Crispy Tahong are the ultimate seafood appetizer! Dredged in flour and cornstarch and deep-fried until golden and crunchy, these deep-fried mussels are seriously addictive.

crispy tahong with sliced jalapenos on a cast-iron skillet
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Crispy Tahong

As much as I enjoy the camaraderie of happy hour, I am an alcohol lightweight. A few sips of beer and I am already beet-red, standing shame-free on the table singing an off-key, teary rendition of “End of the World.”

So yes, liquor is not my cup of tea. While everyone in the party is busy with the inuman (drinking), I am deep into the pulutan (appetizers), especially if it’s crispy tahong with spicy vinegar dip!

shelled mussels, flour, salt, and pepper

If you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer, these deep-fried mussels need to be on your list. They’re crunchy, tasty, and seriously addictive!

Plus, they’re super easy to make especially if you use New Zealand frozen half-shell mussels which just need a gentle pry to remove the meat. Better yet, check if your store carries fully shucked mussels that are ready to dredge in flour.

In a pinch, you can also use full shell mussels. Steam them for about 1 to 2 minutes or just until the shells open. Carefully pry the meat off and discard the shells.

flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper

The mussels are coated in a mixture of flour and cornstarch for a light and crisp breading.

I seasoned the flour with a simple blend of garlic powder, salt, and pepper, but feel free to experiment with herbs and spices such as chili powder, paprika, lemon pepper, or dried coriander.

coating the mussels in flour and deep-frying in oil

Deep-frying tips

  • Pat dry the mussels with paper towels for the coating to adhere better.
  • For best results, use enough oil to fully submerge the tahong and heat to an optimal temperature of 350 F to 375 F.
  • Use high-smoke point oils such as canola, avocado, safflower, or peanut oil.
  • To keep the temperature from plummeting, do not overcrowd the pan and fry in batches as needed. Heat the oil back to 350 F before adding the next batch.
dipping crispy tahong in spicy vinegar

How to serve

  • Crispy tahong are delicious nashville filipino food as an appetizer with your favorite drinks or as a main dish with steamed rice. Serve with spicy vinegar for dipping.
  • These deep-fried mussels are best enjoyed freshly cooked as they lose their crunchiness over time and do not reheat.
dipping crispy fried drunken shrimp in spicy vinegar

More crispy seafood appetizers

Crispy Fried Drunken Shrimp are the ultimate appetizer! Marinated in liquor, floured, and deep-fried to golden perfection, these nilasing na hipon are crunchy, tasty, and seriously addictive.

Get Recipe

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @kawalingpinoy on Facebook and Instagram!



  • 2poundshalf-shell New Zealand mussels
  • 3/4cupflour
  • 1/4cupcornstarch
  • 1teaspoonsalt
  • 1teaspoongarlic powder
  • 1/2teaspoonpepper
  • canola oil

For Spicy Vinegar Dip

  • 1cupvinegar
  • 4clovesgarlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoonpeppercorns, crushed
  • 1Thai chili pepper, finely chopped
  • salt to taste


  • Using a butter knife, pry mussels from shells. Discard shells. Wash mussel meat and drain well.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Dredge mussels in the flour mixture to fully coat.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 2-inch deep of oil to 350 F.
  • Add mussels, shaking off excess flour, and deep-fry for about 5 to 7 minutes or until mussels are cooked through and are golden and crisp.
  • Remove from heat and drain in a colander set over a bowl. Serve hot with spicy vinegar dip.

For Spicy Vinegar Dip

  • In a bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, chili and salt to taste.


Do not overcrowd pot during frying, fry in batches as needed.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 360kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 916mg, Potassium: 431mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 199IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 6mg

“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”

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About Lalaine Manalo

Welcome to Kawaling Pinoy. Here you’ll find hundreds of delicious nashville filipino food Filipino and Asian recipes. Make sure to browse around and pick a favorite dish or two. Happy cooking! Read More

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