View Full Version : New Zealand Green-lipped Mussels

12-18-2008, 10:20 PM
The first batch of the season just arrived in Laramie, Wyoming. I pester Safeway to stock 'em— pretty exotic fare for these parts. We eat Canadian black mussels with pleasure, but the big green-lipped sort are a particular treat! If you've not tried them, give it a go.


One way to cook: multiply by the number of people.

—Mussels 1/2 - 3/4 lb. per person, brush & remove weedy beard, rinse immersed with a trickle of cold water for 1/2 hr., shaking occasionally. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
—dice 1-2 cloves of garlic and coarsely chop 1/4 yellow onion. In a pot of sufficient size, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sizzle the onions and garlic until tender.
—Chop fresh parsley (about 1-2 heaping tb. per person). Add the parsley, 1/3 c. dry white wine, and a pinch of saffron (yes!) to the pot, stir, and add the mussels. Cover.
—Steam for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set out some good crusty bread and butter, and pour a crisp white wine (e.g. NZ Sauvignon Blanc). Extra napkins a must.
—Serve the mussels and broth in a large bowl or pasta plate.
—Give thanks to Tangaroa for your good fortune.

12-18-2008, 10:32 PM
They only come frozen here...... I don't eat frozen shellfish..... Heard too many evil tales....

12-18-2008, 10:34 PM
Kai moana eh bro?

Most NZ supermarkets have a mussel cabinet (glass fronted thing, sprays water on the shells) in the deli section to keep the mussels fresh. But it's ages since I've had any fresh.....mostly we use mussels in a marinara sauce and for that the little pots of mussels in vinegar are just fine. Spoilt we are..spoilt.

12-19-2008, 01:06 PM
Kai moana reka— I do miss it in this high, cold place.

They had one of those sprayer cases at the Woolworth's in Newmarket (we lived in Grafton by the Domain) and last time over, staying near the Uni Law School, we got them out of a similar case at the Foodtown on Quay St. (I think).

These were laid out on ice, as live and fresh as they can be after the long flight. (No belly-quakes so far.)

Been a bit nippy here: –20 to –30°C. Looking out on the snow, I recall grubbing up cockles out of the mud on Great Barrier, eating some kaimata and using the rest as fishbait. Up at the Bay of Islands, we saw a big John Dory chasing wee fish up into the shallows. Malcolm (a quick feller) soccer-kicked it up onto the beach and we grilled it for breakfast: cave-bloke fashion.

From the frozen North: a good green summer to you lucky Kiwi sailors. . .

12-19-2008, 04:01 PM
I like 'em!
My partner claims she doesn't much care for them ... but ... couldn't keep her mitts off this plate.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/mussels-1.jpg (http://s7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/?action=view&current=mussels-1.jpg)

Nicely prepared in this little NZ pub. Recognize it Chip?

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/pub-1.jpg (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/%3Ca%20href=)

12-19-2008, 05:11 PM
They are reputedly very good for those with arthritis.

John B
12-19-2008, 05:29 PM
What are the average units we pick off the rocks Grant? Are they green lipped variety?

12-19-2008, 08:36 PM
I think so.

12-19-2008, 10:09 PM
here in Maine we just walk down to the water and pluck some from below the water line...

Now I am curious what the green lipped ones taste like

12-19-2008, 10:46 PM
I remember a huge bivalve ...toroas ? Somewhere on the North Island West coast as a kid .They were fast through the sand , it took a lot of digging to catch up ...for a 10 year old .

Mark Adams
12-19-2008, 10:57 PM
I'm born and raised in Laramie. I have the misfortune to be living in Reno NV now. We have a cabin in the Snowies that we are only able to get to once a year. I'd KILL to be back in Laramie. I was there last month though. Water of boatable size is a bit scarce there, but I am a canoe guy. Named my canoe biz after the Platte.

I love Lake Tahoe though. Great place to paddle or sail.


12-20-2008, 01:47 AM
Nicely prepared in this little NZ pub. Recognize it Chip?

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y279/picsonline/pub-1.jpg (http://www.woodenboat.com/forum/%3Ca%20href=)

Is that the Currach at Tryphena on Great Barrier Island? Never had their mussels, but they look like a mouthful. Met an Irish chap there (Feargal(?) O'Slattara— twin brother of the one who built the currach for the pub owners). They drove the ferries back and forth to Great Blasket Island, off the Dingle. Anyhow, this Irish bugger and I got to discussing poetry and arguing to the extent that Deb and I missed the ferry. She was a bit unhappy with me. We had to stop there another three days. In spite of which, we had a fine time.

Mark- I mostly sail on Sodergreen Reservoir, on the way to Woods Landing— not a large body of water, but only about ten minutes from home. Truth is, the sailing's a bit better in New Zealand.

Mark Adams
12-21-2008, 12:28 PM
When I was a kid, we had some friends that lived by Sodergren. Not much of a lake. Lake Hattie is where my Dad did most of his sailing, but I hear tell the water is waaaay down. If you are up for a bit more of a drive, there is Kurt Gowdy state park. There is a nice lake up there (and I am not remembering the name) There is also Rob Roy Resevior. Caught my first fish there.


George Jung
12-21-2008, 12:40 PM
Mark- your canoe biz? Got a name - or better yet, a website?

Mark Adams
12-21-2008, 07:31 PM

My Biz name is Platte River Canoes. I build and restore wood and canvas canoes (and boats). I don't have a website. Have thought about it over the years, but I am a bit afraid of the traffic it might generate. As far as I know, I am the only one in NV who restores old canoes. I used to live in Salt Lake City, and did booming business there.

Now I mainly just collect old canoes. I have everything from a 1900's Peterborough Cedar Rib canoe to 2 Willits, to a 25' war canoe I just bought and haven't received yet. I also have a 1954 Peterborough Royal cedarstrip runabout, and a 1938 Old Town sailing dinghy. 13 boats and canoes in all. I also have a very understanding wife!

12-21-2008, 11:30 PM
From Green-lipped mussels to Platte River canoes: typical WBF thread swerve, which makes it entertaining.

My favourite run on the North Platte is Northgate Canyon, fast-dropping rocky whitewater that I don't think has been run a great many times in a canoe (let alone a wooden canoe). I use an inflatable cat, that has not flipped me yet, despite my slow reflexes and beer-swilling.

But there are some pleasant reaches farther down that are canoe-friendly. So— Mark— if you're over this way, give a jingle. I'll barge the food & drink.

Sodergreen Reservoir is part of the irrigation and city water supply, so it's kept high during the warm months. And (my effort at low-carbon sailing) is only a ten-minute drive from our place. Lake Hattie's a sump in a gravel pit (alas!) And Rob Roy's a two-hour drive on mostly gravel roads, dodging log trucks.

This is a rotten place for sailing. So I'll savour the mussels and dream of New Zealand— heaven on earth for sailors.

12-21-2008, 11:52 PM
Someone tell me why I'm surprised that MMike hasn't posted one of his famouse pictures here yet......

12-22-2008, 01:06 PM
... and dream of New Zealand— heaven on earth for sailors.

Amen to that.

Yes, that pic is the Currach pub on Great Barrier Island. And it sure is a long ways from Wyoming and Montana (sigh) ...

off to shovel more of the white stuff.

John B
12-22-2008, 04:29 PM
Never been there myself.. I'll try and drop in for a 'look' this year.We usually stay clear of Tryphena.. not such a great anchorage.

12-22-2008, 05:47 PM
Yeah, you might need a little break John ... after all that sailing, dry out there all that sun and salt ... what, weeks of it? ;)

... back to shoveling here

John B
12-22-2008, 09:02 PM
Supposed to leave today but there's a nasty little system due here tonight. Might get away tomorrow or christmas day.. we'll see.
Have a good one JP:D

12-23-2008, 12:34 AM
At Tryphena (on a different trip, in early December) we anchored in Puriri Bay, a bit north & west of the Pa Beach and the Pub. Not a long walk around— the pohutukawas are grand this time of year. Seemed like a decent anchorage but maybe a bit of a tooth-grinder on a southerly.

Not sure why one takes to certain pubs— but I have a great liking for the Currach. We hoped to go there again in 2007, despite it being midwinter, but it was shut for remodelling.