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Seafood Tapas

"Fresh from the sea"

Spain is second only to Japan in fish consumption. There is an abundance of fish tapas and some of the finest fish are caught off the Atlantic coastline. Many exquisite shellfish dishes are to be found also along the warm Mediterranean waters.

So, seafood tapas are usually one of the best treats at Spanish Tapas Bars. Pulpo, gambas, mejillones, bacalao, are just some of the local denominations of the most popular spanish seafood for tapas... Just keep reading, and dare to discover them!

Our Seafood tapas selection

  • Shrimp Fritters - Tortillitas de Camarones: I have eaten these crisp, delicious shrimp fritters only in Andalusia, where deep-frying reigns supreme. They are at their best when made with chickpea flour, but regular flour is just OK.
  • Spiced Clams: Spanish clams, specially in the North, are much larger than clams found elsewhere, and have more succulent bodies. This modern recipe uses Arab spicing to make a hot dip or sauce. Serve with plenty of fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices!
  • Boquerones en Escabeche:  Moorish Pickled Anchovies This is an old, old way of preserving small fish which has survived into modern times because it is so delicious. The coast round Nerja is known for its shoals of fresh anchovies. In Malaga the fish are pressed together into a little fan, four tails together, for frying, but this is not essential to the recipe.
  • Salt Cod Fritters with Allioli: Bacalao - salt cod - is one of the great Spanish delights, adding flavor to bland ingredients such as potatoes. If you are unfamiliar with it, then this is a delightful way to try it out. Bitesize fish cakes, dipped into rich, creamy, garlicky allioli, are irresistible as a tapas dish or appetizer.
  • Mussels Vinaigrette: Steamed mussels are dressed with a flavorful vinaigrette in this colorful tapa. It is an ideal treat for a party or any event with lots of people attending.
  • Pulpo a Feira (Galician Octopus): Though it originated in Galicia or the neighboring region of Leon, pulpo a feira, as it is known in Galician, or pulpo a la gallega, as it is called in Spanish, is now popular throughout Spain. It is usually served on wooden plates with cachelos, potatoes that have been boiled or roasted in embers with their skins on.
  • Prawn and Bacon Brochettes: The Spanish love bacon, which we cure and air-dry in the same way as our famous jamon. This combination of prawns and bacon is inspired and very popular, and can be found at most Tapas bar, as well as in many banquets and receptions. It is an ideal treat for your guests when having a party at home!
  • Stuffed Mussels (Tigres): In Bilbao, these stuffed mussels are called Tigres because of their fieriness.  I fondly remember the crowded little bars in the old part of Bilbao, where orders of tigres would emerge by the dozens from the tiny kitchens.
  • Gambas a la plancha (Pan-grilled shrimp): Spaniards love to eat grilled shrimp at the counter of a good tapas bar while sipping a glass of chilled fino sherry or cold beer. The bars are often crowded, leaving little or no space for proper eating, and I find it fascinating to watch the locals skillfully manage to eat shrimp with one hand while holding a drink in the other.
  •  Artichokes with clams: Artichokes are a popular vegetable in Spain, especially fresh from the market. They are often served sautéed with ham or stuffed with white sauce and ham or meat, etc. Sometimes served cold, they combine well with anchovies and piquillo peppers, or with salmon and capers, or tuna fish with a good olive oil.
  • Ceviche: You can use almost any firm-fleshed fish for this Spanish influenced dish, provided that it is perfectly fresh. The fish is 'cooked' by the action of the acidic lime juice. Adjust the amount of chilli according to your taste.

What to drink with them?

Of course, beer is a popular drink when eating tapas. But if you want to enjoy the real Spanish experience, I would recommend you a white chilled Spanish wine. Here are some interesting choices...

Morgadio Albariño 2005

Region: Rias Baixas - Rating: 90 - 'Vibrant'

COMPOSITION: 100% Albariño grapes.

TASTING NOTES: "Greenish-straw color. Vibrant, mineral bouquet of wet stone, acacia flower, honeysuckle, lime and lemon zest, grapefruit and green apple. Racy, exuberant citrus and fresh fig flavors show good lift and a stony, mouthwatering quality. This has impressive length and energy, with a finish that won't let up. Another superb wine from this consistently topnotch producer. (Classical Wines From Spain, Seattle, WA) 90 points" -Steven Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Txomin Etxaniz - Txacoli (Chacolí) 2004

REGION: Txacoli de Guetaria - 'The benchmark of fresh white chacolí..'

COMPOSITION: 75% Hondarribi Zuri, 25% Hondarribi Beltza ( red-skinned variety)

TASTING NOTES: *The Basque Country's fresh, white wine, called txakoli on home ground and chacolí elsewhere in Spain , is produced in the Region's three provinces. The DO, which encompasses the growing area in the province of Guipuzcoa (Gipuzkoa), is called Getariako Txakolina in Basque.

Bodegas Muga - Blanco - 2005

 Region: Rioja - Rating: 89 - 'impressive, dry, elegantly-styled'

COMPOSITION: 90% Viura, 10% Malvasia

TASTING NOTES: "The beautiful 2005 Muga Blanco is a modern-styled white composed of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia, all aged four months in French oak. This impressive, dry, elegantly-styled Rioja offers scents of honeysuckle, citrus oil, white currants, and flowers. 89 points." --Robert M. Parker, Jr. 'The Wine Advocate'

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