Spanish balconies

Tigres - Tigers (Stuffed Mussels)

Tigres are one of the most popular tapas in northern Spain. Its an acceptable tradition to drop your empty shell on the floor of the tapas bar when you finish. These are a great tapa for stand up parties as they come with their own little shell plate. Just ask your friends not to drop their shells on your floor unless you want to be 100% authentic!

This recipe is also taken from Janet Mendel’s, “tapas a bite of Spain”

Makes: 14 to 18 pieces


1 kg/2 ¼ lb/ (about 2 doz, mussels scrubbed and de bearded)
2 x tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion
2 x tablespoons of plain flour
4 x tablespoons of white wine
120ml/4 fl oz/1 ½ cup mussel liquid
1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
5 x tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
120ml/4 flo oz / ½ cup of olive oil


Put the cleaned mussels in a deep pan with 140ml/1/4 pint/2/3 cup of water. Cover the pan and shake over high heat until mussels open. Remove from heat and discard any mussels that do not open.

When mussels are cool enough to handle. Remove the mussel meat from the shells, saving 18 of the shells. Chop the mussels; strain and reserve the mussel liquid.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until it is softened, without letting it brown. Stir in the flour, cook for a minute, stirring, then whisk in the wine and the mussel liquid. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is thickened and smooth. Stir in hte chopped mussels.

Put a spoonful of this white sauce onto each mussel shell and smooth it level with the top of the shell. Refrigerate until the sauce is firmly set, at least 1 hour.

Place the beaten egg and the bread crumbs in two shallow bowls. Dip the mussels, open, face down, first into the egg, then the bread crumbs. Arrange them on a tray in a single layer. (the mussels can be prepared up to this point then frozen. Freeze them in one layer, then pack them carefully in a freezer bag or plastic container. Let them thaw out one hour before continuing with the preparation). Otherwise fry them immediately before serving.

To fry the mussels, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Fry them in two or three batches, breaded side down, until golden brown. Add additional oil between batches as needed. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot.

Red Wine Sangria - Fried Almonds - Marinated Olives - Garlic Mayonnaise - Tomato Sauce -Potato Tortilla - Fried Potatoes with Garlic Mayonnaise - Fried Squid Rings - Garlic Prawns -Stuffed Mussels - Chorizo in Cider

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