40-50 large mussels, washed, beard and barnacles removed and any open or broken shells discarded
750ml sunflower oil for deep-frying
6 tablespoons plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 lemon, quartered
125g plain flour
200ml soda water or beer
a pinch of sea salt
NotesReplace the soda water with beer to make a beer batter.
Ebury Press, 2001
To make the batter, sift the flour into a medium-sized bowl and make a well in the centre.
Pour in the soda water or beer, and with a balloon whisk gradually draw the flour into the centre and stir until the flour and water are mixed thoroughly and there are no lumps.
The batter should have the consistency of double cream.
Rest the batter for at least an hour (this can be done ahead of time).
While the batter is resting, cook the mussels.
Set a large pan over a high heat and pour in enough water just to cover the bottom of the pan.
When the water comes to the boil add the mussels and steam until the shells begin to open.
Remove from the heat and drain.
Gently prise the flesh away from the shell and discard the shell.
Thread five mussels on each skewer (two skewers per portion).
When you are ready to fry the mussels, heat the oil in a large saucepan (never more than half full).
When the oil is hot but not smoking a test with adrop of batter – dust the skewers in the flour, shaking off any excess.
Then dip in the batter, coat well and gently drop into the hot oil.
Fry until golden, remove, drain on some kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt.
Serve immediately with the tarator and lemon.