Australia has wonderful seafood and simple recipes that allow the flavour and quality of the seafood to be showcased are often the best. Unsalted cultured butter perfectly complements mussels by absorbing some of the saltiness of the mussels and providing creaminess. Live pot-ready mussels should be used such as those from Kinkawooka in South Australia.

"What an absolutely classic dish. Instead of the tangy white wine you sometimes find in the dish, here we have this beautiful cultured butter, which builds such creaminess. This calls for a different kind of wine compared to the white wine sauce – something a little richer, with more body and oomph. You could think about a barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc, but I'm tempted to lean towards a Chardonnay  and, seeing as we're in NSW for this dish, let's stick with one of the excellent examples from Orange. Chardonnay has the creaminess to match the butter, but also the acid on the finish to keep things clean. This complex example from Brokenwood has just the right combination of body and balance." - Dan Coward






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (21 votes)


  • 60 g unsalted cultured butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 kg live pot-ready black mussels
  • 50 g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices fresh bread (such as sourdough)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Drink Brokenwood Forest Edge Chardonnay 2011, Orange, NSW

Melt the butter in a large pot.

Saute the garlic and onion in the butter until soft.

Add the mussels and stir. Close the lid and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels open.

Remove the lid and stir. Add the parsley and pepper.

Serve the mussels with fresh bread to soak up the sauce.