The Best Seafood Dishes in Cantabria and Asturias

Try Caldereta Asturiana
Try Caldereta Asturiana | © Slastic / WikiCommons
Photo of Esme Fox
20 July 2018

The northern Spanish regions of Cantabria and Asturias sit on the north coast of the country, bordering the Bay of Biscay, leading right out to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s not surprising then that both regions offer great quality seafood. Here are some of the best seafood dishes you can try in Cantabria and Asturias.


One of the most popular tapas dishes in Cantabria are rabas or battered squid. They are usually covered in a light flour coating before being deep fried in oil.

Rabas are fried calamari | © anokarina / Flickr

Cantabrian anchovies

Cantabria in particular is known for its delicious anchovies. They are known to be some of the best in the country because of their colour, smell and intense flavour. The best can be found in the town of Santoña. They are usually fried, but can be salted or canned too.

Anchovies from Cantabria | © Joselu Blanco / Flickr


Sorropotún is a fish stew from Cantabria, which was originally made for the fishermen to eat on their tuna fishing boats out in the Cantabrian Sea. It’s a stew made from bonito fish, chunks of potatoes, onions, peppers and parsley.

Sorropotún from Cantabria | © Núria Pueyo / WikiCommons

Maganos encebollados

This dish from Cantabria translates as ‘squid cooked with onions’. As well as onions though, it also contains green peppers, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and paprika, and is cooked in white wine.

Try maganos encebollados in Cantabria | © moerschy / Pixabay

Mejillones picantes

Spicy mussels are typical dish from Asturias. The mussels are traditionally steamed and smothered in a spicy red sauce made from garlic, spicy paprika, flour and olive oil.

Mussels in spicy sauce | © Tamorlan / WikiCommons


Mariscada is a shellfish platter – just a huge plate filled with all types of seafood. You can find it in many regions of Spain, but of course the mariscadas from Cantabria and Asturias are particularly good. Those in Asturias contain ingredients such as lobster, crabs, prawns and spider crabs.

Try the Mariscada seafood platter in Asturias | © NadineDoerle / Pixabay

Caldereta Asturiana

Many of the northern Spanish regions have their own version of a fish stew. The Asturian version contains a variety of seafood, typically rock fish, lobster and crab. These are cooked with garlic, fresh tomato, white wine and flavoured with parsley.

Try Caldereta Asturiana | © Slastic / WikiCommons

Merluza al sidra

Asturias is particularly well known for its cider, and you’ll find many cider houses throughout the region. So, what could be better than mixing seafood with cider? There are a number of seafood cider dishes, but one of the most popular is hake fish cooked in cider.

Try Merluza al sidra in Asturias | © Haydn Blackey / Flickr

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