Fried mussel rolls, or Turkish po-boys

Fried mussel rolls, or Turkish po-boys

By
From
Eat Istanbul
Serves
4
Photographer
David Loftus

There are huge metal round pans filled with plump midye (mussels) frying in every streetfood market and outside fish restaurants, tempting passers-by along the Bosphorus. It’s a favourite Istanbul snack or hot mezze – a few freshly fried battered mussels threaded onto wooden skewers and served with a squeeze of lemon and some tarator dipping sauce. My version turns it into a more substantial lunchtime meal.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
40 mussels, washed and beards removed
vegetable oil, for frying
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Batter

Quantity Ingredient
120g plain flour
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
200ml lager-style beer

Tarator sauce

Quantity Ingredient
40g shelled walnuts
20g fresh breadcrumbs
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
60ml extra virgin olive oil

Onion and sumac salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sumac
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre gem lettuce, roughly chopped
1 small bunch rocket
4 bread rolls, cut lengthways
1 lemon, cut in half

Method

  1. To make the batter, put the flour in a bowl, add the egg yolks and mix well. Slowly pour in the beer, whisking continuously until you have a smooth batter. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the tarator sauce, put the walnuts in a food processor and blend to a rough paste. Add the breadcrumbs, garlic, vinegar and a few tablespoons of cold water and continue to blend the mixture, slowly adding the olive oil in a steady stream until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. To make the onion and sumac salad, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Place about 300ml water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, then add the mussels. Cover with a lid and steam the mussels until they have all opened – about 5 minutes. Discard any that have not opened. Carefully transfer the mussels to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Leave them to cool, then remove the mussels from their shells and place them on a plate.
  5. Pour enough vegetable oil into a saucepan or wok to reach a depth of 3–5cm. Heat over medium heat until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 30 seconds. Dip each mussel into the batter with your fingers until well coated. Drop them, in batches, into the hot oil and fry for a few minutes until the batter is golden brown. Transfer them to kitchen paper to drain.
  6. To assemble the po-boys, place the lettuce and rocket in the cut rolls, divide the mussels between the rolls, drizzle with tarator sauce and sprinkle the onion and sumac salad on top. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish food
Middle Eastern
Andy Harris
David Loftus
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