Grilled Lapas (Limpets)


Grilled Lapas (Limpets)

Limpets live attached to rocks along the shoreline. Many say limpets taste like a cross of mussel,

scallops, and clams. Seen in Season two episode 7, we grill our lapas traditionally with butter and

seasoning. Either black or white limpets can work for this recipe!


15-20 limpets

1 cup butter

Olive oil

5-6 cloves minced garlic

2-3 tbsp hot chopped peppers or piri piri

1 bunch chopped parsley

Lemon to taste


Place your limpets in a skillet with the shells facing downwards. Leave aside.

In a separate saucepan, cover the bottom entirely with olive oil. Add in your butter, garlic,

parsley and hot peppers and let simmer over low heat. When done, pour your sauce over each

limpet and place the skillet with the limpets on the stovetop until the meat plumps and the sauce

begins to sizzle. Be careful to not overcook the limpets. Squeeze some lemon juice and enjoy!


Limpets are marine mollusks that, similar to clams, have a unique taste and texture that can be quite enjoyable when prepared properly. Here are some tips for preparing and cooking limpets:

  1. Cleaning: Rinse the limpets thoroughly under cold running water, scrubbing their shells to remove any debris or algae. Some prefer to soak them in salted water for a couple of hours to help them purge any sand or grit.

  2. Removing from Shell: Limpets adhere strongly to their shells. To remove them, you can either boil them for a short time until they loosen or use a blunt knife to carefully detach them.

  3. Tenderizing: Limpets can be quite tough if cooked directly. To tenderize them, you can pound them gently with a kitchen mallet. Another method is to freeze them for a few hours or overnight, then defrost before cooking, which helps to break down the muscle fibers and tenderize the meat.

  4. Minimal Cooking Time: Like other shellfish, limpets should be cooked for a short time to prevent them from becoming too tough. They can be quickly grilled, sautéed, or steamed.

  5. Flavor Pairings: Limpets have a unique, slightly briny flavor that pairs well with various ingredients. In Portuguese cuisine, they’re often cooked with garlic, olive oil, and a little white wine or lemon juice. Herbs like parsley or cilantro can also be added.

  6. Serving: Serve limpets immediately after cooking. They’re often served in their shells, sometimes with a little of the cooking liquid. Fresh bread, a salad, or potatoes can complement the dish nicely.

  7. Freshness: Always ensure that your limpets are fresh. They should have a clean, fresh sea smell. Avoid any that have an off or ammonia-like odor.

  8. Sustainability: As with all seafood, ensure that your limpets are sustainably sourced. Overharvesting can have serious impacts on limpet populations and the ecosystems they inhabit.

Remember, the key to a great seafood dish is freshness and simple preparations that let the natural flavors shine. Enjoy your culinary adventure with limpets!


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