Dishes you must try before leaving Portugal

We discover some of the most delicious dishes you must try before leaving Portugal, including seafood, fish, lamb, chicken and pork specialities.

Make sure you sample:

Codfish Cakes

Codfish cakes are delicious and can be eaten hot or cold. Using salted dried cod with finely chopped onions, potatoes, parsley and egg, this recipe is simple and perfect for lunch accompanied with a side salad. The cakes are cooked quickly on a heavy skillet with a brush of olive oil.

Seafood Paella

If you thought seafood paella was invented in Spain, think again. Portuguese Seafood Paella includes ripe Mediterranean tomatoes, fresh coriander, onions, large mussels and clams, shrimps, squid and lobster tails, white wine and white rice. Served with freshly baked bread and accompanied with a glass of chilled Rose wine, this dish is best eaten at lunch time.

Lamb Stew

The rich Portuguese peasant recipe for lamb stew includes litres of red wine for marinating the meat, paprika, garlic and lamb shoulder or leg. Rock salt and a bay leaf are used for extra flavour plus olive oil and fresh parsley. The meat is marinated for at least four hours before being slow cooked for three hours before serving.

Piri-Piri Chicken

Perfect if you like it spicy, Piri-Piri chicken is cooked with chilli infused oil which is used to barbecue the meat. The sauce used to marinate the chicken is also peppered to add to the spiciness and the dish is usually served with fries and salad.

Cataplana Seafood

Cataplana is a traditional Portuguese seafood delicacy, like paella, takes its name from the dish it is cooked in. Typical ingredients include clams, sausage, ham, chilli tomatoes, garlic and spices. The combination of meats and local seafood make this a must if you want to try an authentic and flavoursome Portuguese dish.

Meat and Sausage Francesinha

Not for the faint-hearted this calorie-laden yet delicious Francesinha of two slices of bread with steak, sausage, ham and chorizo layered between. The bread is covered in melted cheese and drizzled with a spicy tomato sauce. Often topped with a fried egg and served with chips, this is perhaps one to avoid if you are on a diet.

Octopus & Chickpea Salad

Sample Octopus and Chickpea Salad for a real flavour of Portugal. The dish is often made with seasoned octopus, cooked in a skillet with olive oil and seared on a high heat. The seafood is then added to a roasting tin with garlic, bay leaves and cayenne pepper then charred to finish. The salad combines chickpea confit, black-eyed peas, red onion and sun-dried tomatoes with dill, seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

Pork and Sausage Feijoada

Although Feijoada is the Brazilian national dish it has its roots in Portugal. The hearty dish is made from fresh pork, black kidney beans, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots and assorted sausages including morcela (blood sausage), chourico (with garlic and paprika, similar to chorizo) and farinheira (made with pork fat and seasonings). The dish is usually served with rice.

If you are planning a trip to Portugal, and you enjoy traditional food and wine, why not book a guided gastronomic tour to make the most of your stay. Sample some of the delicious traditional Portuguese cuisine and wines accompanied by an informative local guide.

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