Cajun-spiced Crispy-coated Mussels

, from Issue #88. December, 2019
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Cajun-spiced Crispy-coated Mussels

A fabulous recipe from Chris Smith that Sarah Tuck enjoyed on board a boat trip around the Dusky Sounds. It’s always good to have another mussel dish on your summer menu.

Serves: 4


1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 egg whites
1-2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, depending on how spicy you like them
24 fresh mussels, shelled raw and debearded (see Cook’s note)
neutral oil for cooking

To serve

½ cup good-quality mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons chipotle sauce
small handful coriander
lemon wedges


Place half the flour and half the salt in one bowl and mix together. Place the egg whites in a second bowl and whisk until just foamy. Combine the Cajun spice and the remaining flour and salt in a third bowl.

Toss the mussels in the first lot of seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Dip the mussels the egg white then toss in the Cajun flour so they’re really well coated.

Heat 2cm of oil in a large wide sauté pan on the barbecue. Add the mussels and cook until golden and crispy, about 1½ minutes. Drain well and sprinkle with sea salt.

To serve: Serve the mussels immediately with the combined mayo and chipotle sauce. Garnish with the coriander and lemon wedges for squeezing.

Cook’s note: I couldn’t get the raw mussels out of their shells so had to resort to the following method: Place the scrubbed mussels in a large saucepan over a high heat. As soon as the tip of the shells start to open, remove to a large bowl. Use a knife to prise the shells open and remove the mussels. They should still be 90 per cent raw.