Portuguese Dishes You might Want to Try Next
Portuguese cuisine is popular for its richness in spices, seafood and olive oil. It depends heavily on the Atlantic Ocean and locally-grown produce across the country. Most Portuguese dishes are highly influenced by the Mediterranean cuisine that’s typical of dried and salted cod to crispy whole sardines. The different dishes across the country range from soups bobbing with meats and beans to whole octopus covered in olive oil to francesinha sandwiches filled with small-sized chorizo rounds.
The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, is lined with corner shops along its streets. The shops sell bacalhau slathered in olive oil and small-sized egg custards lightly-dusted with powdered sugar. Portuguese foods are prepared using local ingredients. They’re big on bold and strong flavors. Whether you prefer the sweet custardy flavor of pasteis de nata or bacalhau’s salty pinch, there’s a traditional dish for every taste out there.
Most Portuguese dishes have the pungent combination of garlic, paprika and bay leaves. If you’re planning a culinary exploration trip to Portugal or simply looking for a great dessert to finalize your meal, here’re a few dishes to try next:
12 Mouth-Watering Dishes to Try Out Next When You Visit Portugal
This is a bean stew prepared with pork and beef. It derived its name from the word “feijao” in Portuguese that means beans. Usually served during the cool and rainy winter months in Portugal, the dish is soul-soothing and comforting.
The dish comprises of a colorful stew made up of white and red beans and pork hunks (or snout and ears). Lightly-fried veggies and sausages are also included. The dish variant served in Tras-os-Montes is spiced with garlic, cloves, paprika, and cumin.
Some variations of this dish substitute meat with sea snails, also known as whelk.
The southern and central regions of Spain and Portugal are home to Black Iberian pigs fed on an acorn diet. This makes the domestic pigs a common endemic to the regions.
Also known as porco preto in Portuguese, the pigs are free-range and used to prepare many local dishes. Good examples include plumas de porco preto (pork cutlets) which is usually served with fries and a salad. Another dish is pata negra ham, thin slices of cured, smoky ham.
Alheira de Mirandela
Alheira resembles a sausage, but it’s much more than that. It’s filled with various kinds of meat ranging from rabbit to veal. Bread is used to compact the dish for eating with fries and a fried egg.
The Portuguese Jewish cooked the dish historically, making it an essential traditional food. They prepared the dish as proof conversion to Christianity.
This dish is made up of salted and dried cod. However, bacalhau is a common ingredient in thousands of other local dishes. The food has an intense, salty flavor that’s highly addictive.
You’ll find it cooked in a casserole a Gomes de Sa or roasted a Lagareiro. Bacalhau is also used as a filler in bar snacks such as croquettes.
Pasteis de Nata
This continental dish is the basis of all custard tarts. The dish is part of the Portuguese cuisine served worldwide. Lemon and some nutmeg are sprinkled over the dish for a sour taste and glossy look, respectively.
Bifana is prepared from thinly-sliced pork that’s marinated in a mixture of white wine and garlic. The outcome is fried in a lardy sauce and placed between Portuguese rolls to make decadent sandwiches.
Salame de Chocolate
Most food shops and pastelarias in Italy and Portuguese sell this ubiquitous chocolate “salami”. The sweet treat is made from a mixture of nuts, dark chocolate and cookies broken up into smaller pieces. It rivals the great Pasteis de Nata.
Despite the many sea and fresh water fish out there, sardines are the most popular. They’re served with vegetables and sangria, atop being delicious and affordable.
Carne de Porco Alentejana
Lots of clams and pork make up the turfs and surfs of Portugal. The dish is marinated in a mixture of garlic, paprika, coriander, and bay leaf for added flavor. The clams open up when being marinated, allowing salty juices and flavors to ooze inside the pork.
This is a popular local dish that resembles cabbage soup to those unfamiliar with it. The greens are sliced into specific cuts to absorb the faint smoky flavor from grilled sausage used to prepare it. However, the dish isn’t easy to prepare.
This is an important part of most Portuguese meals. It’s covered in olive oil and salt sprinkled over it for barbecuing over charcoal into a crispy dish. Sardines, red snapper, bream, bass, and mackerel can also be marinated in the same way.
The Portuguese love seafood, hence most local dishes are made from traditional recipes that use the entire fish, including egg sacs. The egg sacs are marinated with a mixture of bell pepper, onion, lettuce, and tomatoes. The dish is quite tasty and mouthwatering.