Friday, December 3

Tigres (battered stuffed mussels) | Recipes El Comidista EL PAÍS

They are seen less and less in hospitality and there is a good reason for this: they are quite entertaining to prepare. Why deny it, tigers are a wonderful tapa, because they hide a spicy béchamel with bits of breaded and fried mussels; But for that you have to make a sauce, open the mussels, a béchamel, the filling of the shell with the béchamel, the breading and the frying. Come on, a great job. And if not, they tell the Madrid taverns and the Basque and Galician pinchos bars, where the kings were for a long time.

Its name comes from the power that they should hide, from the spicy. A tiger must have fury and grace: if it does not sting, it is not a tiger. It is something that we can also relate to the brava sauce of the potatoes, which in order to be considered as such it has to be brava, right? Well, when we talk about tiger mussels, we have to think of spicy mussels. Although in reality we are talking about mussel croquettes, with a previous stir-fry and also the shell included (to make it funny, we could actually not use it and remove that step, although it facilitates the formation). If you use it, I recommend you rub the shells well to leave them as clean as possible.

The sauce will have garlic, onion and a little tomato; and on it you can start the béchamel, to which I like to add a little of the broth released by the mussels when opening. That is why I advise you to open them practically by steam, only with a finger of water, and always strain the liquid before using it. Using the mussel broth will give our tigers more flavor, and changing part of the milk for cream will add creaminess. The meat of the mussels, well chopped, is incorporated at the end so that it does not overcook and remains chewy. I like that there are bits with a bite, although that means that rounding and shaping them will be more tedious.


You have to cure them.


  • 1 kg of raw mussels with shell
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 50 g of red pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce with onion
  • 1 pinch of hot paprika
  • 100 ml of red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 80 g of flour
  • 70g butter
  • 150 ml mussel broth
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 250 ml of liquid cream
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Shall
  • Black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g of breadcrumbs
  • Abundant oil for frying


  1. Remove the whiskers from the mussels, pulling them to extract them from inside the shell with the help of a knife.

  2. Prepare a saucepan with a finger of water, as wide as possible, and bring to a boil. Introduce half of the mussels and cover. Leave until they start to open. Remove the open mussels and repeat the operation with the other half.

  3. Remove the meat from the shells and clean the shells as best as possible. Strain the broth from the mussels through a very fine strainer and set aside.

  4. Chop the garlic and onion as finely as possible (very, very small). Sauté the garlic and onion with olive oil and a pinch of salt, over low heat so that they sweat but do not brown.

  5. When they are poached add the carrot and the pepper and repeat the operation, always over low heat (it can be covered to help us with the concentration of the steam).

  6. Add the wine and let it evaporate over a very high heat, until there is nothing left.

  7. Then add the butter and lower the heat, so that it melts but does not burn. Add the flour and cook in the butter for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly with a few rods.

  8. Add the fried tomato and paprika and stir well. Finally add the mussel broth, milk and cream. Start stirring over medium heat for about five minutes, until it takes on body, then lower the heat and stir for about 10 more minutes. We need a creamy béchamel, but with enough body to handle it later (it will thicken in the cold). .

  9. Finally add the mussels, finely chopped and add spicy, salt and black pepper. Cool completely for at least 12 hours in the fridge, covered with a contact film so that it does not create a hard film.

  10. Fill the shells with the mussel béchamel sauce, with the help of a spoon. They have to be with enough pompadour.

  11. Very delicately go through beaten egg and then through breadcrumbs. I recommend doing the operation twice, it will form a thicker layer but it will help us to fry it. Chill well in the fridge before frying. I do not cover them with anything, so they dry a little and do not open.

  12. Fry the tiger mussels in plenty of olive oil at 160ºC so that they brown little by little and the béchamel is well heated throughout. Drain on kitchen paper and serve.

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