Information about Cataplanas and Cataplana Recipes
Dish - Portugal
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Much like the word Tagine,
Cataplana is the name for both the recipe and utensil in which you cook it.
Cataplanas are a feature of many Algarve kitchens and are often used as a
centrepiece dish at social gatherings.
Cataplana - The cooking vessel
is a broad domed dish, much like two woks placed together which is traditionally
made of copper.. It is of Moorish design and was introduced to Southern
Portugal during their occupation from the 8th Century AD. The food
is placed in the bottom half of the dish then the hinged lid is closed enabling
the ingredients to simmer together and the flavours develop. It can be used in
the oven but is most often is used on the stove-top.
Buy cataplanas here at
Cataplana - The recipe
Southern Portugal being three quarters surrounded by sea, it is not surprising
that fish and seafood featured heavily in their diets. Originally Cataplana was
an entirely seafood dish, utilising items such as clams and mussels. It was the
ideal way to steam shellfish to perfection. Today some people use meat or
fowl as additions to seafood, however it should not be confused with a
stew as the tradition of a relatively quick cooking time is upheld by way of
cutting the meat or fowl into small pieces and some sort of seafood is usually
included. Whatever the main ingredients, it is seasoned with herbs or spices and
often cooked with tomatoes, onions and wine.
Below are three Cataplana recipes but experiment and use whatever you have to
hand. The same effect can be achieved in an ordinary saucepan with a close
Seafood Cataplana HT MC
Chicken and Clam Cataplana HT MC
Pork and Mussel Cataplana HT MC
Portuguese 30mins plus marinating