How to prepare mussels
1. Remove the beard and byssus from the shell by pulling sharply. Cutting off the byssal threads could leave some inside the shell and therefore is not recommended.
2. If you are opening mussels before cooking, hold the mussel on its side, insert a slender knife between the shells and cut the muscle which holds the mussel to the shell.
3. Once open, slide a knife under the mussel on one side of the shell and lift so that the meat falls into the other shell. Discard one shell.
4. With green mussels, using the blade of the knife, gently lift off the rubbery ring surrounding the mussel. This ring is chewy and rarely eaten. Replace the mussel in the shell for serving.
If the mussel has been steamed open, the ring will automatically stay behind in the shell.
Similar techniques can be used to prepare other bivalve molluscs such as pipis.