Deep-Fried Mussels

Frying battered mussels provides a cheaper alternative to oysters when you want to add a bit of protein to a tempura vegetable dish.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 10 minutesTotal: 20 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 4


  • 1 egg, refrigerated
  • 1 cup ice-cold water, divided
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 lb. mussels (about 16)
  • 1⁄3 cup flour
  • 4 cups oil, or as needed
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh dill


  • Make the tempura batter by combining the egg with 3⁄4 cup cold water. Slowly stir in the flour, adding as much of the remaining 1⁄4 cup of water as is necessary, until the batter has the thin, runny consistency of pancake batter. Add the black pepper if desired. Do not worry about lumps of flour in the batter. Set aside.
  • Under cold running water, scrub the mussels with a stiff brush to remove any dirt. Soak the mussels in cold water for 5 minutes. Rinse and repeat. Steam the mussels in boiling water for 5 minutes until they open. Rinse and remove from the shells. Throw out any mussels that don’t open.
  • Dry the mussels thoroughly. Lightly dust with flour and set on a serving platter. Prepare the batter.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat, making sure it is not more than half full. Spear the mussels with a toothpick, skewer or dipping fork and coat with the batter. Cook in the hot oil until the batter turns golden brown. Serve with fresh dill.