Portuguese Sides/ Snacks/ Soups, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes


‘Pica Pau’ (woodpecker in English) is a traditional snack in Portugal, with its origin in the central part of the country. Why the funny name for this dish? I don’t know, couldn’t find an explanation! The traditional is made with meat (usually beef) but fortunately we live in an era where we have soya chunks, amazing little things that basically absorb all the spices added to it. Goes really well with bread and why not as a wrap filling, maybe?

Time: 1h 45 min

Type: snack

Difficulty: 1 pan

Makes: 2 to 3 portions

What you need:

100g dry soya chunks, soaked for 1h and drained

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 bay leaf, shredded

1/4 tsp white pepper

1/2 lemon, juiced

splash of salt

2 to 3 tbsp white wine

1 tbsp vegetable spread

1 tbsp yellow mustard

olives and pickled cucumber, onion and pepper to decorate





frying pan


After soaking and draining soya chunks, add all the spices (garlic, paprika, pepper, bay leaf, salt and whine) and mix all well;

Let it set for about 30 minutes;

In a frying pan, heat and melt 1 tbsp of vegetable spread over low-medium heat;

Add soya chunks and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, mixing occasionally;

Add 1 tbsp of mustard, mix and cook for a further 3 minutes- remove from heat;

Add olives and pickles on top and serve while hot with some bread on the side.


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