Published On: Wed, Dec 13th, 2023

Mussels Escabeche Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Mussels Escabeche Lettuce Wraps Recipe
Mussels Escabeche Lettuce Wraps Recipe

The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

By Jim Webster

Escabeche is a method of pickling meat, seafood and vegetables that’s popular in many parts of the world. This version dresses canned mussels in a sherry vinaigrette to approximate that process, evoking Spain and Portugal. Some canned varieties already come in an escabeche. If that’s all you can find, use them straight from the can if you’d like, or drain and marinate in this dressing as directed.

Make ahead: The escabeche should be made at least 2 hours and up to 1 day before serving.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover canned mussels for up to 1 day.

From staff writer Jim Webster.



Time Icon
Total: 15 mins, plus about 2 hours of marinating time
  1. Step 1

    Make the escabeche: In a small skillet over medium heat, warm 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and cook until the liquid has reduced by about half, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a small bowl. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the reduction and stir to combine. Add the mussels and fennel and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

  3. Step 3

    When ready to serve, arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter so they are like small cups. Divide the escabeche with the marinade among the leaves, top each with 4 pieces of tomato and serve.


Can’t find fresh fennel? >> Use celery.


Canned mussels come in a variety of sizes, so the yield will depend on the brand you buy. We tested with a smoked variety from Patagonia.

If you’re also making the Tuna on Toast With Sherry Mayo, Celery and Grapes (see related recipe), you can save time by doubling the ingredients for the sherry vinegar reduction and dividing it between the two recipes.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 wrap)

  • Calories


  • Fat

    6 g

  • Saturated Fat

    1 g

  • Carbohydrates

    4 g

  • Sodium

    61 mg

  • Cholesterol

    5 mg

  • Protein

    3 g

  • Fiber

    1 g

  • Sugar

    3 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From staff writer Jim Webster.

Tested by Jim Webster.

Published December 13, 2023

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