Fish,  Recipes

Sailor style mussels: you will love this Spanish recipe

Hello guys!

It was nice while it lasted. Yes, I am talking about the sunshine. I do not know if the weather has changed in your area, but Oxford seems to have come back to the cold days. Yesterday I had to wear the waterproof boots again on my way to work. Anyway, although it is a bit upsetting I am used to already.

Some of you may watched my Instagram stories on Monday and realized it wasn’t a sad day. Blue Mondays? Really? Not when you can eat delicious meals. Today I am posting one of the two dishes I cooked for dinner: Sailor style mussels. Know in Spanish as Mejillones a la marinera, they can be very addictive once you eat them for first time. Think of steamed mussels with a silky, lightly thick, semi-sweet sauce and tender onion. Perfect for sharing like a good tapa, as a starter or even as a main dish if you prefer. You will eat them like as if they were popcorn!

These mussels come together in about 20 minutes and the cooking process is very straightforward. The only focus of debate is about the onion. Some people do not like to find it in the plate so they grind it with a hand blender. Some others, however, do not mind about it. I am in this latter group as long as it is properly chopped and cooked. This is why I followed the recipe of Rosa Cocinera y Madre. The outcome was excellent.


  • Mussels (1 kg)
  • Large onion (1)
  • Garlic clove (1)
  • White wine (100 ml)
  • Plain flour (1 tbsp)
  • Sweet paprika (1 teaspoon)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Bay leaves (2)
  • Water


  1. Cover the base of a pot with water (about one inch), add a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Steam at high heat, drop the mussels in and cover with the lid. Remove from fire after five minutes when all mussels are open.

2. Strain the resulting greyish water in a bowl. In another recipient, put all the mussels and remove the top shells. Set both this aside for later. Important: discard those mussels that are not completely open because they are dead and not suitable for eating.

This must be the final aspect of the water after steaming

3. In the same pot, add some olive oil and simmer the garlic and the onion well chopped. After 10 minutes, or when it softens, add the paprika and cook for 30 seconds. Do the same with the flour and finish by chopping and adding the parsley.

4. Add the wine and increase to high heat. Let the alcohol evaporate (this takes no more than five minutes) and stir all together. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low, drop the greyish water resulting from the previous boiling. Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes.

5. When the sauce begins to thicken, tip all the mussels back to the pot. Bring the heat down to low, close with the lid and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Shake the pot gently to soak the mussels in the sauce. Finally, serve in a plate and share.

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