10 best spanish tapas from Asturias

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10 best spanish tapas from Asturias

Asturias, a region in northern Spain, is known for its rich culinary tradition. When it comes to tapas, this place has some delicious offerings. Here are 10 of the best Spanish tapas from this region of Spain:

1.- Sidra (Asturian Cider): While not a traditional «food» tapa, Asturian cider is a must-try. It’s often poured in a unique way called «escanciar,» where the server holds the bottle high and the glass low to aerate the cider.

Asturian sidra, or Asturian cider, is a traditional Spanish drink that has a distinct taste and a unique pouring technique. Here’s a simple recipe for making Asturian sidra at home:

Ingredients for our sidra recipe:

  • 10 pounds of Asturian cider apples (if available, otherwise use a mix of sweet and tart apple varieties)
  • 1 Campden tablet (optional, for sterilization)
  • Wine or cider yeast
  • Sugar (optional, for sweetening)

Equipment:

  • Large fermentation vessel
  • Airlock
  • Siphon
  • Bottles for bottling
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Apples:
    • Wash the apples thoroughly.
    • If using a Campden tablet, crush it and dissolve it in a small amount of water. Sprinkle it over the apples to help prevent unwanted bacteria and wild yeast. Let it sit for 24 hours.
  2. Press the Apples:
    • Crush the apples to extract the juice. You can use an apple press if available, or simply use a clean cloth or cheesecloth to squeeze out the juice.
  3. Fermentation:
    • Pour the apple juice into a clean, sterilized fermentation vessel, leaving some space at the top for fermentation.
    • Add wine or cider yeast to the juice. Follow the yeast package instructions for the appropriate amount.
    • Seal the vessel with an airlock.
  4. Ferment:
    • Allow the cider to ferment at room temperature for about 1-2 weeks or until the bubbling in the airlock slows down significantly.
  5. Rack the Cider:
    • Carefully siphon the cider into another clean vessel, leaving the sediment behind.
  6. Optional Sweetening:
    • Taste the cider. If it’s too dry for your liking, you can add sugar to sweeten it. Dissolve the sugar in a small amount of water before adding it to the cider. Stir well.
  7. Bottle the Cider:
    • Use a siphon to transfer the cider into clean, sterilized bottles. Leave some space at the top to allow for carbonation.
    • Cap the bottles tightly.
  8. Age the Cider:
    • Allow the bottled cider to age for at least a few weeks. The longer it ages, the smoother it will become.
  9. Serve:
    • When ready to serve, chill the cider. Asturian sidra is traditionally served slightly chilled, not ice-cold.
  10. Pouring the Sidra:
    • Asturian sidra is traditionally poured from a height to aerate the drink. Hold the bottle in one hand and the glass in the other. Pour the sidra from a distance of about one meter, allowing it to splash into the glass. This traditional pouring method is called «escanciar.»

Now you have your homemade Asturian sidra ready to enjoy! Keep in mind that the traditional pouring method can take some practice, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get it just right.

Sidra

2. – Fabada Asturiana: This hearty bean stew is a staple in this area of Spain. Made with Asturian white beans, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), and sometimes ham, it’s a comforting and flavorful dish.

Fabada Asturiana is a hearty and flavorful bean stew from this region of Spain. It typically includes Asturian white beans, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), and sometimes ham. Here’s a basic recipe for making Fabada Asturiana at home:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (about 450g) Asturian white beans (fabes)
  • 1/2 pound (about 225g) chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound (about 225g) morcilla (Spanish blood sausage)
  • 1/2 pound (about 225g) ham hock or shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water

Instructions for our fabada asturiana recipe:

  1. Soak the beans:
    • The night before, rinse the beans and soak them in cold water. Make sure the water covers the beans by at least a couple of inches.
  2. Cook the beans:
    • Drain the soaked beans and transfer them to a large pot. Cover them with fresh water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
    • Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are just tender. This may take 1 to 1.5 hours. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
  3. Prepare the meats:
    • While the beans are cooking, heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet. Sauté the chopped onion and garlic until softened.
    • Add the sliced chorizo, morcilla, and ham. Cook for a few minutes until the meats are lightly browned.
  4. Combine ingredients:
    • Once the beans are tender, add the sautéed meats, bay leaves, and paprika to the pot. If needed, add more water to ensure everything is covered.
    • Simmer for an additional 30-45 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. Stir occasionally and check for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.
  5. Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaves and serve the Fabada Asturiana hot. It’s traditionally served in shallow bowls.
  6. Optional:
    • Some recipes include a step where a ladleful of the broth is blended with a bit of the beans and then returned to the pot. This can give the dish a creamier consistency.
  7. Accompaniments:
    • Fabada Asturiana is often served with crusty bread and a glass of Asturian cider.

Enjoy this comforting and authentic Asturian dish! Keep in mind that variations exist, and you can adjust the recipe based on your preferences.

Fabada Asturiana - Asturian beans

3.- Gambas a la Plancha: Grilled prawns, seasoned with sea salt and olive oil, are a popular tapa in this region of Spain. The simplicity of the preparation allows the natural flavors of the seafood to shine.

«Gambas a la Plancha» refers to grilled prawns, a simple and delicious dish that allows the natural flavors of the seafood to shine. While this dish may not be exclusive to this area, you can certainly enjoy it there, and the local prawns will add a unique touch. Here’s a basic recipe for Gambas a la Plancha:

Ingredients for our grilled prawns recipe:

  • 1 pound large prawns, peeled and deveined
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon wedges
  • Optional: chopped garlic, chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Prawns:
    • Ensure the prawns are peeled and deveined. You can leave the tails on for presentation if you like.
    • Pat the prawns dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, which can interfere with the searing process.
  2. Preheat the Plancha or Griddle:
    • If you have a plancha (a flat grill surface) or a griddle, preheat it over medium-high heat. If you don’t have one, a regular grill pan or skillet will work.
  3. Season the Prawns:
    • Drizzle the prawns with olive oil, ensuring they are lightly coated.
    • Sprinkle sea salt over the prawns, ensuring an even distribution.
  4. Grill the Prawns:
    • Place the prawns on the preheated plancha or griddle in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they turn pink and opaque.
    • If you want to add a bit of garlic flavor, you can sprinkle some chopped garlic over the prawns during the last minute of cooking.
  5. Serve:
    • Transfer the grilled prawns to a serving platter.
    • Optionally, garnish with chopped parsley for freshness and color.
    • Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.
  6. Enjoy:
    • Squeeze lemon juice over the prawns before eating to enhance the flavors.

Note:

  • Quality of Prawns: Since the simplicity of this dish allows the flavor of the prawns to shine, it’s important to use high-quality, fresh prawns. If possible, source prawns locally for the best taste.
  • Accompaniments: Gambas a la Plancha are often served with a side of crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices. You can also pair them with a glass of chilled Asturian cider or your favorite white wine.

This recipe is a basic guideline, and you can adjust the seasoning and garnishes to suit your taste. Enjoy your Gambas a la Plancha with the delightful flavors of this region!

Gambas a la plancha - grilled prawns

 

4.- Pulpo a la Gallega: While Galicia is more famous for this dish, Asturias also has its own version of octopus. It’s typically boiled and seasoned with olive oil, paprika, and sea salt.

«Pulpo a la Gallega» is a classic Spanish dish, particularly associated with the region of Galicia. However, it’s enjoyed throughout Spain, including Asturias. Here’s a simple recipe for preparing Pulpo a la Gallega with an Asturian touch:

Ingredients for our pulpo a la gallega recipe:

  • 1 large octopus (about 2-3 pounds)
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sweet paprika, for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt, for serving
  • Optional: Boiled potatoes, sliced

Instructions for our spanish octopus recipe:

  1. Clean the Octopus:
    • Rinse the octopus under cold running water.
    • Remove the beak from the center of the tentacles.
    • If using a whole octopus, you can cut it into smaller pieces.
  2. Cook the Octopus:
    • In a large pot, fill water enough to cover the octopus. Add the onion, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and a generous pinch of salt.
    • Bring the water to a boil.
    • Submerge the octopus in the boiling water, tentacles first, for about 3 seconds, then lift it out.
    • Repeat this process three times (this helps to tenderize the octopus).
    • After the third time, let the octopus cook over medium heat for about 40-60 minutes or until tender. You can check for tenderness by inserting a knife or fork into the thickest part.
  3. Cool and Slice:
    • Once cooked, remove the octopus from the pot and let it cool for a few minutes.
    • Slice the octopus into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Serve:
    • Arrange the octopus slices on a serving platter.
    • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the octopus.
    • Sprinkle sweet paprika generously over the top.
    • Optional: Serve over a bed of boiled potatoes.
  5. Enjoy:
    • Serve Pulpo a la Gallega warm or at room temperature, with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top.

This Pulpo a la Gallega recipe showcases the simplicity and deliciousness of this dish. The tenderness of the octopus, combined with the smokiness of paprika and the richness of olive oil, creates a flavorful tapa that can transport you to the culinary delights of this region of Spain.

Pulpo a la gallega - spanish octopus

 

5.- Queso Cabrales con Manzana (Cabrales Cheese with Apple): Cabrales is a strong blue cheese from Asturias. Pairing it with slices of apple provides a perfect balance of flavors.

Spanish cheese.

Creating a delicious Cabrales cheese with apple tapa is a simple process that highlights the rich flavors of this region of Spain. Here’s a straightforward recipe for you to try:

Cabrales Cheese with Apple Tapas

Ingredients:

  • 200g Cabrales cheese (or another Asturian blue cheese)
  • 2 crisp apples (such as Granny Smith), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Walnuts or almonds for garnish (optional)
  • Crackers or baguette slices for serving

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Cheese:
    • Allow the Cabrales cheese to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. This enhances the flavors and makes it easier to spread.
  2. Slice the Apples:
    • Wash, core, and thinly slice the apples. You can leave the peel on for added texture and color.
  3. Assemble the Tapas:
    • Take a slice of apple and spread a small amount of Cabrales cheese on top. The amount of cheese can be adjusted based on your preference for intensity.
    • Repeat the process until you have a plate of apple slices topped with Cabrales.
  4. Drizzle with Honey:
    • Drizzle honey over the apple and cheese combinations. The sweetness of the honey complements the bold flavors of the cheese.
  5. Garnish (Optional):
    • If desired, sprinkle some crushed walnuts or almonds on top. This adds a crunchy element that pairs well with the creamy cheese and crisp apples.
  6. Serve:
    • Arrange the Cabrales cheese and apple tapas on a serving platter alongside crackers or baguette slices.
  7. Pair with Cider or Wine:
    • In true Asturian style, enjoy this tapa with a glass of Asturian cider or a Spanish white wine.
  8. Savor:
    • Encourage guests to savor the contrasting flavors of the tangy Cabrales, sweet apples, and honey. The combination of textures and tastes makes for a delightful tapa experience.

This Cabrales cheese with apple tapa is not only easy to prepare but also showcases the distinct flavors of Asturias. It’s a perfect addition to any tapas spread, and you can customize it based on your preferences.

Queso de Cabrales - Spanish cheese

 

6.- Empanada Asturiana: This savory pastry is filled with a variety of ingredients such as tuna, chorizo, or pork. It’s a delicious and portable option for a tapa.

Empanada Asturiana is a traditional Asturian dish that consists of a savory pie filled with a mixture of ingredients such as tuna, peppers, onions, and hard-boiled eggs. Here’s a basic recipe for making Empanada Asturiana:

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

  • 1 can (about 7 ounces) tuna, drained
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Assembly:

  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add the water and olive oil gradually, mixing well until a smooth dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes elastic. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

2. Prepare the Filling:

  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and diced red bell peppers. Cook until softened.
  3. Add the tuna and tomato sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cool.

3. Preheat the Oven:

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

4. Assemble the Empanada:

  1. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  2. Roll out one portion on a floured surface to fit the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Place the rolled-out dough in the baking dish.
  4. Add the cooled tuna mixture on top of the dough.
  5. Arrange the sliced hard-boiled eggs on the filling.
  6. Roll out the second portion of dough and cover the filling, sealing the edges by pressing them together.
  7. Beat an egg and brush it over the top of the empanada for a golden finish.

5. Bake:

Bake the empanada in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

6. Serve:

Allow the empanada to cool for a few minutes before slicing. Serve warm and enjoy your delicious Asturian tapa!

Feel free to customize the filling ingredients to suit your taste preferences. Additionally, you can experiment with different spices and herbs to enhance the flavor.

Empanada Asturiana - Asturias

7.- Chipirones Rellenos (Stuffed Squid): Small squid stuffed with a mixture of seafood, breadcrumbs, and herbs are a delightful tapa option.

Chipirones rellenos, or stuffed baby squid, is a delicious Spanish tapa that can be found in various regions, including the one mentioned in this article. Here’s a simple recipe for chipirones rellenos with an Asturian twist:

Ingredients for our stuffed squids:

  • 12 small baby squids (chipirones)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese (or any other Spanish cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Clean the Squid:
    • Rinse the baby squids under cold water and remove the tentacles. Clean the inside of the squid by pulling out the transparent backbone and any remaining innards. Be careful not to tear the squid tubes.
  2. Prepare the Filling:
    • In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, sauté until softened.
    • Add the chopped tentacles to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they are cooked through.
    • In a bowl, mix the sautéed tentacles with breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, and grated Manchego cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Stuff the Squid:
    • Using a small spoon or your hands, stuff each squid tube with the filling mixture. Be sure not to overfill to allow room for the filling to expand while cooking.
    • Secure the opening of each squid with a toothpick to keep the filling in place.
  4. Cook the Squid:
    • In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the stuffed squids and sear them for 1-2 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown.
  5. Deglaze with Wine:
    • Pour the white wine into the pan to deglaze it, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce for a few minutes.
  6. Simmer:
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the chipirones simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the squid is tender.
  7. Serve:
    • Remove the toothpicks before serving. Drizzle the squid with the reduced wine sauce from the pan. Garnish with additional chopped parsley if desired.

Enjoy your delicious Asturian-style chipirones rellenos as a tasty tapa or appetizer!

chipirones rellenos stuffed squids

8.- Piquillos Rellenos de Marisco (Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Seafood): Piquillo peppers are filled with a mixture of seafood, creating a tasty and visually appealing tapa.

While stuffed red peppers are not specifically associated with this region of Spain, they are a popular Spanish tapa and can be found throughout the country with regional variations. Asturian cuisine is known for its rich and hearty dishes, often featuring local ingredients. Here’s a simple recipe for stuffed red peppers that you can prepare in the style of a Spanish tapa:

Ingredients:

  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 200g ground pork or beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Paprika for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cut the tops off the red peppers and remove the seeds and membranes. Lightly brush the peppers with olive oil and place them in a baking dish.
  3. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until softened.
  4. Add the ground pork or beef to the skillet and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the diced tomato, peas, and cooked rice. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
  7. Spoon the filling into the prepared red peppers, pressing down gently to pack the filling.
  8. Place the stuffed peppers in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
  9. Optional: Sprinkle paprika over the stuffed peppers for an extra Spanish touch.
  10. Serve the stuffed red peppers hot as a delicious tapa or appetizer.

Feel free to experiment with the filling ingredients based on your preferences. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil or a sprinkle of grated cheese before serving. Enjoy your Asturian-inspired stuffed red peppers!

Pimientos rellenos - stuffed red peppers

9.- Tortilla Española: While found throughout Spain, the Asturian version of this classic Spanish omelet is a popular tapa. It typically includes eggs, potatoes, and onions.

Tortilla de patatas, also known as Spanish potato omelette or tortilla española, is a classic and iconic dish in Spanish cuisine. While it is popular throughout Spain, it has strong ties to the region of Asturias. Here’s a basic recipe for making tortilla de patatas:

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes: 3-4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Eggs: 6 large eggs
  • Onion: 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • Olive oil: 1 cup (for frying)
  • Salt: To taste
  • Pepper: To taste

Instructions:

  1. Preparation of Potatoes:
    • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
    • Add the sliced potatoes to the skillet, ensuring they are evenly coated with oil.
    • Cook the potatoes until they are tender but not browned, stirring occasionally.
    • If you’re using onions, add them to the skillet and cook until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Beat the Eggs:
    • In a large bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine Potatoes and Eggs:
    • Once the potatoes (and onions) are cooked, remove them from the skillet and let them cool slightly.
    • Add the potatoes to the beaten eggs, ensuring they are well-coated.
  4. Cook the Tortilla:
    • Heat a bit of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
    • Pour the egg and potato mixture into the skillet, spreading it evenly.
    • Cook the tortilla on one side until the edges start to set.
  5. Flip the Tortilla:
    • Place a large plate over the skillet and carefully flip the tortilla onto the plate.
    • Slide the uncooked side back into the skillet.
  6. Finish Cooking:
    • Continue cooking until the tortilla is set in the center and has a golden brown color on both sides.
  7. Serve:
    • Slide the tortilla onto a serving plate and let it cool slightly before slicing it into wedges.

Tortilla de patatas is often served at room temperature and is a popular tapa (appetizer) in Spain. It can be enjoyed on its own or in a sandwich, and it’s a versatile dish that can be customized with additional ingredients like bell peppers or chorizo.

 

Spanish tortilla potato omelette

10.- Chorizo a la Sidra: Asturian chorizo cooked in cider is a flavorful and slightly spicy tapa. The cider adds a unique twist to the traditional chorizo preparation.

«Chorizo a la sidra» is a traditional Spanish tapa originating from this region of Spain. Located in the northern part of Spain, is known for its rich culinary traditions, and chorizo a la sidra is a delicious example of this.

The dish typically consists of chorizo sausage cooked in sidra, which is a traditional Asturian cider. Here’s a simple recipe for making chorizo a la sidra:

Ingredients:

  • Chorizo sausage (preferably a semi-cured or cured variety)
  • Asturian sidra (cider)
  • Olive oil (optional)
  • Garlic cloves (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the chorizo: Cut the chorizo into bite-sized pieces. You can choose a spicy or mild variety, depending on your preference.
  2. Sauté the chorizo: If you like, you can start by sautéing the chorizo pieces in a bit of olive oil until they are lightly browned. This step is optional but can enhance the flavors.
  3. Add the sidra: Once the chorizo is sautéed (or if you skip the sautéing step), pour enough sidra into the pan to cover the chorizo. The cider should be of good quality, and using Asturian sidra is ideal for an authentic taste.
  4. Simmer: Allow the chorizo to simmer in the sidra over medium heat. The cider will infuse the sausage with its unique flavor. You can add crushed garlic cloves and red pepper flakes at this stage if you want to add some extra flavor and heat.
  5. Reduce the liquid: Let the sidra reduce until it forms a slightly thickened sauce. This will intensify the flavors and coat the chorizo pieces.
  6. Season: Taste the dish and season with salt and pepper if needed. Keep in mind that chorizo can be salty, so adjust accordingly.
  7. Serve: Chorizo a la sidra is typically served in small clay dishes or cazuelas. The rich and flavorful sauce makes a perfect accompaniment to crusty bread, allowing you to soak up all the delicious juices.

This dish is a favorite among tapas enthusiasts and is often enjoyed as part of a Spanish meal or as a standalone appetizer.

Chorizo a la sidra

When enjoying tapas in Asturias, keep in mind that the region has a strong culinary identity, and many of its dishes feature locally sourced ingredients. Additionally, pairing these tapas with a glass of Asturian cider or a local wine can enhance the overall dining experience.

 


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