Mussels that have a strong, fishy smell, are tough and dry or have visibly broken shells are considered bad and should not be eaten. Mussels with shells that do not open during the cooking process should also be avoided.Know More
Unlike clams, a mussel may be alive and fit for consumption even if its shell is open before it is cooked. Tapping the shell lightly should cause it to close back up. If it does not, the mussel may be dead and should be discarded. Good mussels will open their shells during the cooking process, assuming they have been cooked for the appropriate amount of time. Mussels should be steamed between four and nine minutes, while boiled clams must cook for three to five minutes after the shells begin to open.
Mussels should be stored appropriately before cooking to prevent them from going bad. Cooks should first scrub them with a soft brush, rinse them under cold water and remove the beard, if desired. Next, they should refrigerate live mussels in a bowl with a damp cloth or towel over them, keeping the temperature constant between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing them in plastic bags or airtight containers is not a good idea, as the mussels will die quickly and begin to spoil.Learn more about Seafood
Cleaning clams before steaming requires that the clams be shaken to loosen any sand held inside their shells, rinsed, covered in a solution of warm salt water and left to soak and then drained and rinsed again. This process readies clams completely for the steaming process, though they can also be stored for up to 2 days if so desired.Full Answer >
To cook frozen clams, thaw the clams in the refrigerator, scrub the shells and wash the clam meat under cool water. Steam or use the clams in recipes such as chowders, soups and pasta.Full Answer >
The differences between clams, mussels and oysters lie mostly in the shapes of their shells. Many types of clams have the classic clam-shaped shell with ridges or concentric rings. They also come in many colors and sizes, though the ones sold at the fishmonger's are only a few inches long. Razor clams resemble straight razors.Full Answer >
The different types of shellfish poisoning are Paralytic, Diarrheal, Neurotoxic and Amnesic. Fan scallops, mussels, clams and oysters are the common shellfish that cause poisoning.Full Answer >