Madeiran Cuisine - Fish Dishes

Madeira because it's a island surronded by fresh and clear Atlantic Ocean waters we have various and excellent fish dishes that you could try:

  • Beltfish fillet, the swordfish and tuna are the most common fish in the waters around Madeira. The various ways of preparing them are one of the specialties of local cuisine. In the case of swordfish, either cut into steaks or fillets, many are the ways to cook it. A way that best values its taste is filleted and fried, to which, in a more modern version, sometimes banana is added. It is also very popular with wine and garlic. With the steakes, can also be prepared a delicious stew of swordfish, known as "caldeira" or "caldeirinha" (boiler), cooking just one quality fish. Flaps, livers and roes, after fried and seasoned with lemon and chilli, make a great snack that gets the name of "ventrechas de espada".
  • Tuna Steak, abundant in the seas of the island, tuna is usually eaten in the form of a baked or boiled steak, a most popular fish dish in Madeira. There are several species, the most common bigeye tuna, which is eaten all over the year, the huge thinus tuna, consumed in spring, and the albacore, fished in winter and a favourite for its fattier and less blooded meat;
  • 'Espada', a black scabbard fish and is the most popular fish dish in Madeira as it is caught in the deep waters around the island. It can be grilled, fried or stewed in wine;
  • 'Espada com banana frita', a black scabbard fish with fried banana. It can be grilled, fried or stewed in wine served with a banana;
  • Grilled Trout, the trout that are used for this dish are created with utmost care which is a big gastronomic attraction in Faial parish;
  • 'Bacalhau com Natas', codfish with sliced potatoes and cream. Is an oven-baked dish consisting of layers of 'bacalhau', onion, diced fried potato and cream. Use of dairy such as cream or cheese is not common in traditional Portuguese main courses, however the popularity of this dish, in households and restaurants, make it a classic;
  • 'Bacalhau à Braz', is made from shreds of salted codfish 'bacalhau', onions and thinly chopped (matchstick sized) fried potatoes in a bound of scrambled eggs. It is usually garnished with black olives and sprinkled with fresh parsley. 
  • 'Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá', is a casserole of bacalhau, potatoes, eggs, olives, olive oil and onion.
  • Limpet rice, limpets with garlic, onion and rice.

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Carlos Verdinho
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