mussel fritters

New Zealand Green lip Mussel Fritters

mussel frittersHealthy, affordable, available and delicious, New Zealand Green lip Mussels are found in abundance in our supermarkets and fish mongers – fresh in tanks, frozen in the half shell, as pates, pickled/brined and smoked. I love that, in a world in which good quality foods can be expensive,  mussels are so much a part of our food culture and can still be so affordable.

I love to buy them fresh from the tank as an easy Friday night meal, simply steaming them open and serving them in a big bowl with some crusty bread and good butter.

These mussel fritters are simple and very versatile, you can easily change the flavour profile by adding spices or pastes to your base mix, or using different toppings

  • Use smoked mussels fresh.
  • Load with fresh herbs such as parsley, chervil and dill.
  • Add a spoon full of zhoug or harissa to give a middle eastern feel.
  • Add a teaspoon of curry powder – a great savoury addition to a surprising number of things.
  • Handful of grated cheese.
  • Add some fresh chilli and asian herbs and spoon an Asian dipping sauce over them in the shell.
  • Serve with yoghurt, labna, mayonnaise, cashew based sauce, zhoug………
  • Make them larger and serve them as part of a meal rather than a canapé.


This will make approximately 25 small but chunky fritters to fit in your half shells


  • Approximately 1.5kg fresh mussels, This will give you approximately 300 -250 grams cooked mussel meat
  • 3 Tablespoons flour – I used gluten free but normal flour would be just as good.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 small red onion very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to cook the fritters in

mussel fritters

mussel frittersIf using fresh mussels steam these open in a large pot.  Simply add a half cup of white wine or water (NO SALT!) and cook in a covered pot over a high heat.

Remove them from the pot and as they open put them in a bowl to the side

Remove the mussels from the shells, taking care to remove any beardy bits that might still be attached.  (Put the shells to one side for serving the fritters in if you like this idea.)

Roughly chop your mussel meat into  1/2 cm – 1cm dice

Into a clean bowl crack your egg and whisk in the flour and salt

Add finely chopped onion, herbs, and mussel meat.

At this point you can add any other flavours or additions you choose.

Mix to combine.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium flame or heat and add butter and oil.

Once the pan has heated drop teaspoons of mixture into the pan and cook till golden brown.  These will be quite chunky little fritters so don’t hurry the cooking as you want them to be able to cook throughmussel fritters

You can pre-make the mixture and store in the refrigerator and cook them later.

They are best served hot.


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