Mussels are small-shelled creatures found in both salt and freshwater. However, most people only eat mussels found in salt water. Mussels are traditionally steamed with lemon juice, garlic, and white wine for only a few minutes until their shells open. If the shells of the mussels remain closed after cooking, make sure to throw those away. Closed, cooked mussels mean that the mussel had died before cooking which can be dangerous to eat.
Cleaning mussels is an important step when preparing your dish. The shell of the mussel is typically covered with dirt or sand. If not properly removed, the sand or dirt will run off in the cooking process and wind up in the delicious broth created from the steaming process. To avoid this, make sure you gently brush every mussel. This tedious process will make your meal clean and delicious.