Grilled Limpets Madeira Recipe

Grilled Limpets Madeira |Recipe

Grilled Limpets Madeira |Recipe

Feb 24, 2020

Grilled limpets

Grilled limpets are undoubtedly an excellent reason to visit Madeira island and its surroundings. This delicacy is quite typical and traditional, being appreciated both by its residents, as well as by all visitors who have the opportunity to taste them. Grilled limpets are one of the best ways to enjoy the delicious taste and aroma of the sea and the best place to do it is on the island of Madeira, where you can find clear waters, rich in nutrients. Do not hesitate to try them at sunset in one of our wonderful beachfront bars.

Limpets are univalves shellfish adhering to the rocks on the coastline. They are most vulnerable during low tide, as it is when they are on the surface, this is the perfect time to catch them. They are considered exotic for many tourists who visit us, especially those coming from the North.

Unlike other places, the island of Madeira is the ideal place to create healthy and tasty limpets, due to the lack of pollution in the coastal area, it is quite common to pick limpets and eat them fresh on the same day.  

Grilled limpets are usually served as a starter with the accompaniment of bolo-do-caco with garlic butter. They are grilled in the pan in the shell itself and are seasoned with butter and garlic.

Grilled limpets Madeira

Grilled Limpets Recipe

The Grilled limpets are a delicacy of easy confection. However, it is necessary to have some attention in their preparation, as it can easily be spoiled. These are delicious, especially with the typical ingredients that accompany them, but if, eventually, something happens and they dry out, they can become unpalatable, with a rubber-like texture. In this way, it is important to have precise cooking, to be able to taste a wonderful delicacy with an intense aroma of sea air.


limpets q.b

2 tablespoons of vinegar

2 to 3 garlic cloves

4 lemons



piri-piri (optional)

coriander (optional)

salt q.b


Method of Cooking:

Wash the limpets well so that they release the sand, placing them in a bowl with water and salt for a few hours.

Juice 3 lemons and reserve the other to slice.

Prepare the sauce with lemon juice, butter, finely chopped garlic, vinegar, coriander and chilli (optional) and mix well.

Place the limpets in a frying pan, with the crumb up and the peel down leading to the fire. In this way the kernels will be easily released from the shell.

Finally, pour the sauce over the limpets and do not let them grill too much so that they do not dry out.

Serve immediately, preferably in the pan itself.

Other Ways of cooking limpets. 

In addition to grilling the limpets, we can also prepare them in several other ways.

For example:

  • in marinated limpets: we bring to the boil the parsley, garlic, olive oil, bay leaf, pepper and salt. Then, we add the limpets, until they are released from the shell and when they are ready, we put everything in very clean and closed containers;
  • in limpets salad: just put 1.5 liters of boiling unsalted water, then pour the boiling water on top of the limpets so that they come off quickly and separate them from the water so that they do not get tough . After the scalding the limpets, just season them, using a pinch of salt, ground black pepper, chopped onion and parsley, olive oil and vinegar and then just mix well and serve them in slices of homemade bread;
  • in a seafood stew:  you can add the limpets to all the ingredients that make up this stew, such as fish stock, tomatoes, peppers, among others, then just add and put them all in a pan to cook;
  •  in limpets rice:  first it is necessary to blanch the limpets, then strain the water and set aside. In a saucepan, place the onion, garlic, oil and lard and sauté until golden, then place the tomatoes, parsley and rice together with the water you have previously reserved and cook. Season with salt, pepper and cloves. Add the limpets after the rice is cooked, stir well and serve with green salad.


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