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Nicholas Cassettari’s Sourdough Tempura Honey Mussels


Sourdough Tempura Honey Mussels from Alta Bistro Gusto Chef Nicholas Cassettari

OLD BAY aioli, smoked cinnamon oil, fried mussels and soda water-bubbled sourdough tempura.  This unique appetizer comes from Whistler’s Alta Bistro Chef Nicholas Cassettari. 

  • 2 Ibs Honey mussels, washed, purged and debearded
  • ½ tsp Soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 cup Tapioca starch
  • 2 cup Sourdough ferment
  • 1 cup soda water
  • 1 tsp Club House Ancho Chili Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Club House Sea Salt, French Mediterranean
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 2 ea Egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp Mirin
  • 1 ea Garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp OLD BAY Seasoning
  • 100 ml Pomace oil
  • ½ tsp Club House Black Pepper, Ground
  • 30 ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps Ginger, freshly sliced
  • ½ tsp Club House Cinnamon, Ground
  • 2 cups Green cabbage
  • 1 ea Lime, segmented and roughly chopped
  • 12 ea Jalapenos, freshly sliced rings and deseeded
  • 1 ea Granny Smith apple, julienned
  • 1 cup Cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup Mint leaves
  • ½ tsp Canola oil, for frying


For the Mussels: Steam cleaned mussels for approximately 3-7 minutes or until all shells have popped open. Discard any shells that don’t open. Immediately cover the mussels with a damp tea towel and place in the refrigerator to cool.

For the Smoked Cinnamon Oil: Combine the extra virgin olive oil, ginger and the Club House Cinnamon, Ground and place in a smoker for 15 minutes or until the oil tastes smoky.

For the OLD BAY Aioli: Place egg yolks, mirin, garlic clove, lime juice, mustard, OLD BAY Seasoning and Club House Black Pepper, Ground in a food processor. Start food processor on a moderate speed and slowly add the pomace olive oil in a smooth stream until it is completely incorporated. Check aioli for seasoning and add more OLD BAY Seasoning or lime juice if desired. Transfer to a container for serving.

For the Green Cabbage: Transfer green cabbage, segmented and diced lime and a pinch of Club House Sea Salt, French Mediterranean into a vacuum bag and add smoked cinnamon oil. Vacuum pack on hard to remove all the air. This forces all the oil into the cabbage and creates the most amazing texture. Reserve for serving.

For the Chili Salt: Mix the Club House Sea Salt, French Mediterranean with the Club House Ancho Chili Pepper and reserve for seasoning the mussels once fried.

For the Sourdough Tempura: Combine sourdough starter with soda water until smooth and bubbly to create a tempura batter. Remove all mussels from the shells and place in a bowl and season with soy sauce. Transfer mussels into tapioca starch coating completely and dust them off vigorously in a sieve. Place mussels in sourdough batter and coat. Drop mussels into fryer one by one. Fry mussels until golden brown and transfer onto a paper towel to remove excess oil. Place fried mussels in a bowl and toss them with ancho chilli salt to season.

For Serving: Smear OLD BAY aioli in a circular pattern on the bottom of four plates. Divide mussels between the plates. Top with cabbage, apple, jalapeno rings, cilantro leaves and mint leaves.

For more flavourful inspiration, visit:

Photo: @JoshTeeWhy

Chef Nicholas Cassateri
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