Baked mussels (tahong), the simple way

Baked tahong (mussels) with garlic, olive oil and cheese

Soaking the mussels to expel sand takes several hours. Preparing them for cooking takes several minutes. But the actual cooking takes no more than a minute.

There are only four ingredients and the recipe itself is no more than six steps — four, in fact, if we don’t include the preparation. No kidding.

As an appetizer, this recipe serves 4 to 6 persons.

Ingredients for baked tahong

1/2 kg. of fresh mussels
1 tsp. of finely grated garlic
1/2 to 3/4 c. of your favorite cheese, grated
extra virgin olive oil

No, you don’t need salt because the cheese is salty enough. No, you don’t need pepper because the garlic will provide all the zing that the mussels need.

Cleaning and preparing the mussels

Wash the mussels several times. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Place in the fridge and allow to soak for several hours, changing the water every hour or so.

Wash the mussels again and pull off the beards. If they had been soaked sufficiently, the beards should come off easily.

Place the mussels in a baking tray and pop in a preheated 180oC oven for about three minutes or just until the mussels partially open.

Let the mussels cool a bit, then break off the half shells, leaving the meat intact in the other half.

Assemble and bake

Baked tahong (mussels) with garlic, olive oil and cheese

Arrange the half shells on a baking tray (a pizza dish was useful), dot with grated garlic (a toothpick is recommended), sprinkle with grated cheese and drizzle with olive oil liberally.

Baked tahong (mussels) with garlic, olive oil and cheese

Put back in the hot oven and bake for about a minute or just until the cheese melts.

That’s it. Told you it’s short and simple. :)

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  1. Julie says

    This is the *only* way I eat mussels…I mean, you have garlic, cheese, olive oil…how can you go wrong? =D

    The pictures are so vivid, especially the close up shots. My God, I think I can actually smell them! Yum yum!

  2. cocoy says

    I melt butter with garlic then drizzle it over the mussels before the cheese. ice cold beer na lang ang kulang

  3. says

    yung beards nya, yung bang kulot yun?
    ginugunting ba yun miss connie?

    ang gaganda ng mga kuha nyo ng pics!
    but then, as usual naman e, . cheers!

  4. Trosp says

    I pull out the beard from tahong by pair of pliers. Just make sure you are holding the tahong firmly so that no part of the meat will go with the beard when you are pulling it out.

    My apology if it sound violent. He he he…

  5. mareza says


    still here in Vietnam ,we ate grilled mussles in Hue

    and the best one i have ever tasted, yum yum!

    (it means horny here) he he he.

  6. Gemma Miriam Guillermo says

    Ifor a kitchen novice like me, your recipes are very simple to follow and yet the results are awesome! Since my husband left, i have unwillfully taken on the duties of shopping for food, cooking, planning of a variety of food to serve everyday for my 14-year old son who is very picky and hard to please on food. My husband did all the cooking and marketing and meal planning for the 10 years we were together (his family owns a restaurant). I was left to do the other bits of household work. Everything except the kitchen work. Now that he’s gone and might be gone longer than we expected, i feel very helpless and miserable. I browse the internet everyday for cooking tips and recipes and so far, my son has been in harmony with my food. since i found your site, i have never looked at any other website again. i discovered that i have a hidden. suppressed and unexpressed love for cooking and now, its all coming out! i just hope that me and my son and my loyal friends will still love me even if their tastebuds won’t

    Thanks for the very wonderful website. You’re a star! May God bless you and your famioly more.

  7. Florence says

    Hey there… i was planning to use the recipe but i have a probLem.. what is the other substitute for garlic? my mother is allergic to garlic..huhu! need heLp.! TNX

  8. AYDZ says


    I am an avid fan of yours!everyday i’m visiting ur site…i really loved ur recipes.Madali lang & so yummy!It helps me a lot .Hindi na ako nahihirapang mag-isip pa kung ano ang lulu2in.Every Friday, eh meron kaming family gathering(Bahrain)then i tried to cook this BAKED TAHONG!OMG…they loved it…kulang na lang kainin ng mga arabo pati shells hahaha!

    Thanx CONNIE, thnx 4 this wonderful website.Marami kang na22lungan na housewife na hindi marunong maglu2.GOD BLESS U & UR FAMILY ALWAYS!

    married 2 Bahraini,

  9. evelyn santos says

    i wanna share my simple bake mussel recipe
    using the mixture of mayo, egg yolk, chopped garlic, chopped parsley add a little sugar add this mixture on every shell and bake till slightly brown

  10. Ruby says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Being a novice cook, I have some questions, though. I would truly appreciate it if you could answer them for me!

    1. If the mussels I purchase are already half shells, do I need to still cook them in a saucepan prior to baking or just go straight to baking?

    2. Will shredded jack cheddar cheese work well with this?

    3. The garlic that is added to the mussels in the baking tray — must it be satueed prior to this? Or does cooking of the garlic occur in the baking?

    Thanks again!!!

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