In Southern Italy, there is a beautiful region called the Apulia region. The area is known for its amazing seafood like fresh fish, mussels, sea urchins, and many more deliciousness brought to the harborside every morning. While many of the restaurants in Apulia prefer to serve the fish raw (as it's so fresh, it just tastes better), they have a special way of preparing the mussels…they fry them!
Mussels are common in Meditteranean cuisine and you get many recipes for them. This one is delicious where the mussels are fried until crispy giving it an amazing texture. It’s important to use clean mussels, so make sure you check out the instructions below. These Fried Mussels are an easy appetizer recipe and will be a favorite amongst your guests.
Mussels – because you will be stuffing the mussels, look for the largest ones you could find.
White bread – use day-old bread for best results. You can also use store-bought bread crumbs. The Panko variety is great for extra crispiness!
Eggs – eggs act as a binding agent.
Parmesan cheese – you can use cheddar cheese or feta cheese if you’re in a pinch.
With this recipe, fried is best (as it’s how they are traditionally made!). But you can make them in the oven. Simply place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F/200°C for about 20 minutes.
Serve the fried mussels with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Feel free to add more seasoning like sumac, garlic powder, or other dried herbs.
Make sure to use an oil suitable for frying at higher temperatures. These include: canola, peanut, sunflower, corn oil, and more. If you want to reuse the oil, allow it to cool, and strain it. You can use it a few times more for fried mussels.
Don’t make your oil too hot, otherwise the breading on the mussels will burn before the mussels are cooked through. Use a thermometer to heat the oil to about 350°F.
Fried mussels are best eaten when freshly fried. You can stuff them a few hours before serving, store them in the fridge, and fry them just before serving.
Before the preparation, you have to clean the mussels and remove any beards. Start by placing the mussels in a colander and placing it in a sink. Run water over the mussels and use either your hands or a clean brush to rub off any dirt from the mussels. Use a sharp knife to open the mussels.
Place the bread pieces in a large bowl.
Add in the parmesan, parsley, breadcrumbs, eggs and spices.
Mix it well, make small balls and stuff them into the mussels.
Use a strainer to lower the mussels (a few at a time) into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Discard any mussels that are open before you clean them.