Mouclade - Greenshell Mussels in a Fennel and Curry Cream

7:45 am on 1 January 2013

Serves four with bread and green salad for an alfresco lunch.


  • 2 kg x mussels, alive and fresh, debearded, washed and clean
  • 1 x head fennel, bulb finely chopped, reserving fennel tops
  • 2 x cloves garlic crushed
  • knob butter
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 100ml white wine
  • 200 gm cream fraiche
  • parsley or herbs to serve, squeeze of lemon, cracked pepper


Pick over mussels, ensure they close when tapped and discard any broken shells.  Clean of barnacles as this brings grit to the sauce.

Ensure you have everything ready before you start to cook.  The dish will only take minutes to cook and is best eaten straight away.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan with a lid, melt the butter and add chopped fennel bulb. Cook for a couple of minutes to soften but do not brown, add garlic and mussels. Coat in fennel and butter, add wine and place lid over the pan to allow to steam.

After a couple of minutes, remove lid.  Using tongs remove all opened mussels to a large and lipped serving platter.  If a few remain closed, simmer for a couple more minutes or discard if still remaining stubborn.  When all mussels are out and the cooking liquor remains, over a low heat stir in the cream fraiche to create a velvety sauce. Do not let boil. Add fresh herbs and fennel greens, check for seasoning but the mussels should bring enough salt, brighten with lemon juice. Pour back over warm mussels and serve.


Replace the butter, garlic and curry powder with 2 or 3 tbls of curry butter, cooking the fennel in the flavoured butter then adding the mussels

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