Mussels Spanish-style recipe | delicious. magazine

Steps by steps making Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels

During a spellbinding journey that took me through the winding streets and coastal whispers of Spain, I discovered a dish that encapsulates the essence of seaside Spanish dining: Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels. This exquisite recipe marries the briny depth of fresh mussels with the nutty complexity of dry sherry and the rich foundation of vegetable broth, creating a medley of flavors that sing of oceanic bounty and earthy wholesomeness in every spoonful. The mussels, once steamed open, reveal a tender interior that perfectly captures the sherry’s aromatic infusion, complemented by the savory backdrop of the broth.

Inspired by this discovery and eager to replicate its enchanting flavors, I ventured into my kitchen with a blend of curiosity and reverence for the ingredients. Through thoughtful experimentation and a deep dive into traditional and contemporary Spanish cooking techniques, I succeeded in crafting a version of these Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels that I believe honors its original inspiration. It brings me immense joy to share this recipe with you, inviting you to embark on your culinary journey and to experience the warm, welcoming embrace of Spanish tapas culture right at your table.

Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels Recipe

Mussels Spanish-style recipe | delicious. magazine

Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels

The Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels recipe encapsulates the spirit of coastal Spanish dining, offering a succulent taste of the sea with its combination of fresh mussels, nutty dry sherry, and rich vegetable broth. Discovered during an unforgettable journey through Spain's diverse culinary regions, this dish is a symphony of flavors that celebrates the natural brininess of mussels paired with the complex notes of sherry, all grounded by the hearty essence of the vegetable broth. Through exploration and experimentation, this recipe was perfected, capturing the essence of Spanish tapas culture—shared plates that invite conversation and connection. Sharing this Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels recipe goes beyond culinary instruction; it is an invitation to embrace the communal joy of Spanish cuisine, encouraging a gathering around the table to experience the harmonious blend of simple yet deeply flavorful ingredients. This dish is more than just a meal; it is a tribute to the art of Spanish cooking and the pleasures of shared dining experiences.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 39 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 2 people
Calories 85 kcal


  • 1 medium skillet


  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 pounds mussels
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 8- ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 4- ounce jar pimientos
  • 1 small onion
  • 8 cherry tomatoes


  • In a medium skillet, heat the oil over moderate flame.
  • Combine the chickpeas, onions, ginger, garlic, and pimentos in a large mixing bowl.
  • Process until tender, five to six minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add oregano, cinnamon, and saffron and stir to combine.
  • Cook for about thirty seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the broth and red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Bring the liquid to a low boil, then reduce to low heat.
  • Stir in the mussels. Reduce the heat to a low temperature and keep it there.
  • Cover, lower heat and cook for five to six minutes, or until mussels open.
  • When serving, stir in the mussels and remove any that haven’t opened.
Keyword mussels, saffron, vegetable broth

Cooking tips about Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels

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  • Selecting Mussels: Always start with fresh, live mussels. Look for shells that are tightly closed or that close when lightly tapped, indicating they’re alive. Fresh mussels should have a clean, oceanic smell. Discard any that remain open or have broken shells.
  • Preparation of Mussels: Before cooking, rinse the mussels under cold running water and use a brush to scrub off any dirt on the shell. Remove the “beard” — the fibrous tuft protruding from the mussel — by pulling it towards the hinge end of the shell and outwards.
  • Choice of Sherry: Dry sherry plays a pivotal role in offering depth and nuttiness to the broth. Opt for a good quality dry sherry like Fino or Manzanilla for the best flavor. Avoid using cooking sherry, as it tends to contain added salts and may alter the intended taste of the dish.
  • Creating the Broth: The vegetable broth should be flavorful yet not overpowering, as it serves as the base in which the mussels steam open. Consider making your broth from scratch or choosing a high-quality store-bought variety with minimal added seasonings to better control the overall flavor profile.
  • Cooking Mussels: Cook the mussels only until they’ve just opened. This typically takes about 3-4 minutes after adding them to the boiling broth. Overcooking can result in tough and chewy mussels, so once they’re open, remove them from heat promptly.
  • Enhancing with Aromatics: Sauté garlic, onion, or shallots in olive oil before adding the sherry and vegetable broth to infuse the liquid with additional depth and richness. A pinch of saffron can also introduce a beautiful color and a hint of luxury typical of Spanish cuisine.
  • Final Touches: Just before serving, add a generous handful of chopped fresh parsley to the sauce for freshness and a splash of color. A squeeze of lemon juice over the cooked mussels adds a bright, acidic counterpoint to the rich broth.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve the mussels in a large, shallow dish to showcase their beauty, accompanied by plenty of crusty bread for dipping into the savory broth. This ensures the delicious juices are not wasted and offers a fuller tapas experience.

Serving suggestions about Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels

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  • Serving Vessels: Present the mussels in a large, shallow bowl or a traditional Spanish cazuela to showcase their beauty and make them easily accessible for communal dining. The open presentation emphasizes the mussels’ enticing aroma and the appealing broth.
  • Bread Pairing: Accompany the mussels with slices of crusty bread, ideally a fresh baguette. The bread serves as the perfect tool for guests to mop up the flavorful sherry and vegetable broth, ensuring none of the delicious sauce goes to waste.
  • Wine Pairing: Elevate the meal with a glass of Spanish white wine, such as Albariño or Verdejo. These wines, known for their crispness and acidity, complement the briny sweetness of the mussels and the complexity of the dry sherry in the broth.
  • Side Dishes: Offer a selection of other tapas dishes to round out the meal. Simple options like patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), a refreshing tomato salad, or marinated olives provide variety and balance the flavors.
  • Garnishing: Just before serving, sprinkle the mussels with chopped fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness. If desired, offer lemon wedges on the side so guests can add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bright, acidic note.
  • Setting the Ambiance: To truly embrace the tapas dining experience, encourage a casual, social atmosphere where guests feel free to share and sample from each dish. Incorporate Spanish music in the background and decorate the table with vibrant colors to mimic the lively spirit of Spain’s tapas bars.
  • Interactive Dining: Arrange the dining table in a way that promotes interaction. Place the mussels and other tapas in the center of the table, encouraging guests to reach across, serve themselves, and engage in the shared joy of dining.

Top 5 FAQs about Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels

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  • What makes Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels unique in flavor? Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels stand out for their use of dry sherry and vegetable broth, which combine with the natural brininess of fresh mussels to create a uniquely flavorful broth. The nutty and complex notes of the sherry enhance the oceanic sweetness of the mussels, while the rich vegetable broth provides a hearty base, making this dish a symphony of flavors that truly reflects Spanish coastal dining.
  • Can I use frozen mussels instead of fresh for this recipe? While fresh mussels are preferred for their superior texture and taste, frozen mussels can be used as a convenient alternative. Ensure they are fully thawed, properly prepped, and cleaned before cooking. However, remember that fresh mussels tend to offer a better flavor profile and a more authentic tapas experience.
  • What type of dry sherry is best suited for Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels? For Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels, a good quality Fino or Manzanilla sherry is ideal due to their dryness and nuanced flavors, which complement the dish without overwhelming it. Avoid using cooking sherry, as it often contains added salts and additives that can alter the dish’s intended taste.
  • How do I ensure the mussels are safe to eat? Always start with fresh, live mussels. Look for shells that are tightly closed, or that close when tapped – this indicates they are alive. Before cooking, rinse and scrub the mussels under cold water and remove the beard. Discard any mussels that remain open after tapping them or those with cracked shells. After cooking, discard any mussels that have not opened.
  • What are some serving suggestions for Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels? Serve the Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels in a large, shallow dish to highlight their appearance, alongside slices of crusty bread to soak up the delicious sherry and broth. Pairing the dish with a crisp, Spanish white wine, such as Albariño or Verdejo, enhances the dining experience by complementing the seafood’s flavors. Adding a side of fresh parsley and lemon wedges for garnish can also elevate the freshness of the dish.

The Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels recipe is a vibrant homage to Spain’s illustrious culinary traditions, ingeniously blending the ocean’s bounty with the nuanced flavors of the land. This dish, characterized by its tender mussels, aromatic dry sherry, and savory vegetable broth, invites diners on a gastronomic journey to Spain’s rugged coastlines and bustling tapas bars. Masterfully combining fresh ingredients with a passionate respect for Spanish cooking techniques, this recipe transcends the ordinary, offering a taste experience that is both authentic and innovative. Sharing the Spanish Tapas-Inspired Mussels goes beyond mere culinary instruction; it extends an invitation to embrace the convivial essence of Spanish dining. Each serving is not just a meal but a celebration of culture, a moment of connection, and a tribute to the joys of shared experiences. Through this dish, the warmth, richness, and vibrant spirit of Spanish cuisine are brought to life, making every bite a cherished memory and an invitation to explore the depth of flavors that make Spanish tapas an unforgettable part of the world’s culinary heritage.


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