Mussels Bouillabaisse


Mussels Bouillabaisse

Cooking live seafood can be intimidating. Here is a step-by-step guide of how to properly steam shell-on mussels, including how to check and clean your mussels.
Mussels are affordable, easy to source and show stopping. This stew, inspired by the classic from Marseille, France, pairs mussels with a rich broth studded with fresh seafood, spicy sausage and lots of tender potatoes. Yum!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: bone broth, French, Seafood
Keyword: bouillabaisse, mussels, mussels recipes, mussels with chorizo, mussels with tomatoes and garlic, seafood how to cook, seafood how to eat
Servings: 4


  • 2 pounds fresh mussels, checked and cleaned Instructions to follow
  • 1/2 cup yellow or white onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup carrot, peeled, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 cups Taking Stock Foods Unsalted Chicken bone broth
  • 1 1/3 cup canned whole tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, halved and sliced into 1/4" half moons
  • 2 links precooked chicken chorizo sausage, sliced into 1/4" coins
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 baguette to serve

Rouille (spicy, garlic mayo), optional for serving

  • 1/4 cup cooked potato
  • 1/4 cup bouillabaisse cooking liquid
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


Checking and cleaning mussels

  • Fresh mussels are sold live - to test their quality take an individual mussel and check for a cracked shell. If the shell is cracked, discard.
    If the shell isn't cracked but the mussel is open, hold the mussel with the pointy edge facing down and tap firmly on the table. The mussel should slowly close. If the mussel doesn't close, discard.
    Once you have checked through all of your mussels, rinse them under cold water several times until the water rinses clear with no visible sediment.

Cooking the bouillabaisse

  • In a very large skillet with a lid, or a large cooking pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the oil and saute until tender, 3-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the saffron with 2 tablespoons of warm tap water. Allow the saffron to absorb the water and 'bloom' for 5 minutes.
  • Once the onion mixture is tender, add the Taking Stock Foods Unsalted Chicken bone broth, tomatoes, potatoes, chorizo, lemon zest, fennel seeds, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper and bloomed saffron. Bring to a simmer, cover and lower heat to cook until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
  • When the potatoes are tender, add your checked and cleaned mussels to the mixture. Give them a stir and cover. Allow to steam until open, 3-5 minutes. Discard any mussels that haven't opened.
  • Serve immediately in bowls with bread and butter.

Optional Garnish : rouille

  • After the potatoes are cooked but before you add the mussels to the bouillabaisse, remove 1/4 cup cooked potatoes and 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add to a bowl and mash.
  • Add to the potato/broth mixture 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne and 1 raw egg yolk. Blend.
  • Secure your bowl by placing a wet, rolled towel underneath it to keep it from slipping.
  • While whisking, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to create a sauce similar to a mayonnaise.
  • Serve on the side or add a dollop of rouille directly to the bouillabaisse.