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Steamed Mussels In Fennel Pernod Broth

Steamed Mussels In Fennel Pernod Broth

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 first-course servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped fennel, bulb only
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Pernod
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups Shrimp Stock or clam broth
  • 40 mussels, (about 2 pounds) cleaned and debearded
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives
  • Sliced French bread or croustades, for serving


  • Heat the oil in a large nonreactive skillet over high heat. Add the fennel, onions, salt, and pepper and sauté until soft, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and Pernod; stand back in case it flames.

  • Stir in the tomatoes and shrimp stock and bring to a simmer. Add the mussels and chives, cover, and steam over high heat until all of the mussel shells have opened, about 4 minutes.

  • Remove the mussels with tongs or a slotted spoon and let the broth cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Makes 3 cups broth.

  • To serve, arrange 10 mussels in each of 4 shallow bowls, and spoon 3/4 cup of the broth over them. Pass French bread or croustades for dipping in the delicious broth.