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"Bordalesa" style Lamprey - An excellence traditional dish from the gastronomy of the Minho Region


Known for its centenary old fishing tradition, the Minho region is proud of its years of artisanal fishing. These ancestral constructions are purported to be of Roman origin and by others as originating from the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries. They emerge along the river in the direction of the current and block the way to lamprey, shad, trout and other migratory species that in time are launched upstream.

These days, and in the coming weeks, it is the lamprey that falls most in fishermen's nets. In these fish, the mouth is transformed into a circular suction cup, with the same diameter of the body, reinforced by a ring of cartilage and armed with a scraper tongue, and are also cartilaginous. Several species of lamprey are consumed as food.

The northern part of Portugal presents us with different ways to taste lamprey - smoked, on rice or Lamprey Bordalaise style (you have used a different spelling to the title and in the final sentence) (our favourite). There is no doubt that the perfect wine match for the lamprey dish, is the red Vinho Verde. For the expert winemakers at Quinta da Raza, our Dom Diogo Vinhão red Vinho Verde is the perfect match for this traditional and rare delicacy. If you don't believe on us, we invite you to visit the Minho and taste the lamprey with the Dom Diogo Vinhão red wine.

There are those who love and hate lamprey, but if you are part of the first group, join some friends at the table and try our lamprey "bordalesa” style recipe.

Lamprey preparation:

  • Place the live lamprey in a basin and scald quickly with boiling water.
  • Remove it and scrape with a knife and then with a burlap cloth or a thick mop in order to remove all the viscous substance.
  • Remove the teeth and wash with plenty of cold water.
  • Wipe it off with a cloth and hang it by the tail, placing a bowl of vinegar and wine underneath to trim the dripping blood.
  • Make a vertical cut at the front of the mouth and along the last three lower holes and remove the spine.
  • Make another blow around the anal hole and pull the casing carefully so that it comes out whole and without bursting.
  • Also remove the liver and the gall very carefully.
  • Cut the slices without, however, separating them.
  • Temper with the wine  Dom Diogo Vinhão with vinegar and with the blood that dripped with salt, pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, parsley and bay leaves. Place the lamprey in this syrup and let it marinate for a few hours (at least 2 hours).
  • Make a stew with onions cut into thin slices, 2 cloves of minced garlic and olive oil.
  • Add the cloves and pepper and add a little syrup from the previous preparation.
  • Introduce the pieces of lamprey and let it stew, gradually adding the remaining syrup.
  • Be careful not to let the lamprey come apart.
  • After cooking, remove the lamprey slices and let the sauce refine.
  • Add the lamprey again and serve on a plate or platter on slices of toasted bread.
  • Sprinkle the slices of bread well with the sauce and decorate with parsley.
  • Accompany with white rice and our vinho verde Dom Diogo Vinhão.

Enjoy your meal!