I'm about to make moule marinier and was surprised to see a lot of the recipes had cream in them. I'm sure I remember watching an episode of Celebrity Masterchef where they had to prepare moule marinier and the judges being surprised at the people who put cream in the dish.

As it is supposedly a sailors dish, and I can't imagine sailors having fresh cream to hand it seems unlikely that they would traditionally contain cream. Is this right? Should moule marinier have cream in it? Or should I just finish the cooking liquor with a knob of butter at the end?

  • I watched that same episode. They kept crucifying the contestants for putting cream in and all of us watching just said, "Well of course it's got flippin cream in it!" I thought Michel Roux Jr was just being pointlessly pretentious in that one.
    – Tim
    Aug 24, 2010 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


Traditional Moules a la mariniere is finished by reducing the cooking liquid until it is concentrated and then "mounting" it with butter (monter au beurre).

Mouclade is a traditional mussel preparation from the region of Bordeaux where the cooking liquid is enriched at the end with heavy cream and sometimes egg yolks, thus the reason the judges on your show were commenting that the cream was incorrect.


I live in one of the main mussel producing areas in France and anyone putting cream in moules marinieres would be crucified. They would then become moules à la creme, NOT marinieres.

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