Crispy Tahong are the perfect seafood appetizer! Dusted with flour and cornstarch and fried until golden and crispy, these fried mussels are seriously addictive.
As much as I enjoy the camaraderie of happy hour, I’m a light alcoholic. A few sips of beer and I’m already red, standing unashamedly on the table and singing a rambunctious, tearful rendition of “End of the World.”
So yes, alcohol is not my cup of tea. While everyone in the group is busy with inuman (drinking), I dig deep into the pulutan (appetizers), especially if it’s crispy tahong with a spicy vinegar dip!
Plus, they’re super easy to make, especially if you use frozen New Zealand clams on the half shell, which only need a gentle nudge to remove the meat. Better yet, check to see if your store carries fully shelled clams that are ready to be dredged in flour.
Deep frying tips
Pat the mussels dry with paper towels so that the coating adheres better.
For best results, use enough oil to completely submerge the tohong and heat to an optimal temperature of 350 F to 375 F.
Use oils with a high smoke point such as canola, avocado, safflower or peanut oil.
To keep the temperature from dropping, do not overfill the pan and fry in batches as needed. Heat the oil back to 350 F before adding the next batch.
How to serve
Crispy tahongs are excellent as an appetizer to your favorite drinks or as a main course with steamed rice. Serve with spicy vinegar for dipping.
These fried mussels are best enjoyed freshly cooked, as they lose their crunch over time and are not reheated.
Using a butter knife, scoop the clams out of their shells. Discard the shells. Wash the mussel meat and dry it well.
Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and pepper in a bowl.
Dredge the mussels in the flour mixture to coat them completely.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat about 2 inches of oil to 350 F.
Add the scallops, shaking off any excess flour, and fry for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the scallops are cooked through and golden and crispy.
Remove from heat and let drain in a colander set over a bowl. Serve hot with a spicy vinegar dip.