mussel fritters revisted

For some time mussels have been roughly chopped and thrown into batter and a rather thick meaty mussel fritter have become standard issue in food trucks and fish shops/cafes around the country. This recipe goes back to how your Grandmother made a seafood fritter – a little mincing of the onion and the seafood makes for greater flavour and we celebrate these new favourites.


Serves 4 as an entree


650g cooked mussel meat*
½ onion
½ cup chopped parsley
1 tsp lemon zest or you can use finely chopped lemon grass
2 eggs
3 Tbsp mussel cooking water **
3 Tbsp standard flour***
¼ tsp baking soda
½-1 tsp salt
a generous grind of black pepper
Canola oil for cooking


1. Place the mussel meat in your food processor and very lightly whizz – no more than a minute. Place in bowl.
2. Blitz onion next – also a minute no more.
3. Add all the other ingredients (except canola oil) and mix well.
4. Heat oil in a wide shallow pan – you need a generous amount – about a 1cm and get really hot and drop the fritter mix into the pan. Do not over-crowd the pan. The hotter the oil the better – they only need a few minutes to cook – check after one minute and turn.
If you find the mix too “wet” add a little extra flour.
5. Place on paper towels and serve with Rodney’s sauce and a slice of fresh lemon.


* When you buy fresh mussels you will need to buy at least 2.5 kg to get this amount of “mussel meat”. Always select fresh mussels that have not opened. Good news fresh mussels are only $3.50 a kg so be generous and fill the bag up!
** To cook fresh mussels simply de-beard and place in a large pot with 1 cup water, cover and they will open within a few minutes on high heat. Sometimes when cooking a large number of mussels you will find some of them that are crowded in – need extra cooking time to open. So I usually remove the opened mussels and give the under layer an extra few minutes – but discard any that do not open after this extra stage. Mussel water is used in this recipe and is a great addition to seafood soup.
*** Also if making the fritter mix in advance – you may need to add a little extra flour 1-2 Tbsp after it has been sitting in fridge for a few hours.


**** Serve with Rodney’s Super Tartare Sauce. My cooking buddy Rodney makes this amazing tartare sauce – to ½ cup good quality mayonnaise he adds 1 boiled egg (finely minced), 2 medium gherkins (very finely chopped) 2 Tbsp parsley and a good pinch lemon zest. Season with pepper and you can top it with finely chopped fresh chilli if desired for additional heat.