Eat Like a Local in Portugal with Billingsgate Seafood Training School

Eat Like a Local in Portugal with Billingsgate Seafood Training School

Portugal and fine cuisine go hand in hand. When you’re visiting sun-kissed regions like the Algarve, you’re immediately struck by the range of dishes on offer – think Atlantic seafood and marinated meats, with a whole dose of Mediterranean influences thrown in for good measure.

As part of our ongoing Eat Like a Local project, we’re on a mission to uncover the ins and outs of Portuguese food. We called on some of the UK’s best cookery schools to help us out and they were all kind enough to provide us with a Portuguese recipe of their choice. First up, we’ve got Billingsgate Seafood Training School.

Billingsgate Seafood Training School

Billingsgate Seafood Training School is located on the first floor of the Billingsgate Fish Market, the UK’s largest inland fish market. With such a huge variety of fish sold at the market, the school are able to take advantage of seafood from all over the world. As well as teaching budding chefs essential techniques, the school educates children on the enjoyment and benefits of eating fish as part of a balanced diet.

Naturally, the school sent us this delicious recipe for caldereta de pescado (fish stew) with saffron and picada (almond paste) to show you how to really Eat Like a Local in Portugal.


1kg white fish fillets (e.g. monkfish, hake or red mullet), pin-boned and skinned
4 small squid, gutted and cleaned
500g prepared mussels, thoroughly washed
500g prepared clams, thoroughly washed
250g large raw prawns, peeled and deveined
150ml dry white wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 large red peppers, deseeded and quartered
1 large pinch cayenne pepper
1 large pinch saffron
1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
300ml fish stock
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste


For the stew

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Cut the fish fillets into large pieces and the squid into large squares. Chill until needed.
  2. Check the mussels and clams are either shut, or that they close when tapped sharply. Put the wine in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then add the mussels and clams and cook over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes (or until they open). Discard any mussels and clams that remain shut.
  3. Strain the liquid and reserve. Remove the shellfish from their shells.
  4. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish, add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic, cayenne pepper, saffron and flour for around 1-2 minutes, then add the mussels liquid, fish stock and parsley.
  5. Add the raw seafood and peppers and season to taste. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, then serve sprinkled with lemon.

For the picada

15g pine nuts
15g blanches almonds
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
25g white bread (without crusts)
4 garlic cloves
1 handful of flat leaf parsley

  1. Heat a frying pan and dry roast the pine nuts for one minute and the almonds for two. Leave to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the bread in two tablespoons of olive oil for one minute on each side until it turns crisp and golden brown. Leave to cool.
  3. Break the fried bread into the bowl of a food processor, add the nuts and grind together finely. At this stage, the mixture should be coarse, similar to sand.
  4. Add the garlic and parsley with the remaining two tablespoons of oil. Grind together until it forms a thick paste.

Stay up to date with Billingsgate Seafood Training School on their website, or get more holiday inspiration and look at Villa Plus properties in Portugal.

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