Spanish style meat tapas and brasa
Here at Moda Restaurant, we love tantalising meat tapas dishes. We especially have a soft spot for tapas cooked ‘brasa-style’ in a traditional charcoal oven over embers. In this article, we’ll discuss our favourite tapas dishes and how brasa style cooking can make for a uniquely Spanish dining experience.
What is brasa?
Brasa (literally ‘ember’ in Spanish’) describes an authentic Spanish cooking style where meat is charcoal-grilled over embers. It results in tender, flavoursome meat that melts in the mouth.
Spanish seafood tapas
#1 Gambas al ajillo tapas
Gambas al ajillo is one of the most popular seafood tapas dishes in Spain. This authentic Spanish dish consists of tender prawns, sauteed in garlic and olive oil with a touch of cayenne pepper, Spanish paprika or brandy for taste.
We suggest pairing it with a full-bodied and aromatic white wine such as Pagos de Galir ‘Via Nova’ from Godello, Valencia. Don’t forget to add nice crusty homemade ciabatta for sopping up the delicious sauce.
#2 Piquillo peppers, tuna salad and Persian Feta salsa
The humble piquillo pepper is a kind of chilli traditionally grown in northern Spain. Its name comes from the Spanish word for ‘little beak’. In Moda Restaurant’s classic twist on this favourite tapa, we stuff our ember-roasted piquillo peppers with fresh tuna salad and Persian feta salsa, for the perfect balance of smoky sweet and salty with a heavenly creaminess and rich depth of flavour.
If you try this dish at Moda Restaurant: Match this tapa with a young and fruity Garnacha white wine, such as a Sant Josep ‘Llágrimes De Tardor’ from Navarra. For an earthier wine that complements the peppers, try the ‘Neo Reserva’ red wine from Rioja.
#3 Lobster tail, crayfish and nectarine vinaigrette
Lobsters are a true delicacy in Spain. Our own twist on a classic seafood tapa features lobster tail and crayfish with a sweet nectarine vinaigrette.
If you would like to try this dish at Moda Restaurant: We recommend pairing this lobster tapa with a South Australian Chardonnay with delicious vanilla notes.
#4 Salt and pepper calamari
Calamari is a popular dish served in many Spanish tapas bars, especially along the coast where fresh food is plentiful. And it’s no surprise — crispy squid is one of those classic snacks that translates well into any language. We are lucky in Australia to have a bounty of delicious fresh seafood. In our version, the soft, buttery squid is encased in deliciously light batter and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper.
If you would like to try this dish at Moda Restaurant: Try pairing this classic tapa dish with an Australian chardonnay from Adelaide Hills or Margaret River.
Spanish chicken tapas and brasa
#5 Chicken croquettes with Romesco sauce
Chicken croquettes (‘croquetas de Pollo’) are a delicious tapa that we personally can’t get enough of. When paired with Romesco sauce — a nutty sauce made with capscium, almonds, pine nuts or hazelnuts, fresh tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil from Catalonia — these chicken croquettes can become quite addictive.
If you would like to try this dish at Moda Restaurant: We recommend pairing it with a dry Spanish Sauvignon Blanc such as the Quinta de Aves ‘Alauda’.
#6 Chicken in bravas sauce
Enjoy delicious cubes of moist, spicy chicken coated with rich tomato, garlic, chilli and smoked paprika.
Try pairing this tapa favourite with a small, cold beer or a glass of Castillo Clavijo red wine, made with Tempranillo grapes in the heartland of Spanish wine.
Spanish beef tapas and brasa
#7 Black Onyx tri tip
One of the best ways to enjoy the magic of brasa style cooking is with a perfectly prepared piece of highly marbled Black Angus beef. Cooking high-quality steak over embers is a great way to bring out its natural, juicy flavour.
If you would like to try this dish at Moda Restaurant: Pair this Black Onyx tri tip with an Australian merlot or shiraz.
These absolutely delicious tapas meatballs, traditionally served in small clay dishes, consist of meatballs in garlic tomato sauce.
These tapas appetisers are perfect for enjoying with a cold beer or a glass of Spanish red wine.
Jamón tapas and brasa
#9 Iberico jamón and Spanish melon
Melon con jamón is a Spanish classic tapa dish that offers an incredible combination of sweet and savoury flavours. The rich, nutty and earthy flavour of Iberico jamón makes an excellent contrast with the sweet, delicate juiciness of melon.
If you would like to try this dish at Moda Restaurant: Enjoy this Iberico jamón dish with a delicious mature chardonnay from Burgundy, or perhaps a red wine from Rioja.
#10 Green asparagus, jamón and truffle emulsion
In Spain, grilled vegetables are a popular accompaniment to tender meat tapas. For a mouth-watering culinary experience, pair the beautiful flavour of jamón with grilled, fresh asparagus, olive oil, coarse salt and black pepper, cooked in a silky smooth and subtle truffle emulsion.
If you would like to try this dish at Moda Restaurant: Pair it with a clean, restrained white wine such as Primer Motivo.
Eager to try some authentic Spanish tapas or brasa (like our divine Iberico jamón with Spanish melon)? Make a booking at Moda Restaurant today.