One of the most satisfying way cook mussels and clams is by steaming them, where the juices from the shellfish is kept and use for the base for a delicious sauce. Believe it or not, we are able to duplicate this delicacy in an air fryer. For a great result is to simply cook the mussels and clams in an aluminum foil packet directly in the air fryer. You can use the shellfish juice to make a sauce if you have time after the mussels are cooked.
When cleaning the mussels and clams, they should not be soaked in water, as soaking will make the shellfish open and lose a lot of their natural flavors. What you need to do is to take a firm enough brush to scrub the outer shell of the mussels; pull out the whiskers sometimes mussels may have on the side. When the mussels are cleaned on the outside, rub them with a little olive before cooking.
When cooking mussels and clams, if you do not soak them in water, you will not need to add any salt to them, as their natural juices will be plenty salty enough, and tasteful.
- Two pounds of mussels (12-16 pieces), thoroughly brushed & rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- Sprigs of fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme
- ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1-½ tablespoons white wine
- 1 teaspoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Set function to “broil”; set temperature to “360F”; set timer to “15” minutes; place cooking basket in the middle of the air fryer when cooking; preheat the air fryer;
- Place the rinsed mussels in a bowl and pour the olive oil over them and toss thoroughly, making certain all the mussels are coated;
- When the air fryer is ready, place the mussels in a tray and set in the wire basket, place the smashed garlic, fresh herbs on top of the mussels;
- Place the basket on the top tier of the air fryer, closest to the heat source above;
- When broiling is complete, collect the cooking juices from the mussels so a sauce could be made when the mussels are served;
- The cooking time for the shellfish package should be 10-15 minutes, you need to watch the air fryer to see how many of the mussels are opening up;
- The fresher the mussels, the quicker they open;
- When the time is finished, remove the mussels that are open, if there are un-opened ones, you can place them back into the air fryer to keep cooking;
- If they still are not open, just throw them away. You should not try to eat unopened mussels;
- Else you could do this manually by removing each mussel as they open, the advantage to this method is all the mussels will be tender when served, not over-cooked;
To make the sauce;
- Pour the cooking juice in a small sauté pan;
- Over low heat-medium heat, add the butter and lemon juice to the mussels pan juice;
- When this mixture comes to a sauce-like consistency, remove the pan from the heat, let it cool for a minute, then add the finely chopped Italian parsley;
- Mix slightly, the sauce is ready;
- You can either pour this sauce over the clams or use it as a dip.