It’s no secret that I love all things mussels. It’s only a matter of time before this becomes a mussels appreciation website. Until then, I’ll leave you with these citrusy mojo mussels with lots and lots of garlic.
What is Mojo?
Mojo has become one of my favorite flavors lately. In Spanish, mojo (pronounced mo-ho) means “sauce.” It’s a Cuban garlic & citrus blend that is more commonly used as a marinade for meats, especially chicken and pork. There are quite a few Caribbean variations, but the main flavors are citrus and garlic. The marinade often includes olive oil, but I used butter here to pair give the mussels a slightly buttery flavor.
Cooking with Mussels
Mussels are one of those things that intimidate people in the kitchen but shouldn’t at all. If you’ve never cooked mussels before or just need a refresher on preparing mussels at home, take a look at my guide to cooking and preparing mussels.
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds fresh mussels
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 8 to 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Pinch of kosher or sea salt, to taste
- ½ cup acidic and/or fruity white wine, like Riesling or Chardonnay
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, plus the zest of 1 orange
- Juice of 1 lime, plus the zest
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Freshly chopped cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Clean and inspect mussels to ensure they’re fresh and alive and clear of any dirt or mud. Remove the beard and discard any mussel with an open or broken shell. Set aside.
- In a stockpot, Dutch oven, or deep enameled cast iron pan with a lid, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté onion for about 2 to 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add garlic continuously stirring for another minute to avoid burning.
- Add cumin, oregano, and salt and toss to coat the onions and garlic. Add wine and simmer for several minutes until the alcohol smell and taste dissipates (taste if you’re not sure). Add orange juice and zest, lime juice and zest, and chicken broth.
- Bring the liquid to a low simmer, then add the mussels and lightly toss to coat with the broth and cradle them in the liquid. Immediately cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and allow to steam for about 5 to 7 minutes undisturbed until the shells have opened. (If many of the shells are still closed, cover again and continue steaming for another few minutes.)
- Once the mussels have opened, uncover and lower heat to low-medium. Toss the mussels around to coat with the broth. Top with chopped cilantro and several turns of freshly ground black pepper. Spoon mussels and broth into individual serving bowls and serve with buttery, crusty bread.