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Portuguese Recipe: Arroz de Marisco Cataplana (Seafood Rice Cataplana)

Cooking 45 min Preparation 15 min 4 easy
Recipe type: Seafood Cuisine: Portuguese

The Algarve and the summer season seem to be synonymous with its white sandy beaches, sapphire blue and aquamarine ocean waters, and of course, the food which is full of the “fruit of the sea”. The abundance of fresh seafood, fish and sun ripened vegetables is what we dream of when we think of taking holiday in the summer lands of Portugal, so why bring Portugal to your kitchen.

Click to learn more about southern Portugal’s famed cookware, the cataplana, or simply come visit us for a custom food tour created just for you!

Note: If you do not have a Cataplana, simply use a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red sweet pepper, diced
  • 5 large peeled tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of piri piri flakes (or red pepper flakes)
  • 3 ¾ cups (890ml) vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup (180ml) white wine
  • 2 cups (475ml) Carolino rice (short grain white rice)
  • 12 large whole shrimp
  • ½ pound (225g) mussels, cleaned
  • ½ pound (225g) clams, cleaned
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh cilantro


  1. Heat olive oil in the cataplana over medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic and allow to cook, stirring frequently, about 5-10 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the diced pepper and tomatoes to the pan and allow it to cook another 5 or so minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the broth and white wine into the pan, stir well and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the liquid has come to a boil, add in the rice and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cover with the top of the cataplana, allowing it to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked but still has plenty of liquid. Taste the rice and add salt as necessary.
  3. Open the cataplana and place the shrimp, mussels and clams into the rice and cover again. Allow it to cook about 5-7 minutes or until the shells open and the shrimp has turned bright pink.
  4. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

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