One of the easiest, healthiest and most delicious family recipes I’ve ever shared…


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After months of waiting, the bouchot mussels are back! Bouchot mussels are the best money can buy in France. They are not very big (about an inch) but they are VERY tasty. The name comes from the wooden posts (bouchots in French) they grow on. These posts are made of oak or chestnut and can be found all along the Atlantic coast. The largest production areas are the Mont Saint Michel Bay and l’Ile-de-ré. We all wait for this time of year to eat them. They are not available before the end of June anyway. You may find some, but they’d be small and not very “full” inside. We’ve had a very rainy Spring and the sun only really came out last week. The mussels will get meatier in the coming weeks as a result of it.



Properly cooked, mussels are probably the easiest kind of seafood to prepare. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t love them… They are a healthy and cheap option for the Summer months.

For 4 people as an appetizer:

  1. Brown some slices of bacon, chorizo and chopped shallots in butter. About two small fistfuls of each (my sister adds green and red peppers). Make sure everything is thinly chopped so these ingredients get into each mussel.
  2. Add a glass of dry white wine or a small bottle of blond beer and 5 pounds of mussels.
  3. Cover and cook on high heat for about 2 minutes. All the mussels must open. You will have stirred your mussels two or three times during cooking and added a fistful of fresh persillade (chopped garlic and parsley – the proportions for my persillade: 4 large cloves of garlic for 1 bunch of parsley).
  4. Add a little cream if you want. Butter always feels lonely without cream!
  5. Season (salt, pepper and Piment d’Espelette) to taste

Serve with French fries of course and a dry white or ice cold beer in an ice cold glass :0)

Note: mussels, like all crustaceans, are very sensitive and can make you very sick if they are not extremely fresh. In addition to a healthy fresh smell, it is imperative to put them in a cold water bath before using them and throw away ALL those that float on the surface and those that may seem a bit light. My fishmonger makes fun of me when I tell him I do this, but I’d rather be the butt of his jokes than dead! He only goes by the smell. He says (and I confirm) that one can smell a bad mussel from a mile away… Fresh mussels are ALWAYS tightly shut.

If you have some left overs (you won’t) take the mussels out of the shells and freeze them with the broth. It will be the perfect starting point for a nice soup or gumbo later!

On another note, I recently started a new blog about classic cars. You or someone close to you may be interested… 

AND I uploaded a new video on my Youtube channel on Friday. I hope you’ll go check it out :0)

moules de bouchot - seafood - mussels


49 Comments Add yours

  1. Some of the best mussels I’ve ever had were at a restaurant at Noirmortier. Smaller than I’m used to at home but still remember them melting in my mouth.

  2. distancewide says:

    We just came back from a road trip through Brittany and Normandy. I don’t how many time we had mussels and french fries. We loved it. We should try this recipe, it sounds delicious.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment ! So glad you got to experience Normandie ! I hope you got a chance to visit Mont Saint Michel 😉

      1. distancewide says:

        yes, we did visit Mont Saint-Michel. A great and amazing monument.
        I will share some of your great articles on our side, if this is ok with you. We love your posts and pictures.

          1. distancewide says:

            Yes, I do a lot !!!!

  3. This is truly heaven! 🙂 Thank you for this recipe. i will write them down into my recipe book and cook them while on the road travelling 😀

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Good on you! 😎

  4. bberns27 says:

    I recently JUST discovered Mussels. Im definitely going to follow you for more ideas for my blog! Thanks for the recipe!


  5. Nikki says:

    love LOVE your videos! Please continue..I have visited France (from Canada) but once and these lovely vids bring me back to la belle France each time I watch them. Bravo!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thank you so much Nikki. It means a lot!

  6. chef mimi says:

    Well, Dave hates them. But I don’t think he’s ever tasted a mussel, either. More for us, right?!! A beautiful dish.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We’ll have him try one day when we’re in Mont Saint Michel 😉

      1. chef mimi says:

        he won’t. he doesn’t like any rubbery texture.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I’ll be making mussels this way next time we get them at the market. The bacon and chorizo sound wonderful!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      They really add something special ☺️

  8. Elisa says:

    Mussels are death for me 😀

  9. Penne Cole says:

    I love mussels too! And I also love the bulot.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Ci love all seafood. Bulots with a home made mayo are delicious. A lot of people are put off by snails though… I certainly am not 😉☺️

      1. Penne Cole says:

        Interesting. I’ve never had them with mayo before – usually just plain boiled from the market. They have such a great peppery flavour.

        1. My French Heaven says:

          They do!!! You have got to try them with mayo! It’s a game changer! I also make sure I rince them a little before serving as they tend to have pieces of shell and sand inside. One grain of sand and the whole meal is ruined ☺️

  10. Nadia says:

    One of my favourite meals. It is my Tuesdaty dinner often as market day in Le Bugue is Tuesdays and I buy them at my favourite fishmonger. Mussels tonight- yay!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I didn’t realize you lived so close…

      1. Nadia says:

        You will have to come visit. I am in Journiac.

  11. Nice variation on a classic theme, Stéphane!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      There are so many ways. I love them!

  12. Aurélie Quellien says:

    Excellent… Cest ce que j’ai prevu pour dej dimanche !!!


  13. Eha says:

    Here in Australia we normally can only buy the much bigger ‘blue mussels’ which are also quite, quite delicious and one of the cheapest seafoods to access. Like your recipe as I normally have not used meat products in my cooking base: shall try!! Have to admit the Belgian mussels and chips has not quite reached our shoes . . on the other hand many wonderful Asian preparation styles have. Smile at your photo of Mont St Michel – as I follow ‘Tour de France’ ‘was’ just there a couple of days ago. . . again miserably cool and wet . . .

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Mont Saint Michel is a magical place indeed 😊

  14. I’ve sent this post to a number of friends because of the wide array of topics you covered…..two car enthusiasts, a couple of chefs who will tell us which mussel we can get here in Oregon that will work, and one who loves lamb AND bleu cheese. You’re doing a fantastic job with the videos!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That’s it! I officially name you VP of marketing ☺️☺️ one day, when you finally come visit, I will make you the best mussels and French fries you’ve ever had 😉

  15. Our youngest daughter’s had moules frites for lunch at school today, as we are only half an hour from the Ile de Ré I wonder if they were indeed Bouchot Mussels. Anyway, they were telling me as soon as they got home how delicious the lunch was and how everyone had seconds today!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That is one cool school! In my day they fed us stuff that tasted like dog food (and not the expensive kind) ☺️

      1. In my day too, but that was a British boarding school, I still cannot eat cabbage, just the smell of it reminds me of school food. Our kids are totally spoilt, they actually love school food, whoever heard of that!!!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Ha ha! For me it’s red beets and celery. Just the sight of them makes me sick 🙂

  16. Oooh I do love mussels, and like you said, who doesn’t?? We are celebrating our Independence Day here in the states today, and having a party with lots of food and drink and fun and games, of course ending with the fireworks finale! I look forward to seeing your newest video!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      How fun! Happy indépendance day!!! Ours is in 10 days…

      1. Oh yay for you too! I just watched your video. I loved that you took us to the market with you! (And loved seeing the all the Jags, too.) xo

  17. Steve says:

    Grrr….mussles, not “muscles” and parameters, not “parapets”. I despise autocorrect on a Mac so much…it is the bane of my daily work life! 🙂

  18. Steve says:

    Wonderful recipe and I’ll make it this week. Mussels in Canada are cultivated in the Atlantic Provinces and packed and refrigerated tightly sealed with a gas that allows them to breathe and stay fresh for a few weeks. When you first open the package some will be slightly open as they are in a state of suspended animation. The floating on water trick will likely mean that about half will float to the top. If you wait a few minutes though, you’ll notice that almost all will have closed as they regain “consciousness”, with maybe only one or two still open. I suspect that the majority of muscles in North America may come similarly packaged, so a small caveat about not discarding them prematurely. And yes, smell is still a good indicator but should be combined with other parapets as you say.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Isn’t the gas they use dangerous? Some of the best seafood I ever had was in Montreal. Oh the lobsters…

      1. Steve says:

        No danger. The gases are simply the same gases as in the air, i.e., oxygen, nitrogen, and CO2 but in a different ratio that slows down the mussel’s metabolism. It’s actually much safer than just mussels in a mesh bag which have about a 5 day shelf-life but you’re never quite sure about their storage conditions and health. Check out the web site:

  19. Looks delicious!! Greetings from the Voges. 🍷


    1. My French Heaven says:

      Have fun! Summer is finally here!! Yeahhhhh!!

      1. Beautiful here today, too.

  20. Lovely way of cooking mussels, Stephane! I adore them!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Me too Kay! They are getting fuller every week and I will post another recipe soon. Or maybe I’ll put that one directly into one of my Youtube videos… Have a lovely day!

      1. I’m very envious! I love that part of France and the seafood is amazing … oysters in Cancale 🙂 I look forward to your next recipe and a Youtube would be great.

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