Alentejo - Of Fish, Shrimp and Coriander

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Portuguese fish specialties - grilled turbot

Portuguese fish specialties from the Alentejo


We enjoyed Portuguese fish specialties on ours Journey through the Alentejo. In every restaurant this Travel on the fishing path through the Alentejo was fish on our menu. There was dogfish soup in Evora. Eel stew then awaited us in Cais Palafítico. Açorda de Marisco we ate in Sines. Finally, there were grilled fish delicacies in São Torpes. And finally, in Vila Nova de Milfontes we were served a real gourmet meal of seafood. So we got a tasty insight into the cuisine of the Alentejo.

 

 

 

Tuna-stuffed peppers
Peppers stuffed with tuna - healthy Portuguese fish specialties

 

As soon as we left Évora, the largest town in the region, guided us our journey always along the coast. Therefore, we often met fishermen bringing their catch ashore. We visited restaurants where this too Specialties from Portugal was prepared. And we watched how they buy the fish fresh from the boat. However, the restaurants' Portuguese fish specialties are what we remember best. Reason enough to introduce you to some of the recipes.

 

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What we noticed with many of the Portuguese fish dishes in the Alentejo is that they are often seasoned with coriander. Coriander is used both in soups and as a decoration. This gives the fish dishes in the Alentejo their very special taste.

 

Rice soup with coriander
Rice soup with coriander

 

Portuguese fish dishes

There are many types of fish and seafood in this region. Sole and turbot were on the table, as were crustaceans. We also tried out how to eat barnacles. Shark, eel, octopus, cod and crab were also on the menu. The selection of food fish is large in the Alentejo. They are all fresh too. Anyone who likes fish and seafood will definitely feel at home on the Portuguese coast.

 

Açorda de Marisco
Açorda de Marisco - one of our favorite Portuguese fish dishes

 

Açorda de Marisco – Portuguese fish specialties

This dish originally comes from the kitchens of fishermen in the Alentejo. We were told that the combination of several-day-old bread and crustaceans made it possible for everyone to afford a meal. A “poor people meal”, - but what a great one! Here is the recipe:

The ingredients are definitely enough for 6 people:

  • Shrimp – 2 pounds (0,91 kg)
  • Mussels – 2 pounds (0,91 kg)
  • Frozen seafood – 2 pounds (0,91 kg)
  • One onion
  • Six cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of fresh cilantro
  • One and a half loaves of old white bread
  • Six eggs
  • Two small cut tomatoes
  • 3 ml white wine
  • Water
  • olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Heat white wine with a little salt. Add mussels and cover and simmer over medium heat. As soon as the mussel shells have opened, the mussel meat is separated from the shell. The peels are then placed in a large pot. The meat is set aside. Then add the remaining liquid to the large pot, add salt and pepper and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, add shrimp and frozen seafood. After about 7 minutes, or when the shrimp turn pink, remove all seafood from the pot. Set aside ten shrimp. Peel the rest. Put the peels back in the pot and let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes.

In a second saucepan, sauté the chopped garlic cloves, onions and half of the coriander leaves in olive oil until the onions are golden brown. In the meantime, break the bread into pieces and pour enough broth over it until it is covered. Leave it for 20 minutes. Then add the bread to the garlic, onion and coriander mixture. If necessary, add more broth. The mixture should be very moist. At low heat, mix everything until a mushy mass is formed.

Add the seafood, except the unpeeled shrimp. Turn off the heat. Finally, add the eggs quickly and mix everything. Decorate with the remaining coriander leaves and the unpeeled shrimp and serve.

 

Eel stew
Eel stew – Portuguese fish specialties

 

Eel stew

If you want to try Portuguese fish specialties, you definitely can't miss this dish. Eel stew is a dish that is served all over Portugal.

Fresh Eel – 3 pounds (1,36 kg)
Five chopped onions
Three diced tomatoes
100 ml of olive oil
1/4 liter of white wine
A diced green pepper
Four cloves of garlic, minced
Two teaspoons of paprika powder
Salt and pepper to taste
A spoonful of parsley
A teaspoon of mint

Preparation

Wash the eels well and cut into pieces. Then fry chopped onions, tomatoes, olive oil and garlic cloves in a pan over medium heat for four to five minutes. Add the eels together with the white wine and simmer over low heat. Then add the paprika, diced peppers and salt and pepper.

Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the eels are cooked. Let it rest for another five minutes in a closed pot. Then decorate with parsley and mint. Served with toast.

 

Dogfish Soup - Portuguese Fish Specialties
Dogfish soup – Portuguese fish specialties

 

Our first fish dish on the trip was

Dogfish ​​soup

  • About 500 g of dogfish ​​steaks
  • One liter of water
  • 50 ml of olive oil
  • A teaspoon of paprika
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of coriander
  • Two tablespoons of flour
  • Pepper to taste
  • A bay leaf
  • A middle onion
  • Bread to taste
  • Salt to taste

Preparation

Season the Dogfish steaks in a bowl with olive oil, chopped garlic, pepper, paprika, sliced ​​cilantro and bay leaf.

Then add the water with a peeled onion and salt to a pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it throws bubbles, switch back to medium heat. Then add the fish steaks with the marinade. Then cook for about ten minutes.

Once the fish steaks are cooked, place them in a bowl. Then remove bones and set aside. Also remove the onion and the bay leaf.

Add more flour to the cooking water, stir the whole and let it thicken on low heat for about three to four minutes.

Turn off the oven, put the fish steaks back in the pan and let it stand for about five minutes.

Then you serve the fish soup with small pieces of bread. Who wants it traditional and really Portuguese puts the bread in the soup.

These are three Portuguese fish specialties from the Alentejo that you can easily cook at home. Our favorite is definitely Açorda de Marisco, which we were served in even the finest restaurants on our trip. In any case, we'll try it out ourselves. How are you?

By the way: do you already know these dishes?

Portugal tips from other travel bloggers

 

 

Portuguese fish specialties
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Source: On-site research. We were invited to this trip by Aptece, Visit Alentejo and the Rota do Peixe. Our opinions definitely remain our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Alentejo - Of Fish, Shrimp and Coriander

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.

10 thoughts too "Alentejo - Of Fish, Shrimp and Coriander"

    1. Hi Andrew,

      yes, that's true - especially if you like fish. Although we also got very good meat dishes. The Alentejo is a real “pleasure region”.

      Best regards,
      Monika

  1. One looks as appetizing as the other, I would like to try them all. Often, I also buy cookbooks on my travels, but mostly it tastes different at home than on the ground. It's like the wine, only the combination of mood, place and people makes the special.

    1. Meanwhile, we cook some of the dishes that we get to know on the way, even at home. Of course it does not taste quite the same as on the spot. But it's always enough to dream: D

      Best regards,
      Monika

  2. A very appetizing report. Exciting how different depending on availability is the assessment of a “poor people meal”. The ingredients for Açorda de Marisco are certainly not cheap today if you buy them sustainably. But it's definitely worth it.

    1. You're right, Silke. So the relations change. For example, did you know that lobster was one of the “poor people's meals” in America? Hard to imagine today, right?

      Best regards,
      Monika

  3. Everything looks terrific delicious and appetizing. Although the raw egg in the Açorda de Marisco would not be my thing ... ..

    1. Liebe Sabine

      that's it. The raw egg has only been added for decoration. Acorda de Marisco was one of my favorite dishes. I looked for the recipe in this article. It says that you still stir the eggs into the hot batter. The eggs are then “boiled” in the hot batter. By the way, the waiter also did this in the restaurant: before serving, he mixed everything thoroughly again. Açorda de Marisco was one of the culinary highlights of the trip for me: D.

      Best regards,
      Monika

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