Make sure your kitchen is stocked with these essential ingredients.
15 May 2013 - 7:33 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM


Bacalhau is cod fish which has been dried and salted to preserve it. It is said that there is a different dish using bacalhau for every day of the year in Portuguese cooking.

Bay leaves

Bay leaves are one of the few herbs that don't lose their flavour when dried, rather the flavour becomes more intense. They can be bought as whole dried leaves or ground and are also popular as a fresh herb.


Mild goats cheeses are the most popular in Portuguese cooking.


Chourico is made from pork and flavoured with garlic and paprika, which gives it a rich red colour. It is smoked and can be bought fresh or dried. A traditional way of heating and serving it is in an asador. This is a terracotta dish where the chourico sits on a rack and a type of Portuguese grappa is poured beneath and lit giving a wonderful smoky flavour to the sausage.


Paprika is known as colorau in Portuguese and is without doubt the most widely used spice in Portuguese cooking. Sweet smoked paprika rather than the hot version is used.

Piri piri sauce

Piri piri sauce was introduced from African Portuguese colonies. This sauce has now become a widely used sauce in Australia, particularly with Portuguese charcoal chicken. 

Quince paste

Quince paste is a staple in every home and is often served with a mild cheese. Children eat it on sandwiches and it’s regarded by some as the Portuguese equivalent to Vegemite.