This is how we do it on the Oregon Coast!
You need a shellfish license to collect your mussels. Make sure the mussel is alive by tapping on the shell. If it stays open, it is dead, so throw it out. Then discard the ones with cracked shells. Put the live mussels in a bucket of clean, fresh, water for 15 minutes or longer. This causes them to pump out the sand.
Then rip the beard off. The beard is the weedy part growing near the shell joint. Next, just put them on the hot grill and close the lid. When the shell opens, they are ready to eat. They are barely done, soft and tender, when they first open. Some like to cook them a few minutes longer to make them more firm. Do not eat the mussels that don’t open.
They don’t really smell that appetizing until you get them out of the shell. But they are SO yummy!
There is a hard part that you’ll avoid eating but, basically, the whole thing is edible. Melting some butter with garlic for dipping would have worked out better than what I did but they are a little salty and didn’t really need anything else for flavor.
We harvested our mussels from Bob Creek Wayside, on Hwy 101, between Cape Perpetua Campground and Rock Creek Campground on the central Oregon coast. Don carried the knife. I carried the camera. We ended up going different directions because he likes to cross the creek to get the best mussels and I didn’t want to get my shoes wet.
Bob Creek is a fun place for tidepooling too. I like the way these goose barnacles look like they are dripping out of the mussels.
We’ve had 70’s – 80’s on the coast for our Cinco de Mayo weekend!
I had to really hunt to find one sea star. I’ve seen a lot more in the past. Maybe it’s not their migration time? 🙂
Tube Weed is hollow. It dries out quickly and turns bright white. I keep wanting to call it Angel Hair.
Don says you can eat the anemones too but the trick is cleaning them. At least that’s what a cooking show said. We didn’t try.