Moules Marinieres

Moules marinières is also known as Sailor's mussels, Mariner's mussels or mussels in white wine and cream sauce. Moules marinières can be served as an appetizer or as a light entree. It is delicious served with crusty sourdough bread, although the French traditionally serve it with French fries, which they dip into the delectable sauce and juices.

Olive oil can be substituted for the butter for a slightly healthier meal.


  • 2.2 lb of fresh live mussels
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 5 fl oz (150ml) of dry white wine
  • 2 oz of butter
  • 1 large handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 4 Tbs of cream (single or double)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Clean, debeard and rinse the mussels several times in cold running water and set aside in a colander (see our section on preparing mussels before cooking).
  2. Pick out any mussels that are open and don't snap shut when tapped and discard them.
  3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and then add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes on a medium heat until the onions have softened.
  4. Pour the white wine into the saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the mussels and cover the pan with a lid. Cook the mussels on a high heat for several minutes, gently shaking the bottom of the pan several times during cooking to redistribute the mussels.
  6. If possible, remove the mussels one by one as they open, placing them in a colander with a bowl underneath to catch the juices and set to one side.
  7. Discard any mussels that have remained tightly shut.
  8. Boil the remaining liquid in the pan until it reduces to half and finally stir in the cream and parsley. Taste the sauce, as it may be quite salty and add any salt or pepper to your taste.
  9. Transfer the mussels to a large bowl and pour the reduced liquid over the mussels and serve immediately.

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