How to Beard Mussels

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Bearding a mussel requires a very specific process with just the right tools. Learn how to beard a mussel with help from a celebrity chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Food Creations
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian from Trellis of the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland, Washington. And we are here today to show you how to beard a mussel. Now often when we think of beards we think of the type that I'm wearing in the front with a little gray. But this is a different type of beard. These mussels are Penn Cove mussels. They come from the pacific north waters of Penn Cove. And what we are looking to do is to remove right here that little strand or what is called the beard. Now this is actually what the mussel uses to keep from floating away when it's in the water. So it can attach to reefs. It can attach to boats. Holds like this, tide goes up, tide comes down, the mussel goes with. So we don't lose it. And we have all this really beautiful, beautiful shellfish at our disposal in the pacific northwest. So to begin with what we are going to look for is we want to make sure we check our mussels for freshness. If the mussel is opened as this one is we want to take and just close it, squeeze it with our fingers for just a second. And we want to watch it. And if it closes up then you know our mussel is still alive. And that's good for cooking. If it doesn't close we want to discard it, just throw it away. Now take a towel and what we want to do is hold your mussel, grab it with a towel the little beard there. And just pull that right off. And it will snap right off. And it's a quick process. Just going to go through we want to remove those from all our mussels. And some of these in the bowl we've already cleaned. So I"m just going to do the ones on top. Once you remove the beard the mussels are ready for steamed mussels, mussels on the half shell. You can make a mussel soup, mussel tomato soup, or curried mussels are really beautiful as an appetizer. So I just have a couple more here to pull those off. And again you have to pull hard. I think we have them all cleaned. And there you go clean beautiful mussels.

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