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Street Food – Turkish Stuffed Mussels

Turkish stuffed mussel receipe
Midye Dolmasi beautiful street food stuffed mussels in Canakkale, Turkey

Unmanned delicious stuffed mussels along the pier in Canukkale

While art and history usually drives most of my travel choices, I do like to eat well while I’m on vacation.  The flavors become so linked to my memories that one good bowl of tzatziki sends me to the beach in the Southern Peloponnese or a perfectly crispy wienerschnitzel reminds me of the sunny little garden cafe filled with Viennese office workers out to lunch.  I dream of recreating these things.  I do my best to attempt them over the first month I’m home and then on other random weekends when I get a craving for proper Guinness stew.

I must say, Turkey set the food bar very high.  You would not believe the amazing quality of food we found at even the smallest gas station snack shop!  Meze, grilled meats – they were all amazing.  One “dish” I loved but have been the most apprehensive about try to cook myself is Midye Dolmasi – a sublimely delicious and simple stuffed mussel sold as street food.  Anthony Bourdain makes a big deal about them in his Istanbul No Reservations episode (above) and I learned after trying the wilted greens from his Greece episode that one should best follow his advice.  (For the record, I didn’t actually get to stuffed mussels until Canakkale.)

Turkish stuffed mussel receipe

My best looking stuffed mussel

I couldn’t find one definitive Stuffed Mussel recipe so I decided to wing it having make Stuffed Peppers with essentially the same filling.  I left out the pine nuts, used tomato paste when I should have used diced tomatoes (next time I’ll get it right…) and spiced with mint and nutmeg. It took a while to get all the mussels open and stuffed but then again I did make 4 dozen!  I actually had a lot more luck cutting the mussel hinge open to stuff them for what that’s worth.  By all means find some way to stack and weigh down the mussels so they stay closed during steaming; it makes a huge difference!

plate of Turkish stuffed mussels

But there you have it – a full plate of delicious stuffed New England/Turkish mussels!  Well worth the hour(s?) it took to make them!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Now that looks like one yummy dish ! WOW ! Wanted to stop by and thank you for liking my deer post. Hope to see you back soon! Bella

    October 21, 2012
  2. Hey look there is a recipe http://rehber.uzmantv.com/evde-midye-dolma-nasil-yapilir
    use a google translate if you stuck you can ask me. loves from Turkey.

    May 5, 2013
    • Teşekkür ederim! I am always looking for good recipes!

      May 5, 2013
  3. Kathy #

    I tried the mussels street style after much reluctance (I will only eat mussels if they are hidden in a bowl of pasta) on my second drop in to Turkey (Istanbul) this year……….absolutely amazing :))) The food overall had the most amazing flavours I’ve ever tried. Cannot wait to return!

    September 18, 2013

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