Fish/ Starters/ tapas

Stuffed mussels (Mejillones rellenos or Tigres)

Stuffed mussels (Mejillones rellenos or Tigres)

Stuffed mussels are a typical Spanish tapa, native to the North. They can be served hot or cold, but anyway these creamy stuffed mussels are delicious. It takes some time to prepare Tigres, but the long wait is worth it!

Serves 4 (as an appetizer)

Stuffed mussels (Mejillones rellenos or Tigres)
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  • 1 kg/2 lb mussels, cleaned
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp butter/margarine
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-2 large eggs
  • bread crumbs for breading
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. If you are going to use fresh mussels, brush the mussels until they are clean on the outside.
  2. If you are going to use frozen mussels, they should already be cleaned. Also, the shells should be opened.
  3. To open fresh mussels, pour the white wine, the bay leaf and the parsley into a medium size pot.
  4. Put the mussels in the pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove the mussels from the pot.
  6. Chop the mussels (the flesh) into very thin pieces (you can use a pair of scissors) and set the shells aside.
  7. Chop the onion and the green pepper, peel and dice the tomato and mince the garlic.
  8. Pour a trickle of olive oil to a frying pan and add the onion, the green pepper and the garlic cloves. Fry lightly.
  9. Add the peeled and diced tomato. Fry slightly until the water disappear. Season.
  10. Add the chopped mussels, stir well, adjust seasoning and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes.
  11. To make the béchamel sauce, place a large frying pan, with a heavy bottom on low heat.
  12. Melt the butter/margarine in the pan.
  13. Add the flour and cook lightly, for 3-5 minutes.
  14. Pour in the milk in a slow, steady stream and stir the mixture continuously, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  15. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  16. Simmer the béchamel sauce for 10 minutes on a low heat (stir occasionally).
  17. Add the chopped mussels, stir and cook for a couple of minutes more.
  18. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down.
  19. Make sure the inside of the shells is clean.
  20. Fill the shells with the mixture.
  21. Pour flour and bread crumbs onto different plates.
  22. Beat 1-2 eggs.
  23. Roll the mussels in the flour, then dip them into the egg, and finally roll them in the bread crumbs.
  24. Place the stuffed mussels into the hot oil to fry, shell side up.
  25. Serve 5 mussels per person, approximately.

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