Mussel Escabeche

, from Issue #63. November, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Mussel Escabeche

While fish is used traditionally in an escabeche, mussels are equally delicious. Serve as a snack with plenty of grilled bread or as part of a shared lunch.

Serves: 6–8 as a starter


2 kilograms mussels, scrubbed
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 small bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup white wine
zest and juice 1 orange
⅓ cup sherry vinegar or good red wine vinegar
To serve
grilled bread


Put the mussels in a large saucepan with a splash of water. Cover tightly and cook over a high heat until the mussels have opened. Cool then remove the meat from the shell, checking for any small crabs. Discard the shells.

Escabeche: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the onion, fennel, carrot, bay leaves, garlic, chilli and paprika. Cook until the vegetables are just starting to soften, but still a little firm.

Add the honey, wine, orange zest and juice and the vinegar. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the mussels. Remove from the heat.

Cool, then transfer to a bowl. Cover and chill for several hours, but preferably overnight, turning occasionally. 

To serve: Stir in the parsley and serve with grilled bread. 

Cook’s Tip: The escabeche will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.