Classic Belgian Moules Frites: A Culinary Journey to Belgium

Belgian Moules Frites, or mussels with fries, is a beloved staple in Belgium, often enjoyed in brasseries and cafes. This delectable combo of succulent mussels in a savory broth paired with crispy golden fries is simpler to prepare than you might think. Today, we’ll embark on a culinary journey to create this classic dish right in your own kitchen.


  • For the Moules (Mussels):
    • 2 kg (4.4 pounds) of fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 shallots, finely chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, and bay leaf tied together)
    • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • For the Frites (Fries):
    • 4 large Russet potatoes
    • Vegetable oil for frying
    • Sea salt, to taste


For the Frites:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into sticks of even thickness, about 1/3 inch (1 cm) thick.
  2. Rinse the potato sticks in cold water to remove excess starch, then pat them dry thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towels.
  3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 300°F (150°C). Blanch the fries in batches for about 4-5 minutes, until they’re cooked through but not browned. Drain on paper towels and let them cool.
  4. Increase the heat of the oil to 400°F (200°C). Fry the blanched potatoes again, in batches, until they are golden and crispy. This second fry gives them their characteristic crunch. Drain on fresh paper towels.
  5. Sprinkle the hot fries with sea salt and keep them warm, ideally in a low oven until the mussels are ready.

For the Moules:

  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the shallots and garlic until they are soft but not browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Turn up the heat and add the mussels, followed by the white wine and the bouquet garni. Cover the pot and let the mussels steam for about 5-7 minutes or until they’ve opened. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  3. If you’re using cream, now is the time to pour it in. Bring the broth back to a light simmer, then immediately remove it from the heat.
  4. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and fresh parsley before serving.

Serving Suggestion: Serve the mussels in deep bowls with the broth and place the fries on the side. Don’t forget a side of mayonnaise for dipping your frites, just as the Belgians do!

Tips and Variations

  • To ensure your mussels are fresh, they should be tightly closed or should close when tapped. If they don’t close, discard them.
  • Feel free to add other flavors to your mussels like chopped tomatoes or a pinch of curry powder for a twist.
  • Traditionally, the fries are cooked in beef tallow, but vegetable oil is a good alternative for home cooks.

There you have it, Belgian Moules Frites—a simple yet stunning dish that is sure to impress with its authentic flavors and textures. Just add a Belgian beer, and you’ll have an indulgent meal that’s perfect for any occasion.

By admin

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