Refogado–The Portuguese key to succes

Refogado–The Portuguese key to succes

16/08/2012 0 By Casa Spa dAlma

Simplicity is often the key to great succes. This sounds like  phrase from the I Ching but in the Portuguese kitchen it is an absolute truth. The Portugese are natural born poets and they extend it from words, through music to food. They have this tendency to aim directly for the Soul or Alma. In the kitchen this means finding the most fresh ingredients that need no disguise of complicated herbal mixtures or condiments. You must be able to distinguish every ingredient, you should be able to taste whether the bellpepper was roasted on a gas fire or charcoal grill. For he gourmands; distinguish whether the salt that is used, is a simple sea salt or Flor de Sal.

The most typical smell in a Portuguese house is the one of simmering onions and garlic.
If you ask the ‘dona de casa’ what she is cooking, for certain she will answer: Refogado!

The refogado is the foundation of many traditional recipes.


  • · Olive oil
  • · 1 big onion
  • · 2 tomatoes
  • · 5 cloves of garlic
  • · Sea salt

First you cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil, like half a centimeter high. When it is hot you add the sliced and diced onions. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
When they start to become slightly brown on the edges, add the garlic, simmer another 10 minutes and finally the tomatoes also diced.

Let it simmer for more 10 minutes before you add the other ingredients for the beautiful dish that you are about to cook.
Later I will give you some recipes that use the refogado as a base.

If you use the refogado to cook rice, you can add a little bit of vinegar and some bay leaves which will intensify the taste.

If you want it spicy; add a piri-piri, together with the garlic