For some time mussels have been roughly chopped and thrown into batter and a rather thick, meaty mussel fritter has become standard issue in food trucks and fish shops/cafés 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.


  • 650g cooked mussel meat(1)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (or you can use finely chopped lemon grass)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp mussel cooking water(2)
  • 3 Tbsp standard flour(3)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2–1 tsp salt generous grind black pepper
  • canola oil, for cooking


Place mussel meat in a food processor and very lightly blitz for no more than 1 minute, then place in a bowl.

Blitz onion next, for also 1 minute and no more, and add to bowl.

Add all other ingredients to bowl (except canola oil) and mix well.

Heat oil in a wide shallow pan – you need a generous amount, about 1cm. Get it really hot then drop what size spoonsful of fritter mix into hot oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. The hotter the oil the better – they only need a few minutes to cook – check after 1 minute and turn.

If you find the mix too wet, add a little extra flour.

Place on paper towels then serve with Rodney’s sauce(4) and a slice of fresh lemon.


(1) You will need to buy at least 2.5 kg of whole mussels to get this amount of mussel meat. Always select fresh mussels that have not opened. Good news – fresh mussels are only $3.50 per kg so be generous and fill the bag up!

(2) To cook fresh mussels, simply remove beards 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. 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 also a great addition to seafood soup.

(3) Also, if making the fritter mix in advance, you may need to add a little extra flour (say 1-2 tbsp) after it has been sitting in fridge for a few hours.

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

Wine Match: 2014 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc