Keep frozen at or below 0° F (-18° C).
Held under these conditions our Pacific Blue Mussels should retain their quality for at least six to 12 months.
Shellfish and lean white fish (halibut, cod) generally have a longer freezer life than fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sablefish).
NOTE: Seafood stored in frost-free freezers should be used within 3 months.
Thaw under refrigeration at or below 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). Before thawing, puncture or remove packaging.
For quick-thawing, place frozen package in cool water for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, just until contents are flexible.
Once thawed, immediately cook or refrigerate (if refrigerating, puncture package). Prior to cooking, do not allow fish to reach temperatures above 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).
Closed shells: Not a problem
The common (but misguided) advice to to discard live mussels that do not open when the shell is tapped does NOT apply to our mussels. (That advice, repeated in many cookbooks, is erroneous. The shells of many healthy mussels do not open when tapped or cooked.)
After being carefully hand selected, cleaned and vacuum-packed, our mussels undergo immersion in hot water (175°F) for 13 minutes — a process that pasteurizes and partially cooks the mussels, making it very easy to pull the meat from the shell.
Any Vital Choice mussels that stay closed during cooking are safe to eat. The shells can literally "glue" together while cooking, especially if immersed in liquid. Use care when opening unopened mussels, which only need to be coaxed open. (To avoid injury, use a blunt-edged tool such as a butter knife.)
Note: The “nectar” in the bags is the result of the cooking process and natural juices from the mussels.
Explore the many wonderful regional recipes featuring mussels … Portuguese cataplana stew, San Francisco cioppino, lndian curry, Korean hot pot, and Cajun gumbo or jambalaya.
Or keep it simple:
Steam mussels for 3 to 5 minutes, until they plump up.
Steamed with water is a great, simple way to enjoy mussels. Try adding a bit of flavorful liquid to the steaming water e.g., (wine, beer, cider, sake, or vermouth), and complementary seasonings such as herbs, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chilies, ginger, or tomatoes.
Roast, sauté, bake, or stir-fry for 5 to 7 minutes.
You can also roast, sauté, bake, or stir-fry our mussels, and enjoy them in sauces, soups, stews, and chowders.
*Note: Consumption of raw or partially cooked shellfish creates a risk of serious illness, especially to people with medical conditions that compromise immunity. Vulnerable individuals should avoid eating raw or partially cooked shellfish.