Comprehensive Portuguese Food Dictionary: A-Z Guide to Cuisine

By: Genevieve Mc Carthy / Last updated: December 26, 2023

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Experience the rich culinary traditions of Portugal while dining out, where you’ll find a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary influences. Even in trendy and stylish restaurants, the essence of Portuguese cuisine remains intact, with an added touch of innovation and artistry. We have curated a helpful Portuguese-to-English glossary and menu decoder to enhance your dining experience and easily navigate Portuguese menus. Feel free to print it out and take it along on your next tour of Portugal. We value your feedback, so please let us know if there’s anything you think we should include. Enjoy your meal—bom appetite!

COOKING METHODS & CONDIMENTS

açúcar – sugar
assado – roasted
bem passado/mal passado – well done/rare.
brasa – on the charcoal
caseiro – home-made
churrasco – barbecued
cozido – boiled
dose – serving, portion.
empada – hot pie.
entradas – starters, entrees
espetada – on the spit
estufada – stewed
grelhado – grilled.
fresca – chilled.
frito – fried.
fumado – smoked.
grelhado – grilled
molho – sauce
no forno – in the oven
pão – bread.
pão integral – wholemeal bread.
piri piri – hot chilli sauce.
prato do dia – dish of the day.
sal – salt.
salteado – sautéed.
sande – sandwich.
vinagre – vinegar.

DRINKS

adegas – wineries or wine cellars.
água – water
água com gás – sparkling water
aguardente – clear brandy
amendoa amarga – liqueur made from bitter almonds
aperitivo – aperitif
batido – milk-shake
cacau – cocoa.
carioca – weak black coffee.
cerveja – beer
chá – tea.
com gelo – with ice
gás – fizzy.
ginjinha – is a liqueur made by infusing ginja berries (sour cherry).
leite – milk
sumo – juice
vinho da casa – house wine.
vinho tinto – red wine
vinho branco – white wine
vinho verde – semi-sparkling, young wine.
xarope – cordial

FISH & SEAFOOD

amêijoas – clams
amêijoas – clams with butter and parsley.
anchovas – anchovies
arroz de polvo – octopus with rice.
atum – tuna
atum grelhado – grilled tuna fish.
bacalhau – codfish
bacalhau à brás – fried dried cod with fried potatoes and scrambled eggs
berbigões – cockles
besugo – sunfish
caldeirada de peixe – fish stew.
camarões – shrimps
cataplana – fish/shellfish cooked with ham, onion & pepper.
caranguejo – crab
cavala – mackerel
cherne – stone bass
choco – cuttlefish.
congro – conger eel
creme de marisco – seafood soup
dourada – bream
enguias – eels
ensopado de enguias – eels with fried bread
gambas – king prawns
lagosta – lobster
lampreia – lamprey.
lapas – limpets.
linguado – sole
lulas – squid
marisco – seafood
mexilhões – mussels
ostras – oysters
pargo – sea bream
peixe – fish
pescada – hake
polvo – octopus
raia – skate
rissois de camarao – shrimp pies.
robalo – sea bass.
rodovalho – halibut.
sardinhas – sardines
salmão – salmon
salmonete – red mullet
sapateira – crab
sarda – mackerel.
sardinhas – sardines.
sopa de marisco – shellfish soup.
sopa de peixe – fish soup.
truta – trout
vieiras – scallops

FRUIT & VEGETABLES

Abacate – avocado.
Abóbora – pumpkin.
Açucar – sugar.
Alcachofra – artichoke.
Alface – lettuce.
Alho – garlic.
Alho francês – leek.
alperces – apricots
Ameixas – plums.
Ananás – pineapples.
Azeite – olive oil
Azeitonas – olives.
batatas – potatoes.
batatas fritas – fried potatoes.
berlingela – aubergine.
caldo verde – cabbage and potato soup
cebola – onion
cenoura – carrot.
cerejas – cherries.
cogumelos – mushrooms
couve – cabbage
ervilhas – peas
espargos – asparagus
favas – broad beans.
feijoa – beans.
figos – figs.
framboesas – raspberries.
gaspacho – cold soup.
grao – chickpeas
laranja – orange.
limão – lemon.
maçã – apple.
manga – mango.
melão – melon.
meloa – cantaloupe.
morangos – strawberries.
nabo – turnip
pepino – cucumber.
pera – pear.
pimenta – pepper.
salada – salad.
saval – shad.
sopa de feijao verde – green bean soup.
sopa de grao – chickpea soup.
sopa de legumes – vegetable soup.
uvas – grapes.

MEAT

alheira – a type of Portuguese sausage made with meats other than pork (often chicken, duck, or rabbit).
almondegas – meatballs
arroz à moda de valência – paella.
arroz de pato – duck with rice.
bife – steak
borrego – lamb
cabrito – goat
cabrito assado – roast goat/kidcanja – chicken broth
caracóis – snail
carne – meat
carne assada – roast beef
chanfana – goat stew braised in red wine
chouriço – spicy sausage
churrasco – pork on a spit.
coelho à caçadora – rabbit stew
coelho – rabbit
costeletas – chops
cozido à portuguesa – boiled meat and vegetables
dobrada – tripe
entrecosto – rib
espetada – kebab
febras – pork steaks
feijoada – dried beans with rice and meat.
fiambre – boiled ham.
figado – liver.
fiambre – ham
francesinha – grilled steak, ham, &cheese in a beer and tomato sauce, with a fried egg on top.
frango – chicken
frango de carril – roast chicken in hot sauce.
frango na pucara – chicken cassarole.
iscas – liver
leitão – baby pork
lingua – tongue
lombo – pork loin
moela – gizzard.
morcela – black pudding/blood sausage.
paio – smoked pork sausage.
pasteis de carne – pastries stuffed with meat.
pato – duck.
peru – turkey
porco – pork
pomba – pigeon
prego no pão – steak sandwich with a fried egg
presunto – smoked ham
rim – kidney.
salsichas – sausages
vaca – beef
vitela – veal

DESSERTS

arroz doce – sweet rice/rice pudding.
biscoito – biscuit
bolo – cake.
doces – desserts.
gelado – ice cream.
leite creme – custard
manteiga – butter.
papos de anjo – butter cakes with syrup.
pasteis – cakes.
pasteis de nata – custard tart.
pudim flan – cream caramel.
queijo – cheese.

Author

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Genevieve Mc Carthy

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One thought on “Comprehensive Portuguese Food Dictionary: A-Z Guide to Cuisine

Davidsays:

November 24, 2021 at 2:43 pm

This was great. I only wish that you would have included cooking and baking items such as baking soda/powder, spices etc. Thanks, David

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