Despite their small size, mussels are high in nutritional value and contain more protein than many other types of seafood. However, when planning to make a mussel dish, you will need at least one pound of mussels per person. So, how much do mussels weigh?
The average weight of a mussel depends on its size and the variety of mussels. However, there are generally about 20 to 25 blue shell mussels in a pound and a few less green shell ones. You can get four ounces or one cup of mussel meat in one pound of mussels. One pound is a serving of mussels.
Determining the weight of one mussel is a complicated process as many factors contribute to the weight of a mussel. However, we will consider how many mussels are in one pound, how much mussel meat weighs, and how much meat you can get from a pound of mussels. This guide will help you determine how many mussels you need per serving.
How Much Do Mussels Weigh?
Mussels are bivalve shellfish, and they aren’t very big. The most common mussels available are blue shell mussels and green shell mussels. Blue shell mussels are slightly smaller than green shell ones and have a smaller flesh than green shell ones.
A blue shell mussel’s flesh accounts for about 20-25% of the total weight of the mussel. Green shell mussels are slightly bigger with more flesh. Their flesh makes up roughly 45-50% of their total weight. But how much does a mussel weigh?
One pound of mussels is approximately 25 mussels. This means that one mussel weighs around 0.8 ounces (22 grams). However, the exact weight of a mussel depends on its variety, size, and age. Mussels are ready to eat at about 1.5 years old. However, they continue to grow indefinitely. Therefore, an older mussel will be larger and heavier than a blue shell mussel.
What does the mussel meat weigh? The meat of a blue shell mussel weighs roughly 0.23 ounces (6.5 grams). The meat of a green shell mussel weighs approximately 0.4 ounces (11 grams). This doesn’t seem like much meat. However, mussels contain high amounts of protein and other nutrients.
What Is A Mussel’s Nutritional Value?
Mussels are higher in protein than many other kinds of seafood. In addition, mussels are a great source of iron, vitamin B12, and Omega-3 acids. A 3-ounce portion of mussel meat has the following nutritional values:
As you can see, despite their small size, mussels have a lot of nutritional value and therefore make a great seafood option. The above values are for a 3-ounce serving of mussel meat. Considering that the meat of a blue-shell mussel makes up 25% of the total mussel weight when cooked, you will need approximately one pound of cooked mussels for the main portion.
If you’re using the mussels for an appetizer, you can prepare ½ a pound of cooked mussels for each person, which contains 1.5 to 2 ounces of cooked mussel meat.
Experts recommend eating no more than 12 ounces of mussel meat per week, as this can cause illness and result in too much mercury exposure. This means you can eat up to four portions of mussel meat weekly without getting ill.
Which Mussels To Pick When Harvesting?
If you buy your mussels at a local shellfish market or grocery store, you might not have a choice in what mussels you can select. However, when buying fresh mussels or harvesting them yourself, you can choose which mussels you want to buy or harvest.
When choosing which fresh mussels you want to harvest or buy, you might want to aim for the biggest ones. This is because these mussels have more meat and therefore weigh more, leading to a bigger meal. However, we don’t recommend getting the biggest mussels, as they will have an odd texture.
A mussel takes between 1.5 and 2 years to grow big enough for harvest. These mussels have tender and sweet flesh, and their flesh is brightly colored and plump once cooked. The bigger mussels are older, and their flesh sometimes has a mealy texture. In addition, they can taste bland or old.
When harvesting your mussels fresh from the ocean, we recommend searching for medium-sized mussels. Look for mussels with shiny, whole shells that are closed tightly. Any mussel with an open shell, or a shell that comes open when you squeeze it, is no longer fresh. Don’t harvest them as they can make you gravely ill.
Keep the freshly bought or harvested mussels on ice and as cold as possible until you are ready to cook them. You will need about 20 or 25 average-sized blue shell mussels per portion. These mussels should weigh approximately one pound.
How To Get The Mussel Meat Out Of The Shell
Now that you have harvested or bought your fresh mussels, you may wonder how to get the flesh out of the shells. The only way to remove the flesh is to cook the mussels first. We don’t recommend eating mussels raw, as they can cause food poisoning.
To cook your fresh mussels, you must first rinse them with cold water. You can also soak the mussels overnight in seawater to remove all the sand and grit from them. Then, rinse the mussels under cold water and remove their beards.
The beards are small, fibrous hair-like strands that protrude from the mussel’s opening. Pinch the beards and pull them towards the mussel’s hinge. This will ensure that the beard detaches from the mussel without harming the flesh.
Next, place the mussels in a pot. Add a cup of water, white wine, or broth to the pot and steam the mussels on medium-high heat. The mussels are cooked when their shells are open. Remove them from the heat as soon as all the shells are open.
Discard any mussels that didn’t open and ones with broken or cracked shells. You can now remove the mussels from their shells or serve them in the shell. When removing a mussel from its shell, pull it away from the shell gently to remove the muscle that attaches the flesh to the shell.
The mussels are now cooked and ready to serve! Once shelled, you can use about one cup of mussel meat per person for a main or half a cup per person for a starter.
A blue shell mussel weighs around 0.23 ounces, while the average green shell mussel weighs slightly more, about 0.4 ounces per mussel. Therefore, you need about one pound of fresh mussels to produce 3 ounces of cooked mussel meat. This is a good serving size for the main course. An appetizer can use about 1.5 to 2 ounces of mussel meat.
When buying mussels, select the medium-sized mussels with shiny shells. You must cook the mussels to remove the meat. Mussels are high in nutrients and therefore make a great seafood dish if you’re looking for an affordable option.