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Recipe: Bulhão Pato

When a top fish chef reveals the one dish he or she likes to cook for their friends, you know it’s going to be a beauty. So when Luke Robinson, Executive Head Chef of Bonnie Gull, mentioned Bulhão Pato, this little clam dish he makes for his mates, we knew it’d make a feast fit for the raki table.

Bulhão Pato is a simple dish of clams that gets its name from the famous Portuguese poet, Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato after he mentioned the dish in his work.

This wonderfully simple recipe really brings out the full flavour in the shellfish. It’s usually served as a starter but up the quantities and it’ll make for a perfect sharing pot of clams in the middle of your table. Best served up with loads of crusty bread to soak up its flavoursome sauce.

 (Serves 2)


  • 500g fresh (live) clams
  • 1 cup roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 finely chopped cloves garlic
  • 3 whole dried chillies
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

A big loaf of crusty bread (to serve)


It’s important to let your clams soak for at least an hour in cool, salted water, so they loosen up and release any sand they might be holding. Give them all a good scrub under running water then drain.

Heat the oil in a large pot, add the chillies and garlic and stir for a minute, taking care so they don’t burn. Turn the heat up high, add your clams and cover straight away, leave for a couple of minutes -giving them a a couple of good shakes to make sure all the clams cook. Squeeze in the lemon juice and cover again. After 2 minutes have a little peek and see if they’ve all popped open.

Once done, add the coriander, toss and serve immediately. Place your pot in the middle of the table alongside the perfect serve of Yeni Raki and a big loaf of crusty bread to share.  “It’s just a nice and easy one to do” says Luke.

Share, savour, enjoy!

Recipe: Bulhão Pato pinit fg en rect red 28

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