Portuguese Food: 26 Traditional Dishes to try in Portugal or at home

Portuguese Food: 26 Traditional Dishes to try in Portugal or at home


Visiting Portugal is beautiful for a lot of causes. But the scrumptious Portuguese delicacies? That is primary. While Portuguese delicacies is understood for its tasty seafood dishes, you’ll discover many alternative Portuguese meals which are based mostly on native traditions and recipes.

You could possibly be biting right into a Portuguese tart, sitting down for some basic Piri Piri rooster, or sipping a tiny glass of port. The neatest thing is that many of those dishes are straightforward to replicate at home – that means you don’t even have to catch a flight.

Traditional Portuguese Food

Excited to try some conventional Portuguese meals? You must be. Portuguese recipes burst with taste – whether or not coated in a spicy sauce or drizzled with lemon juice. These are the ten greatest Portuguese dishes for you to try.

1. Pastel de Nata

Best Portuguese Food Pastel de Nata

Pastel de nata is a Portuguese dessert and one in all our favourite Portuguese dishes. The crispy pastry is crammed with delicate egg custard, usually sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar – very like a creme brulee. Pastel de nata is served bite-sized and is greatest loved recent and nonetheless barely scorching from the oven. If you’re searching for a candy deal with, these Portuguese custard tarts are simply among the best Portuguese desserts.

So, the place did such a tasty dessert originate from? It is believed that we have now a bunch of monks from Lisbon to thank. The monks in Jeronimos Monastery in the 18th century created the tarts as a way of earnings to assist the monastery, promoting the recipe when it will definitely closed.

Now, Portuguese cooks everywhere in the nation make pastel de nata. Pastel de nata is offered in most bakeries, cafes, and eating places. As far as desserts go in Portugal, pastel de nata is on its means to turning into a nationwide dish. The pastry is the trickiest bit to good, and the feel is classy – so crispy that it almost shatters with a chew. The pastry is often made first whereas the custard combination is ready. If you observe this recipe it is possible for you to to make the right Pastel de Nata. Freshness is crucial with pastel de nata, and the dish is meant to be cooked and eaten on the identical day for probably the most genuine expertise.

2. Peixe Grelhado

Portuguese Food Piexe Grelhado Grilled Fish

Peixe Grelhado interprets as grilled fish, and the dish is served as simply that. If you order this at a restaurant, you may count on a whole grilled fish served in your plate (pores and skin and head and all). It generally is a daunting expertise, however as quickly as you’re taking your first chew, any skepticism or hesitancy shall be alleviated. You’ll additionally get to style the good thing about Portuguese olive oil for the reason that grilled fish is served drizzled. Peixe Grelhado is proof that there’s magnificence in simplicity.

Peixe Grelhado is often served alongside herby-boiled potatoes, steamed greens, and a light-weight salad with vinegar. The meat is the dish’s focus since it’s specifically cooked on a charcoal grill.

Peixe grelhado mostly makes use of fish like seabass, golden bream, and grouper. Fishing in Portugal has been round for hundreds of years, and fishermen’s catch made up many of the previous medieval diets. Grilled fish is a historic dish; easy however adored and handed down amongst generations.

3. Sardinhas

Portuguese Food Sardines

Freshly grilled sardines are a juicy, staple dish in Portuguese gastronomy. Historically, grilled sardines had been a dish of the decrease lessons, thanks to their low value and excessive nutrient stage. Even now, the dish might be probably the most reasonably priced seafood dish you may try in Portugal. Grilled sardines make an awesome snack or mild lunch.

Sardines have a robust taste and are sometimes salted earlier than grilling. The secret to the right grilled sardines is the grilling type. Most recipes make sure that sardines are slow-grilled to keep as a lot moisture and taste as doable.

The greatest time of 12 months to pattern freshly grilled sardines is between June and October when the fishing season is at its peak. Of course, you can even discover canned sardines throughout Portugal and in most international locations overseas, so don’t despair if you’re searching for a neater possibility. While much less widespread, you may eat sardines uncooked. There are plenty of methods to pattern Portugal’s most well-known fish.

4. Piri Piri rooster

Portuguese Food Piri Piri Chicken

Who hasn’t heard of Piri Piri rooster? The tremendous chain restaurant Nandos has unfold the dish throughout the globe, and it’s now a family identify, not simply Portugal’s nationwide dish. It is well some of the well-known Portuguese dishes.

The well-known dish is exclusive due to the sauce that it coats its rooster in. It’s somewhat spicy and candy, usually constructed from lemon, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, chili, and (in fact) olive oil. Each chef has their very own adaptation of Piri Piri sauce, and it’s enjoyable to pattern totally different folks’s recipes.

Piri Piri rooster wasn’t simply created in Portugal, although. Portuguese colonizers ‘found’ the chili pepper whereas overseas in newly based Portuguese colonies, transporting the peppers again home with the remainder of their plunder. The chili peppers would grow to be an important a part of Piri Piri sauce – giving it that attribute spicy kick.

Piri Piri rooster is often served alongside French fries and a light-weight salad. Piri Piri rooster might be the simplest to discover out of all our Portuguese meals in this information. You ought to discover a restaurant promoting Piri Piri rooster whether or not you’re in Portugal or not. If you want to prepare dinner at home it’s fairly straightforward to make particularly with this recipe.

5. Peixinhos da Horta

Traditional Portuguese Food peixinhos da horta

Get prepared for one of many Portuguese delicacies’s most weird (however scrumptious) appetizers. Peixinhos da Horta is fried inexperienced beans coated in a light-weight batter and usually served for lunch. Peixinhos da Horta interprets as ‘little fishes from the garden’, and the dish was initially ready on Portuguese ships to forestall greens from going unhealthy.

The course of is straightforward: boiled inexperienced beans are coated in a batter and deep fried in olive oil. The result’s a crispy coating on a delicate inexperienced bean, making a moreish snack that’s the good accompaniment for a sociable meal.

Peixinhos da Horta is among the best dishes to put together at home, so undoubtedly give this dish a go if you’re a bit daunted by tackling Portuguese delicacies. The meals can be improbable to pattern in native Portuguese eating places for those who get the possibility. Try peixinhos da horta as a aspect or appetizer.

6. Olive Oil

Portuguese Food Olive Oil

Olive oil isn’t actually a Portuguese meals in itself. However, it’s so fastidiously manufactured and necessary in Portuguese meals that we’re giving it a piece in its personal proper. It can be an important ingredient in many Portuguese dishes, so the place higher to begin than with one of many basis blocks of Portuguese delicacies?

Portugal is among the largest olive oil producers in the world. Its olive oils are famed for his or her pungent, usually almondy taste and are usually a deep greenish-yellow in colour. The mostly used olive are Galician olives, that are extremely valued for his or her historical olive timber. The olive groves in Portugal aren’t simply improbable for creating scrumptious merchandise. They are additionally a logo of pure historical past and generations of farming tradition.

Oil manufacturing is an extended course of. Olives are first grown, then harvested between November and January. The olives are then washed and pressed earlier than being heated to extract and separate the oil.

While olive oil manufacturing primarily happens across the middle of Portugal, some farms additionally stretch into Southern Portugal. If you need to expertise Portuguese oil manufacturing, we advocate visiting an space like Sintra, simply outdoors the key metropolis of Lisbon.

7. Arroz de Pato

Portuguese Food Duck Rice

Arroz de pato is among the most common Portuguese dishes. The dish’s identify interprets actually as ‘duck rice’, and it consists of exactly that. The rice is flavored with garlic, bay leaves wine, and loads of sliced chorizo. The dish packs an intense, flavorsome punch.

Arroz de pato makes use of rice ready equally to risotto, sauteed with onions and fats to slowly fill it with as a lot taste as doable. There is mostly a desire for wild duck the place doable too, which is much less fatty and higher identified for a stronger taste. Chorizo is often sliced and unfold decoratively throughout the highest of the dish as a last contact.

The dish is hearty and filling – good for big household meals and gatherings. You’ll discover it at many eating places because it is among the nation’s main rice dishes. However, it’s equally straightforward to replicate at home and is a wonderful correct meal.

8. Picanha

Portuguese Dishes Picanha

Picanha is a well-liked beef reduce cooked historically over a Brazilian barbeque. A Brazilian barbeque, chances are you’ll be questioning, why Brazilian? Brazil is among the former Portuguese colonies, and Portugal adopted the dish when its armies arrived there. While nonetheless massively fashionable in Brazil, Picanha is now additionally massively fashionable in Portugal. So fashionable, in truth, that there’s now a set Portuguese recipe – the normal Brazilian recipe continues to be used.

The reduce itself is uncommon and is commonly coined the highest sirloin cap. Since most butchers all over the world often divide this part of meat into totally different cuts (such because the loin or rump), it’s fairly an expertise sampling this reduce. The reduce could be very fatty and tender since there’s a layer of fats underneath the steak. These qualities are coupled with a wealthy taste when cooked on Brazilian barbeque.

9. Bacalhau

Portuguese Food Bacalhau

Portuguese love seafood: it’s no secret. And if you would like to try one other nationwide dish of Portugal, add bacalhau to your listing of seafood dishes to try. Bacalhau means cod in Portuguese, and a bacalhau dish incorporates dried and salted cod. The style is exclusive, and regardless of being salted, stays delicate tasting and fairly candy.

Surprisingly given the quantity of salt, it’s also wholesome Portuguese meals. So, if you’re searching for Portuguese meals wholesome sufficient to get pleasure from commonly, bacalhau is a wonderful possibility. Bacalhau is wealthy in omega oils, excessive in protein, and really low in fats.

Historically, bacalhau was an awesome various to recent fish. When fishermen couldn’t fish in unhealthy climate or when households wanted to lower your expenses, bacalhau had an extended shelf life. Now, you could find Bacalhau at most conventional Portuguese eating places, and it’s a must-try when visiting Portugal.

10. Caldo Verde

Calo Verde Portuguese Food

Are you searching for a Portuguese dish on a chilly day? Caldo Verde is a warming and intensely tasty soup. The primary ingredient is shredded cabbage, though you’ll often discover potatoes, olive oil, onion, and garlic in there as nicely – seasoned with somewhat little bit of salt and pepper. Caldo Verde is a inexperienced colour and is sometimes embellished with slices of chorizo as a garnish.

Caldo Verde originates from Northern Portugal in the Minho area. However, now you’ll discover it throughout the nation. The soup can be simple to make at home and is mild sufficient for a summer time brunch but hearty sufficient for an ideal winter snack. Each recipe varies, and the soup has been tailored because it spreads via totally different areas.

11. Bitoque

Portugal Food Bitoque

Bitoque is a hearty Portuguese meal. It all the time features a lean steak – be it pork or beef. It has a particular presentation and is served with a fried egg on high and a aspect of fries. It is considerably of a farmer’s meal and is a fundamental however basic dish in Portugal.

The dish could also be easy, however it’s cooked very exactly. The steak is seared in a pan with butter – giving it a young, distinctive style and texture. Bitoque is a typical lunch meal throughout the nation and may be discovered at many native eating places. Diners usually get pleasure from bitoque with tomato sauce or mustard.

12. Francesinha

Portuguese Food Francesinha

Francesinha is a legendary Portuguese sandwich. The culinary masterpiece is a multi-layer sandwich smothered in melted cheese and filled with totally different meats. If you need a filling sandwich, Francesinha will exceed all expectations.

Francesinha contains sausage, ham, and steak, filled with cheese between slices of white bread. Extra melted cheese is added over the sandwich’s high, and a spicy beer-based sauce is drizzled on high. Francesinha is messy however scrumptious. The sandwich spills out of the bread and is eaten on a plate to make it manageable.

Francesinha is probably the most well-known meals from Porto, the place it originated, and known as the queen of sandwiches by many. It was impressed by the French dish Croque Monsieur and is comparatively new to the Portuguese gastronomy scene, created in the Nineteen Fifties by Daniel Silva. You can recreate the dish at home however try it in Porto for the last word expertise.

13. Bolinhos de Bacalhau

Bolinhos de Bacalhau Portuguese Food

Remember bacalhau, that tasty, salted cod? Well, bolinhos de bacalhau are a tasty bacalhau dish variation. Bolinhos de bacalhau are tiny, deep-fried balls filled with potatoes, bacalhau, eggs, parsley, and onion. They are often served in excessive portions, as they’re bite-sized shapes designed to be snacks or appetizers for the principle meal.

The preparation is straightforward, and bacalhau is simply combined in with mashed potato and the opposite elements. The combination is then formed right into a torpedo ball and deep fried till golden brown. Bolinhos de bacalhau is a fast, straightforward dish to prepare dinner – the right Portuguese meals for recreating at home. They are greatest loved freshly cooked, as the feel is crunchy on the surface and delicate and heat on the within.

You’ll discover the dish throughout Portugal at all instances of the 12 months. However, they’re additionally extraordinarily fashionable as festive sides or appetizers at Christmas.

14. Port Wine

Port Wine Portugal Food

Port wine won’t be a dish, however it’s the most conventional Portuguese drink (narrowly beating Ginja, which is greatest tasted in Obidos). And for that motive, we couldn’t depart it out of this information. Port wine was really created to assist it keep its high quality throughout lengthy journeys. In the seventeenth century, retailers started including brandy to Portuguese wine to fortify it and cease it from spoiling throughout transit. The style grew to become fashionable, and now you could find port wine worldwide.

Port wine is a tasty a part of Portuguese delicacies, and the drink is understood for its tremendous candy and intense style. It has a a lot larger alcohol content material and is commonly thought-about a dessert wine – loved in a smaller glass than wine.

Port wine may be loved worldwide. However, it’s best loved at an atmospheric Portuguese restaurant. You ought to undoubtedly deal with your self to a style of port wine together with your meal. Alternatively, go to the Douro Valley, the key port wine area in Portugal.

15. Linguica

Portuguese Food Linguica

Linguica is a basic spicy Portuguese meals. The dish is a kind of sausage identified for its intense taste. Linguica usually incorporates garlic, paprika, and chili – often combined with pork meat. The sausages may be loved in many kinds, together with as a standalone dish and ingredient in different dishes like Caldo Verde. Linguica is tasty Portuguese meals, spicy and filled with taste.

Linguica can be typically known as Portuguese smoked sausage. It will get this identify from how it’s ready, as usually linguica is cooked with smoke to give it an additional distinctive taste. If you try linguica at a restaurant, it should more than likely be served smoked, however it’s up to you if you want to try to smoke it at home. While not a necessity, it actually offers it a novel taste.

16. Pão de Deus

Portuguese breakfast food Pao de Deus

We’ve coated a variety of dishes for lunch and dinner to this point, however what about breakfast? Well, pão de Deus is a well-liked breakfast dish. Pão de Deus is a Portuguese bread roll with a delicate, fluffy inside. The rolls are usually formed into single serving circles, good for having fun with a fast morning snack.

Pão de Deus interprets as ‘God’s bread’ and was initially baked in convents centuries in the past. The candy, brioche-like bread is often served topped with coconut and dusted with powdered sugar – the best candy deal with to begin your morning proper.

Sadly, pão de Deus is uncommon to discover outdoors of Portugal. However, visiting Portugal, you’ll discover pão de Deus everywhere in the nation, particularly in bakeries and cafes. We counsel ordering a espresso together with your bread roll for the very best breakfast mixture.

17. Serra da Estrela Cheese

Portuguese Cuisine Serra da Estrela Cheese

We’ll begin by saying that each one Portuguese cheeses are scrumptious. However, Serra da Estrela cheese is the tastiest. This Portuguese cheese comes from the mountains of Portugal’s Serra da Estrela area. It is produced particularly from the milk of Bordaleira sheep. Serra da Estrela cheese is a particular yellow colour and has been utilizing the identical recipe for the reason that sixteenth century. Cheese manufacturing isn’t just a culinary course of but additionally a part of Portugal’s cultural heritage.

Serra da Estrela cheese incorporates a particular ingredient – the Cardoon plant. Cardoon is a wild thistle and leaves a floral, tangy undertone to the cheese. This is added in the early levels, with oil rubbed over the rind as soon as the cheese has solidified.

You can pattern Serra da Estrela worldwide and undoubtedly throughout Portugal. However, to expertise its manufacturing, it’s best to head to Serra da Estrela itself. The closest airports are Viseu Airport and Porto Airport.

18. Bola de Berlim

Bola de Berlim Portuguese desserts

Ready for one more candy deal with? Bola de berlin are sweet-fried doughnuts. Unlike most doughnuts, although, they don’t have a gap in the middle or a stuffed filling. Instead, bola de berlin has a creme filling between two doughnut layers – like a doughnut sandwich.

Bola de berlin is definitely a twist on German doughnuts, utilizing Portuguese creme as an alternative of jam as a filling. It is rumored that the doughnuts grew to become adopted in Portuguese delicacies after German Jewish households began relocating to discover refuge in Portugal in the Thirties.

You can discover bola de berlin in most bakeries and cafes, and the candy deal with may be loved anytime.

19. Cebolada

Cebolada is a flavorsome dish that’s basically an onion stew. Cebolada is a flexible dish to prepare dinner, and also you’ll generally discover it served alongside fish, potatoes, or a bread bun. The dish consists of tomatoes, crimson bell peppers, parsley, garlic, onion, and oil – all sauteed till thickened right into a hearty sauce.

Cebolada is a well-liked restaurant or household meal very best for catering to massive teams of individuals. Simple however fantastically tasting, Cebolada is a standard Portuguese dish for you to try.

20. Carne de Porco Alentejana

Portuguese Food Carne de porco Alentejana

Carne de Porco Alentejana is among the greatest Portuguese meals if you would like a mix of seafood and meat. The distinctive dish combines pork and clams in a mixture of potatoes and chopped coriander. It is greatest loved as a hearty meal, often at a night meal or gathering.

The identify ‘Alentejana’ is a spot in Portugal, so that you may be led to imagine that the dish originated there. This isn’t the case, although; the dish is believed to have originated in the Algarve area. Instead, it was named after Alentejana due to that area’s extremely prized black pigs.

Of course, now, the dish is offered throughout Portugal. If you want seafood and need to try a standard pork dish as nicely, it’s the good Portuguese meals to get pleasure from on a night.

21. Ovas

As far as Portuguese meals go, ovas is a very adventurous one. The dish is taken into account a delicacy and is constructed from fish roe – fish eggs. Fish eggs could sound like a weird snack, however the technique for preserving fish roe sacks may be traced again to Egyptian instances via historical murals. People have been consuming fish eggs worldwide for a whole lot of years, and ovas are Portugal’s model of the previous recipe.

The eggs usually come from a gray mullet fish, and the sack is boiled earlier than being eaten. You’ll often see the dish served with potatoes and greens, drizzled with oil and vinegar. The egg sack has a really easy, silky texture, and ovas are a well-liked dish due to it.

23. Arroz de Marisco

Portuguese Dishes Arroz de Marisco

Let’s get again to seafood. Arroz de Marisco is scrumptious seafood rice, not not like a Spanish paella. The primary distinction is that Arroz de Marisco isn’t decreased, so it stays thick and extra like a rice stew. Its elements fluctuate somewhat, however you may often count on prawns, mussels, clams, and squid. The ending touches are a sprinkling of herbs and a beneficiant sprint of white wine.

Traditionally, you’d discover Arroz de Marisco in Portugal’s coastal areas thanks to the abundance of recent seafood. If you need recent seafood, attempting Arroz de Marisco in these areas continues to be greatest. However, you could find the dish inland as nicely nowadays, and it’s also straightforward to recreate at home.

22. Feijoada

As we talked about earlier, Brazil is one in all Portugal’s former colonies. Many Brazilian dishes may be discovered in Portugal at this time, together with feijoada. Feijoada is a standard stew consisting of black beans, pork, and beef. Historically, feijoada used cheaper cuts of meat, like tongue, ears, ft, and tails, to guarantee much less wastage and construct a budget-friendly meal. This isn’t all the time the case now.

The stew is reasonably salty however not spicy. It will get a variety of pure flavoring from the meats and black beans. In Portugal, the Brazilian recipe continues to be favored, and also you’ll discover somewhat deviation from the unique recipe. Feijoada is a good warming meal, particularly on a chilly winter day.

24. Caldeirada de Peixe

Traditional Portuguese Food Caldeirada de Peixe

Caldeirada de Peixe is one other hearty dish, very best for a chilly day. Caldeirada de Peixe is a fish and potato stew flavored with saffron and typically containing further seafood like prawns, squid, and mussels. The fantastic thing about Caldeirada de Peixe is that it makes use of no matter seafood the fishermen catch, which traditionally made it a dependable meal for the decrease lessons.

In trendy recipe diversifications, you’ll discover a great deal of further flavorings. Bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns are fashionable additions. You can count on Caldeirada de Peixe to have a robust, memorable style.

25. Cozido a Portuguesa

Cozido a Portuguesa could seem like a mismatched dish. The dish incorporates an assortment of meat and greens ready as a boiled meal. The cooking type makes Cozido a Portuguesa very wholesome, skipping out the oil and deep frying that may make some Portuguese dishes much less wholesome.

Cozido a Portuguesa usually incorporates meat like pork ribs, beef, rooster, bacon, and sausage. It is a improbable dish to use cheaper cuts of meat, like pig’s ears and ft. These meats are boiled collectively in a big saucepan and seasoned with salt. Vegetables like parsnip, turnip, potato, carrots, and cabbage are additionally boiled – served alongside the meat on a big plate.

Cozido a Portuguesa is a no-nonsense dish that flexibly makes use of leftovers to forestall waste. It is believed to have originated from Beira, however it’s not simply ready in a single space of Portugal.

26. Bifana or Prego

Portuguese Food Bifana

We coated the queen of sandwiches, Francesinha. But if Francesinha is the queen of Portuguese sandwiches, bifana and prego are the princesses. These two sandwiches are among the greatest takeaway Portuguese meals and lunchtime snacks.

Unlike Francesinha, these two sandwiches are simple with minimal elements. Bifana makes use of pork, whereas prego makes use of beef. Both are served on delicate, recent bread, generally discovered at cafes or takeaways. Bifana sandwiches marinate the pork in a spicy sauce, whereas prego sandwiches marinate the meat in a garlic sauce. Which you determine to try is fully up to you.

Final Thoughts on Portuguese Cuisine

Top Portuguese Food

There are so many Portuguese dishes to try. If you’re touring to Portugal, we advocate taking a meals tour and hopping round totally different native eating places. Don’t be afraid to get off the overwhelmed monitor. If you’re cooking Portuguese meals at home, put together to get experimentative. You might even host a Portuguese tapas night time if you’re feeling courageous.

Either means, Portuguese gastronomy is unimaginable to discover. Traditional Portuguese delicacies is among the greatest in the world, and we hope you try as many of those dishes as doable.

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