorns and squeezed garlic cloves in the oil, add the bay leaf;

Add the mussels, close the lid of the pan, and steam the mussels on high heat until open and done (depending on the pan and the power of the heat source this should take somewhere between five and eight minutes);

Photo of steaming mussels in a wok. A wok is perfect for steaming mussels, just make sure that you can cover them with a lid or aluminium foil to keep the hot steam within the top layer of the mussels!

Allow the mussels to cool down a bit, remove any mussels of which the shells have not opened;

If you want, remove one of the shells of each mussel. If you do this or not depends on the way you wish to serve them and/or if you want to use them as the basis of a follow-up recipe;

Photo of Spanish steamed mussels (Mejillones al Vapor). Steamed mussels - the ideal basis for beautiful mussel tapas...

If you wish to serve the mussels straight away, distribute them over the dishes or bowls and sprinkle plenty of lemon or lime juice over them;

¡Buen Provecho!

These Mejillones al Vapor taste very good when eaten cold, but of course they will taste best when they are still hot!

Storing Mussels for a Follow-Up Recipe

If you want to keep the mussels for a follow-up recipe, arrange them in a sealable bowl or plastic container, sprinkle some of the cooking liquid over each mussel, and store them in the fridge ready for use;

Photo of Spanish steamed mussels (Mejillones al Vapor). Spansich steamed mussels - ready to be stored in the fridge...

Follow-Up Recipe?   Suggestions of El Jefe:

Spanish Mussels - Mejillones a la Marinera. Spanish Tapas: Mussels in Seaman's Style (Mejillones a la Marinera)

Photo of Spanish Gratinated Mussels - Mejillones Gratinados. Spanish Tapas: Gratinated Mussels (Mejillones Gratinados)

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Basque Tapas: Salmon with Egg and Mayonnaise on Bread

Mejillones a la Marinera

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