Portuguese normally eat shellfish on their own with a sprinkling of lemon juice and with little or no garnishing. However, there are many mouth-watering dishes made from these superb delicacies.
Arroz de marisco (Seafood rice): One of tastiest dishes in Portugal. It's a rice stew containing whatever shellfish is available in the daily markets (including shrimp, mussels, cockles and spider-crab), onions, tomatoes, a small amount of chilli pepper and lots of coriander. Simply delicious!
Cataplana: This name is given to the cooking utensil used to make the dish as well as to the dish itself. The copper clam-shaped recipient known as a cataplana was introduced into Portugal during Moorish occupation and consists of two concave pans that are hinged together and fastened with a clasp. The ingredients, which can include prawns, shrimps, crabs, clams, lean bacon, parsley, coriander, onions, tomatoes and green pepper, are steamed in this airtight container, enhancing the flavour and producing a colourful and festive looking dish. Cataplanas are used for various seafood, fish and a mixture of seafood and meat dishes. In restaurants, cataplana dishes are usually only served for a minimum of two people.