Pilaf with mussels Odesa cuisine

Pilaf with mussels

In Odesa restaurants, mussels are not very popular. Clean each shell with a knife, rinse and do not freeze. In addition to questions with processing and storage, there is still the main question: where to buy? Because there is no system supply of fresh mussels in Odesa like all other seafood. However, in season at the «Dacha» restaurant and at the Fairs, which we hold on Deribasovskaya street, we prepare pilaf with mussels. And we cook a lot because sometimes two or three 20-liter cauldrons are eaten every day. After all, if everything is done correctly, even lovers of risotto and paella will envy such a pilaf.




For the bucket of mussels:

600 grams of Carnaroli rice;

400 g of carrots;

400 g of onions;

100 g of garlic;

2 tsp. of cumin;

300 g of olive oil;

1 glass of local Riesling;

300 ml of fish broth;

a pinch of ginger;

salt and pepper to taste



  1. For pilaf fit any mussels but preferably of the same size.
  2. You can get about 600 grams of meat from a mussel’s bucket. To do this, clean the shells outside, so that no growths remain, take out the “beard” and wash. Then throw them on a dry red-hot frying pan for three minutes.
  3. The mussels will open, and then it remains only to separate the meat from the shell. Don’t pour out the juice or broth formed in the pan filter it from the sand in order to add to the pilaf.
  4. Heat up olive oil in a cauldron. Put a little fat in it and fry it. Then put the meat of mussels to the cauldron and fry it too. Add half rings of onion, garlic cloves and carrot into strips and continue to fry over medium heat for 10 minutes. Pour in a glass of local dry white Riesling and quickly evaporate it. Add pepper, salt and broth from mussels. Pour in pre-cooked fish broth and salt to taste. Add a pinch of ginger, the remaining cumin and try pilaf for salt.
  5. Add rice to the cauldron (for such a pilaf, I use Italian rice of carnaroli variety). Bring it to readiness and leave in the cauldron under the lid, but without fire for another half an hour. Then gently mix the pilaf and serve.

this is interesting

If desirable, add part of the mussels to the pilaf in open shells. To do this, wash the shells very carefully so that the Black Sea sand does not creak on the teeth. By the way, the same shells can be used as a one-time dinnerware, especially if you cook the pilaf right on the seashore.