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Beer Steamed Mussels with Garlic-Lemon Aioli

Beer Steamed Mussels with Garlic-Lemon Aioli

Beer Steamed Mussels with Aioli

Served in a bright, lemony beer and herb broth, these mussels are simple, but so delicious. Enjoy with a crusty bread and garlic-lemon aioli to soak up the rich liquid.

There are very few foods that deliver as much bang for your buck as fresh mussels. They are crazy cheap and when cooked well, one of the most delicious proteins that can be plucked from the sea.

They have a mild, sweet flavor that can win over even the fish-ambivalent. Seriously, if you’re kind of on the fence about seafood, or are intimidated about cooking it, mussels are your friend.

Beer Steamed Mussels with Garlic-Lemon Aioli

Beer Steamed Mussels with Garlic-Lemon Aioli

Mussels Meunière (mussels steamed with garlic and white wine) is the classic but I was leafing through an old copy of Saveur while I was at the dentist the other day and I saw a recipe for mussels cooked in beer. So, thank you dentist’s office, for having a great magazine selection and inspiring this dish.

The original recipe called for a pale ale but I wanted to try a lemony Belgian-style wheat beer. Either would work though, so use your favorite. I changed the recipe quite a bit, adding a heap of fresh basil along with the parsley and finishing the sauce with just a little butter.

See Also
Beer-Braised Beef Sandwiches

Holy Moses, the sauce is good. It’s bright and lemony, herby and just a bit rich. We drank it like soup once the mussels were finished.

As if that wasn’t enough yumminess, we paired it with good toasted bread that we slathered with a homemade Lemon-Garlic Aïoli. I’m telling you, this combination is psychotically good. Homemade aïoli is beyond delicious but if you want dinner on the table in 10 minutes, you can whisk grated garlic and lemon juice into some good store-bought mayonnaise and it would be really good.

Beer Steamed Mussels

Tips for buying and cooking mussels:

  • Most mussels sold these days are farm-raised. This is good because they are much easier to clean and less likely to be sandy. The flavor is the same.
  • Plan on 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of mussels per person for a main-course serving.
  • The most common type sold in the U.S. is the black-colored “blue mussel,” but you can sometimes find green-shelled New Zealand mussels as well.
  • Mussels are sold live and their shells should be tightly closed. Some may “gape” open slightly but if you tap it, it should close after a moment or two. That means the mussel is still alive and safe to eat. If it stays open or is cracked, throw the mussel away.
  • Wait to clean mussels until you are about ready to eat them. Store them in an open container in the refrigerator and keep them damp either with wet paper towels or a damp cloth. Storing them in a sealed plastic container or plastic bag will suffocate them.
  • To clean, rinse the mussels several times with a steady flow of fresh water. If they’re sandy, scrub with a stiff brush. Don’t soak them as this can kill them. Remove the beard by pinching the brown, stringy tuft coming out from between the two shells, and give it a firm pull.
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Beer Steamed Mussels with Aioli

Beer Steamed Mussels with Garlic-Lemon Aioli

  • Author: Emily Clifton
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


Served in a bright, lemony beer and herb broth, these mussels are simple, but so delicious. Enjoy with a crusty bread and garlic-lemon aioli to soak up the rich liquid.


Units Scale

For the Mussels

  • 2 lb. mussels (cleaned and debearded)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup Belgian-style wheat beer or pale ale
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 34 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1 jalapeño (red or green, halved, seeded and thinly sliced (optional))
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
  • Toasted bread (for serving)

For the Garlicky-Lemony Aïoli:

  • 2 large egg yolks*
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small garlic cloves finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus more, to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste



  1. Whisk egg yolks*, garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. water in a blender for 15 seconds.
  2. While blending, slowly drizzle in grapeseed oil, 1 teaspoonful at a time, until sauce is thickened and emulsified. Continuing to blend on a medium speed, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
  3. Stir in cayenne, paprika and lemon juice, season with pepper, and more salt, to taste.


  1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and bring to a boil. Stir in the lemon juice and mustard until smooth. Add the mussels, cover the pot and cook, undisturbed, until the mussels open, about 5 minutes.
  2. Uncover and using a slotted spoon, transfer the mussels to a serving bowl. Discard any that won’t open. Add the butter and chili and stir until broth is melted and emulsified. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, as desired. Pour the broth over top of mussels. Sprinkle with the parsley and basil, and serve hot with the aïoli and toasted bread on the side.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Mussels, moules, moules marinieres, seafood, fish, steaming, beer, aioli, bread, baguette

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