Chef Ana Sortun on

Chef Ana Sortun

134 Hampshire St Cambridge MA 02139
(617) 661 0505

Chef Ana Sortun of Oleana - Cambridge, MA
Adapted by StarChefs

Traditionally, roux, cornstarch, and arrowroot powder are used as thickening agents for soups and sauces. As an alternative technique, finely pureed nuts can be incorporated into a sauce or soup to thicken the mixture. Any type of nut can be used. It's up to you to use your imagination to create new flavor combinations.

STEP 1: Blanch or toast nuts.

STEP 2: Finely grind nuts in food processor or blender until a flour-like consistency is achieved.

STEP 3: Sprinkle nut-flour into soup or sauce simmering over low heat, and stir until completely blended and desired thickness is achieved, gradually adding more nut-flour as necessary.

VARIATION: Place nuts and all other sauce ingredients in food processor or blender and puree until creamy and smooth.

Chef Ana Sortun of Oleana - Cambridge, MA
Adapted by

Yield: 8 Servings

This is traditional street food in Istanbul, Turkey. The batter is extremely light and the sauce is rich and garlicky. You can substitute your favorite fish for the mussels. The dish is also an excellent sandwich filling.


    Steamed Mussels:
  • 36 mussels, washed, beards removed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

    Beer Batter:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 cups light beer
  • Sauce:
  • ½ cup blanched whole almonds
  • ½ cup water or fish broth
  • Reserved steamed mussels
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves
  • Fresh parsley
  • 16 lemon wedges

For steamed mussels:
Steam mussels open with white wine and garlic. Cool and pull mussels out of shells. Reserve juice for tarator sauce.

For fried mussels in beer batter:
Heat oil in a frying pan. Mix together flour, cornstarch, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Whisk in beer. With a fork, dip mussels into batter and drop mussels in hot oil. Fry until golden brown, about four minutes. Drain on a paper towel to remove excess grease. Season lightly with salt.

For tarator sauce:
Place all ingredients in blender and puree until completely smooth and thick, about 3 minutes. The sauce should be creamy and blond with a rich garlic flavor.

To serve:
Top fried mussels with tarator sauce and garnish with parsley, lemon and romaine leaves.



   Published: May 2006