Mussel fritters with fennel and smoked mayonnaise
1 hour
Preparation time
20 minutes
Cooking time
12 serves



1 small fennel bulb
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ lemon, juiced
1 tsp chardonnay vinegar

Mussel fritters

500 g live mussels (to yield 100 g cooked meat) cleaned
70 g tinned chickpeas
65 g chickpea flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
80 ml water
15 g gochujang paste
½ tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp maple syrup
Neutral oil for deep frying
Salt flakes, to taste


3 tbsp aquafaba from tinned chickpeas
1 ½ tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp hickory liquid smoke
1 cup sunflower oil



1. Trim the base and outer layer of the fennel away, reserving the fennel fronds.
2. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, thinly slice the whole fennel bulb. Slice the long stalks as well, discarding the last couple of centimetres only.
3. In a bowl, combine the fennel with the salt and oil. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
4. Finely chop the fennel fronds and add to the fennel, along with the lemon juice and vinegar. It should taste sharp, if not add a little more vinegar.

Mussel fritters

1. Place mussels into an unperforated steam container and Steam at 90°C for 3 minutes.
2. Allow to cool briefly and pick out the meat, checking for any loose shell or beard.
3. Chop into small pieces and store in the refrigerator until required.
4. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid (aquafaba). Rinse the chickpeas.
5. Crush the chickpeas with the back of a knife or saucepan until broken down but still with some texture.
6. In a mixing bowl, sieve the chickpea flour, salt and baking powder together.
7. Add the mussels and chickpeas and stir together.
8. In a separate bowl, mix the water, gochujang paste, soy sauce, fish sauce and maple syrup. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the mussel mixture, stirring continuously to remove any lumps, until well combined. Store in the refrigerator until required.


1. Place all the ingredients into a jug and emulsify with a hand-stick blender. Store in the refrigerator until required.

To serve

1. In a high sided saucepan, heat 6 cm of neutral oil on medium-high heat, induction setting 7 until 170°C on a food thermometer.
2. Using two tablespoons, add the batter in small dollops into the oil keeping them evenly spaced and not crowding the pan.
3. Cook for 3 minutes, turning during cooking to enable even colour. Control the oil temperature by fluctuating between induction setting 5-7, as needed. This will depend on the size of your pan, volume of oil and fritters being cooked. The fritters should be a light golden colour.
4. Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and drain onto paper towel. Season liberally with crushed salt flakes.
5. Place fritters onto a serving platter.
6. Spoon a little of the mayonnaise onto the top of the fritters and pile some fennel on top.
7. Serve hot with extra mayonnaise on the side.

Hints and tips

• Hot oil is a burn and fire risk, take care and never leave the oil unattended and be careful to slowly add the batter to the pan to avoid oil splashes.
• Chickpea flour is also known as besan or gram flour. Different brands absorb moisture at different rates, therefore if the mixture looks a little too wet add a teaspoon more to thicken.
• Aquafaba is the brine within tins of chickpeas and other tinned legumes, it can be used as an egg replacement in recipes i.e. meringue. It can be stored in the freezer until required.
• The mayonnaise recipe will make extra, however it’s hard to make in a smaller quantity and maintain a good texture. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for one week and used for sandwiches etc.
• The mayonnaise must be made with a hand-stick blender, or it will not emulsify.


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