Cheesy Garlic Mussels

I never claimed to be a healthy food blogger.

Peter’s and my wedding is just around the corner so I’ve certainly thought about making a few adjustments to my usual activities and diet, but there are some things a girl just can’t resist.

A layer of gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel that’s sitting in a pool of garlic butter is definitely one of them.

Cheesy Garlic Mussels - Recipe for gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel in a pool of garlic butter. A popular baked Filipino appetizer or snack

They may not be the most photogenic, but these babies make up for that in indulgent delicious-ness.

Baked cheesy garlic mussels are a dish that you’ll find served at Filipino parties as an appetizer or as an indulgent snack for friends having a few beers. Although Peter and I recently spent a week in Malapascua on one of the Philippines’ beautiful islands (read about it here), we actually left the island having had little seafood.

Usually our trips to the Philippines involve lots of bountiful, fresh, grilled fish, squid or prawns, but surprisingly this trip was an exception. So when Peter and I returned to Hong Kong, I was craving some Filipino seafood.

Bring on the cheesy garlic mussels.

Cheesy Garlic Mussels - Recipe for gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel in a pool of garlic butter. A popular baked Filipino appetizer or snack

While the mussels weren’t freshly caught from the clear Filipino waters, I was able to find some small but juicy New Zealand oysters here in Hong Kong. Some mussels you’ll find frozen at your local grocery will be pre-cooked while others may require a quick boil or microwave (follow the instructions given on the package) to have the shells pop open.

As your mussels were cooking, chop up a few cloves of garlic and lightly brown them in a pool of melted butter and dried parsley.

Cheesy Garlic Mussels - Recipe for gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel in a pool of garlic butter. A popular baked Filipino appetizer or snack

In a separate bowl, toss together mozzarella (or another cheese that melts well) and bread crumbs.

Cheesy Garlic Mussels - Recipe for gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel in a pool of garlic butter. A popular baked Filipino appetizer or snack

Once your mussels are open, let them cool slightly before cracking them apart and laying each half shell on a baking sheet.

Ladle generous spoonfuls of melted garlic butter over each of the mussels before showering them in your cheesy bread crumbs.

Cheesy Garlic Mussels - Recipe for gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel in a pool of garlic butter. A popular baked Filipino appetizer or snack

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until the cheese is nice and warm.

Serve hot with a glass of wine (or two).

Cheesy Garlic Mussels - Recipe for gooey, cheese melting over a fresh mussel in a pool of garlic butter. A popular baked Filipino appetizer or snack

Cheesy Garlic Mussels

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Cheesy Garlic Mussels

Ingredients

  • 25 mussels, cooked and on the half shell
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 120 C (250 F)
  2. Spread mussels over a baking sheet
  3. In a large pan, heat butter over medium heat
  4. Add garlic and parsley, stirring until garlic is lightly brown and fragrant
  5. Remove from heat
  6. In a small bowl, mix mozzarella and bread crumbs
  7. Spoon butter and garlic mixture evenly over mussels and half shells
  8. Sprinkle mozzarella mixture over mussels, covering them evenly
  9. Place in oven and bake for ~15-20 minutes until cheese is melted
  10. Serve hot
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