For the dipping sauce:
150 ml /5 fl.oz. mayonnaise – either home-made or good shop bought
100 ml / 3 1/2 fl.oz. crème fraiche
3 tbsp. coarse-grained mustard
1 tsp. runny honey
3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro/ coriander
Juice 1 lime
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and finely minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
For the mussels:
1 kg/ 2 1/4 lbs. mussels, scrubbed & de-bearded
300 ml/ 10 fl.oz. very cold beer or lager
225 g / 8 oz. self raising flour
Sea salt & ground black pepper
Sunflower or peanut oil for deep frying
2 5g/ 1 oz. corn-starch/corn flour
First make the dipping sauces: mix together the mayonnaise and crème fraiche. Divide this mixture between two bowls.
To one, mix in the coarse-grained mustard and honey. To the other, add the coriander, lime, chilli and garlic. Taste both for seasoning. Set aside.
Place the mussels in a large, lidded saucepan with a few tablespoons of water.
Steam over a high heat until the mussels have opened. Discard any that remain closed. Drain in a colander, then pick the meat from the shells, set aside.
Sift the self-raising flour into a large bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Start whisking in the beer until you have a batter the consistency of single cream.
Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or large pan. Be careful not to fill more than one third full. Heat to 355 F / 180 C or until a cube of bread sizzles and turns golden in 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, dry the mussels carefully on kitchen towel then dredge with sifted corn flour. Shake off the excess corn flour then dip into the beer batter allowing the excess batter to drip off.
Fry in batches of around 10 until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer with a slotted spoon to crumpled paper towels to drain.
Serve immediately with dipping sauces.