John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen

Moules mariniere with skinny frites

This classic Belgian and French dish is easier to make than you may think and will be sure to impress your guests. Make your own chips too as they will be worth it!

Serves 2-3Prep: 20 minutes, plus soaking timeCook: Approximately 30 minutes


Skinny Frites:

About 4 large preferably Desiree or Russet potatoes. Maris Piper and when available Cyprus potatoes also workOil for frying e.g. vegetable, sunflower


3 shallots, diced5-6 cloves garlic, chopped50g butter1kg fresh mussels, cleaned of beards and any barnacles200ml white wine50ml double creamHandful flat parsley, chopped10g salt and pepper


  • For the skinny frites: Peel the potatoes. For crispy fries fill a large bowl with cool water and cut the chips into the thinnest matchstick shreds (or use a mandolin). Soak them in the water for 5 minutes and then change the water.

  • Leave for 5 minutes more. Drain. Place on a towel or paper and pat dry.

  • In the meantime, heat a pan of oil to 140°C (or use a deep fat fryer). If using a pan be careful not to overfill the pan with oil.

  • Blanching - Place the chips in the oil, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cooking in batches.

  • Remove from the oil using a draining spoon and drain well. Place on a tray to cool.

  • Frying - Heat the oil to 190°C and add the fries in batches cooking for 1-2 minutes then give them a little shake. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes until light golden and crisp to the touch. Remove from the oil with a draining spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Keep the fries warm while preparing the mussels.

  • For the mussels: In a thick bottomed pan sweat shallots and garlic in butter.

  • Over a high heat add the mussels and wine and stir. Place a lid on the pan to steam the mussels until they open.

  • Add the double cream.

  • Take out the mussels and boil the sauce rapidly. Stir in the parsley and check the seasoning.

  • Add the mussels to the sauce, toss to coat.

  • Serve immediately when mussels are open. Serve with skinny frites.


When the chips stop bubbling in the oil they are ready to remove and drain.

Check if the oil is ready: Dip a wooden chopstick into the hot oil, if the oil fizzles around the chopstick it is hot and ready to cook the fries.

To make French fries follow the instructions above but wash the potatoes three to four times once they have been cut into little strips.

Vacuum packs of mussels can also be used to make this recipe.

John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen