Lager-Steamed Mussels with Tomato & Garlic

Pair With
Pale lager_icon
Pale lager
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Belgian-style white ale (witbier)_icon
Belgian-style white ale (witbier)
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  • Difficulty 2
  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Cook Time 6 min
  • Serves 2
  • Difficulty 2
  • Prep Time 15 min
  • Cook Time 6 min
  • Serves 2
Lager is bright and light-tasting, so it’s an ideal partner for fresh mussels. Speckled with chili, garlic and tomato, the broth creates the perfect steam bath to cook shellfish. It’s also so tasty you’ll want to mop up every last drop with slices from your favourite crusty loaf.


  • 900 g mussels
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 long red chili, finely chopped (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt (approx), divided
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh or flat lager
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro or parsley leaves
  • Crusty bread


  1. 1. Place mussels in a colander under cold running water and set 1 large and 1 medium bowl nearby. Scrub each mussel with a kitchen brush to remove any sand or barnacles, and then pull off any beards (stringy bits at the edge of the shell) and discard in medium bowl (see tip). Place clean mussels in large bowl. Tap any open mussels gently on counter; if they don’t close, discard them. Rinse cleaned mussels again and set aside in colander to drain.
  2. 2. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic, chili and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt; cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is light golden and fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomato and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.
  3. 3. Add lager and 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add mussels and cover. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any that do not open.
  4. 4. Remove from heat and taste broth. Add remaining 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt, if desired. Stir in cilantro and serve with crusty bread.


  • Most mussels are pretty clean, so they don’t all require vigorous scrubbing or debearding. Just use your fingers to pull off the beards as you find them. If you run into a stubborn one, a strong pair of clean tweezers or needle-nose pliers will get the job done.

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