With over 1,000 miles of shoreline, it’s not shocking that Portugal has entry to among the greatest seafood on the planet. Add to {that a} devotion to Mediterranean-style cooking, considerable contemporary elements, and each conventional and progressive delicacies, and it’s simple to see why Portugal is loaded with unimaginable seafood dishes it’s good to strive. No record may include all of them, however listed below are a number of of the very best recognized and cherished.

1. Bacalhau

It might be inconceivable to move via Portugal and never encounter cod dishes which have been feeding the nation since its explorers sailed the world centuries in the past. The salted cod referred to as Bacalhau that fed Vasco de Gama and Ferdinand Magellan remains to be stacked in grocery shops and fish markets at present. The cod is soaked and desalinated and used shredded or in items in about as many recipes as there are individuals on this Iberian nation. Just a few of essentially the most unimaginable dishes are Bacalhau à Bras (combined with potatoes, onions, and eggs), Bacalhau com Natas (with potatoes and cream), and Pastéis de Bacalhau (cod fritters). A particular meal, Bacalhau com Todos (cod with all the things) is served on Christmas Eve in homes across the country, even ours.

Polvo À Lagareiro.
Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

2. Polvo À Lagareiro

Polvo (octopus) is sort of as ubiquitous as bacalhau in terms of Portuguese seafood dishes. Its candy taste and agency and tender texture comes via in in style preparations comparable to Polvo à Lagereiro, a most conventional seafood dish discovered everywhere in the coastal areas. It options cooked octopus that’s roasted or grilled with olive oil, garlic, and herbs, and served with roasted potatoes. Some recipes embrace olives, onions, or a inexperienced vegetable like rapini. We cherished it at Taberna Económica de Cascais, a restaurant in the coastal city of Cascais (roughly 20 miles west of Lisbon).

3. Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato

Named in honor of the Nineteenth-century author and poet Raimundo António Bulhão Pato by a Lisbon lodge chef, this straightforward however elegant dish consists of littleneck clams in a sauce of olive oil, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, and generally dry white wine. Contemporary lemon juice is squeezed on prime simply earlier than serving so as to add a vivid, contemporary end. This dish is usually served as an appetizer, although including just a little crusty bread and a glass of Portuguese wine will make a memorable meal.

Shrimp in garlic sauce.
Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

4. Gambas Ao Alho

One other easy however stunningly scrumptious Portuguese seafood dish is that this one in every of garlic prawns. Shrimp (camarões) could also be used as an alternative of prawns, and both method they’re cooked in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Served with a aspect of rice, a pile of crisp French fries, or contemporary crusty bread for dipping, it’s unimaginable. You’ll discover it in lots of locations together with the great family-run A Nova Estrela, additionally in Cascais.

5. Lapas

Lapas are limpets, sea mollusks that cling to rocks and are a specialty of Madeira. Probably the most memorable seafood meals we’ve loved was Lapas Grelhadas à Moda da Madeira. The limpets are served in the identical pan through which they’re grilled with garlic, butter, parsley, and lemon juice. After a enjoyable day exploring Madeira, we had them in just a little café on the seashore at Faja dos Padres, the right place for celebrating Portugal’s love affair with the ocean.

6. Cataplana De Marisco

The cataplana is Portuguese cookware initially from the Algarve area. It’s a hinged pan made out of steel, historically copper, that works like an enormous clamshell. It’s closed throughout heating and acts like a strain cooker on the elements inside. Although meat and the rest might be cooked contained in the cataplana, the seafood cataplana is a Portuguese favourite. Every kind of fish, shellfish, and different seafood are packed into the underside half, generally including potatoes and peppers and olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and white wine. The halves are then closed and the cataplana heated to steam the elements into a colourful, fragrant feast.

Slipper Lobsters.
Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

7. Bruxas

Bruxas or slipper lobsters are a specialty of Cascais. Lobster followers will love these mini-lobsters which have candy, tender meat in bite-sized parts. Generally they’re served fried with a aspect of garlic-lemon aioli. Go to Marisco Na Praça on the Mercado da Vila in Cascais to have a look at the contemporary seafood bar and select precisely what you prefer to, together with Bruxas, which we loved steamed with just a bit lemon. That allow us save room for a beef sandwich dessert.

8. Sardinhas Assadas

In the course of the summer time months, it’s common to see each restaurant within the coastal areas that serves seafood providing sardines. Grilled entire and seasoned with just a few salt and olive oil, they normally include accompaniments like potatoes, greens, or salad. Generally sardines are served with the grilled fish on bread. The fish is pulled away from the bones and eaten, then flipped over to eat the opposite aspect. The bones are discarded, and the oil and fish-soaked bread is loved. Lisbon holds a Sardine Festival each June with road events, decorations, and plenty of grilling sardines.

Stuffed crab appetizer.
Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

9. Sapateira Recheada

Sapateira Recheada means stuffed or stuffed crab. However that doesn’t do justice to the magic of this unimaginable seafood dish it’s good to strive in Portugal. The crab is a big brown Atlantic crab, the type that may weigh as much as six kilos. And the stuffing consists of the candy crab meat, briny roe, mustard, beer or wine, mayonnaise, paprika, hard-boiled eggs, and extra. All this deliciousness is poured again into the crab shell, surrounded by steamed legs and claws and bread or crackers for dipping. Monte Mar restaurant in Cascais is thought for its Sapateira Recheada in addition to its oceanfront views.

Whole sea breem.
Complete Sea Breem (Picture Credit score: Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris)

10. Contemporary Fish

Probably the greatest options of Portugal is that water is a lot part of the geography. There are quite a lot of unbelievable fish that come proper out of the ocean, lakes, and rivers and make their strategy to dinner tables. Grouper, golden bream, sea bass, sole, mackerel, crimson mullet, and bluefish, are only the start. Tuna, shark, swordfish, ray, marlin, and scabbard fish come from the deep sea. Trout, largemouth bass, and salmon populate the rivers. Grilled contemporary fish is one in every of our favorites given wonderful therapy at Furnas do Guincho, additionally in Cascais, the place the sundown itself is a masterpiece.

11. Choco Frito

Setúbal, southeast of Lisbon, is the hometown for Choco frito: fried cuttlefish. This conventional dish that may appear like fish sticks is usually served with French fries or potato chips. Strips of the cuttlefish are marinated and cooked in herbs, wine, lemon, and garlic then coated in a seasoned corn flour batter and fried. They make nice petiscos, Portuguese snacks. On a go to to Setúbal, strive it at an area spot like Adega Leo do Petisco with a glass of pretty Setúbal wine.

12. Caracóis

Followers of French escargots can be within the Portuguese model of snails referred to as caracóis. A seasonal summertime deal with, they’re typically small, although there’s a bigger model referred to as caracoletas, and served in broth seasoned with olive oil or butter, garlic, herbs, and generally scorching Portuguese piri-piri chili pepper sauce. In summer time one can find Portuguese consuming them by the bowlful as a snack or appetizer in Lisbon and the southern areas the place many eateries place indicators in entrance proclaiming that they’ve caracóis. Julio Dos Caracóis is a well-liked spot in Lisbon, however caracóis are additionally obtainable at markets in massive internet baggage to make at residence.

13. Caldeirada

Caldeirada is a Portuguese fish stew that includes seafood, bacalhau, or fish, as desired. The bottom consists of olive oil, white wine, tomatoes, onions, herbs, and spices. The Caldeirada is about up in layers so the fish requiring the longest cooking time is positioned on the underside and the extra delicate fish is layered on prime. The normal stew depended upon regardless of the fishermen have been in a position to catch, so potatoes and peppers spherical it out. Strive it at a seafood restaurant in a seafood city like Restaurante Rocha in Peniche.

Espetadas skewers at Leitaria A Camponeza in Lisbon Portugal.
Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

14. Espetada De Peixe

An espetada is a skewer containing elements minimize in typically uniform shapes, seasoned with oil, garlic, and spices and cooked on a grill. Probably the greatest Portuguese variations is the espetada de peixe, which incorporates meaty fish skewered, grilled, and served hanging over rice, potatoes, or greens in order that the juices drip down and season them. Take pleasure in espetadas at Lisbon’s Leitaria A Camponeza, a restaurant in a historic building that was a store the place individuals would go for contemporary milk, generally from the cow herself.

Carne De Porco À Alentejana.
Sue Reddel & Diana Laskaris

15. Carne De Porco À Alentejana

This Portuguese model of surf and turf incorporates succulent cubes of pork loin with tiny candy clams all swimming in a tangy herb, garlic, and wine sauce. It’s accented by bits of pickled greens and served over French fries or roasted potatoes. Originating within the Alentejo area, that is one in every of our favourite dishes. Take pleasure in with a superb Alentejo wine on the lovely Casa do Alentejo in Lisbon.

Professional Tip: Portuguese Canned Fish

The Portuguese have taken the idea of canned fish to an unbelievable stage. Not solely will you discover aisles of canned tuna within the native grocer, but in addition sardines, cod, mackerel, octopus, squid, mussels, prawns, eel, salmon, and rather more. Comur fish canning firm gives quite a few merchandise with enjoyable and colourful packaging good for presents and souvenirs.

Historical past, tradition, custom, and delicacies come collectively superbly within the many unimaginable seafood dishes it’s good to strive in Portugal.

Editor’s Be aware: The details about Portugal’s shoreline introduced within the first paragraph of this text is from WorldAtlas.com.

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