cooked pig stomach stuffed with rice

For me, one of the joys of travelling and living in different countries is the opportunity to try different food. I do, however, have limits; whilst a friend of mine was prepared to cook and eat goat udder in Vietnam, I usually steer well clear of brains, offal and other icky bits.

But what could I do when a very kind associate of Mike’s offered to make a local speciality dish for us? It would have been rude to refuse, but thankfully he was told to bring it home so we could try arroz de bucho (pig’s stomach stuffed with rice and meat) together, in private.

I was not looking forward to it, even less so when I opened the foil packaging to find this decidedly foreign object:

Arroz de bucho. Portuguese food. Cooked pig stomach stuffed with rice
Mmm, tasty!

Luckily, the inside looks more appetising as it is stuffed with rice, meat and traces of vegetables.

inside arroz de bucho, a delicacy from central Portugal
Much more appealing once you slice it open.

I’m deeply grateful to the woman who went to the time, trouble and expense of cooking it for us and I have to admit that it was a lot tastier than I expected. I’ve had it several times now, even though I would never order a whole portion, and I’l go as far as to say that it’s actually quite nice.

Arroz de bucho, a dish that was traditionally made in most households during the annual pig-killing festival, is still considered to be a treat in central Portugal.

Nowadays, most people don’t keep and slaughter their own pigs but local restaurants in Vila Nova de Poiares make up for this by devoting a week to serving arroz de bucho at the beginning of November.

The ingredients for the Vila Nova de Poiares version of arroz de bucho are as follows if you’re tempted to have a go at making it yourself but there are many variations so feel free to experiment.


  • 500g rice
  • 500g pork loin
  • a few slices of chorizo
  • onion
  • bunch of parsley
  • bay leaf
  • wild thyme
  • paprika
  • chilli
  • salt,
  • olive oil
  • glass of port wine
  • pig stomach – well cleaned and washed!


Mix the ingredients, place them inside the stomach, sew it up with needle and thread then boil for an hour and a half.

Slice and serve with vegetables.

Can be eaten hot or cold.



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  1. Mom made it awesome for us…….she didn’t use the pork thou….instead she used a Portuguese Sausage and trimmed down pieces of other tripe…….even all our family from kids to adults born here in Canada, say grandmom made the best Portuguese stuffed rice……that’s what we called it…… named it BROLHAO from her region in Beira Baixa region……..its damn good……you have to know how to prepare it and cook it right……not for everyone……she was a natural…….

    1. I have to say that since i wrote this article I have tried arroz de bucho on several occasions and have come to like it.

  2. Golly – great photo – not for the faint hearted at first glance ๐Ÿ™‚ Am not sure it would be for me either !
    I remember my husband sending out a Haggis and other bits to some friends in Spain for Burns Night one year.
    Airmail -fastest delivery -were my instructions to him as he set off to the PO.
    But no .. 2 weeks later … parcel arrived. The Shortbread Petticoat Tails were wonderful they said. LOL

    1. Author

      I’d much rather receive the shortbread than the haggis, no matter how fresh it is ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I went once to a pig killing after lunch, and was given all sorts of strange foods that I passed up! Iยดm afraid that even though Iยดm Portuguese I donยดt like most of the stranger traditional foods, especially if they look that the one above!!

    1. Author

      Hi Sami, At least I’m not the only one who’d rather not eat the odd stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. I went once to an after pig killing lunch and was served with all sorts of weird things that I had to pass up, as most looked as disgusting as this one! Iยดm afraid although I am Portuguese, I do not enjoy most of the traditional foods, especially the strange looking ones…

  5. This is a new one for me…not sure yet.

  6. Reminds me of Scottish haggis – tasty as long as you don’t think about it too much, like most sausages!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Author

      LOL, I know what you mean about sausages. Same as corned beef – best not to dwell on what goes into them. Some versions of stuffed stomach only use really good cuts of meat so once you’re past the membrane, you’re good to go. It just looks revolting ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Yes, this is very foreign. I would not have tried it…I would have said, “I’m sorry, I’m a Vegetarian.” It did look like a radioactive potato…I would not have eaten that either. I might have tossed my stomach over that one. Great photo. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Author

      Thanks. I was lucky that I didn’t have to eat it in front of the woman who made it – I don’t think I would have been able to disguise my initial disgust when I opened the parcel. When it’s served sliced, on a plate, it doesn’t look quite so horrifying but it’s hard to get past the radioactive potato image ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Yeah – that’s really foreign, and gross. You are courageous to have tried it!

    1. Author

      Since someone had gone to the trouble of making it especially for us, I had to give it a go.

      1. I understand – although I have refused food people have made, I’ve said “I’m sorry I just can’t!”

  9. This makes me really happy to be vegetarian! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Author

      It’s making me seriously consider becoming one ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Stuffed stomach? Interesting… I bet it is tastier than it looks. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Author

      It is, but then it has to be, really!

  11. Thanks for the recipe details but I don’t think I’ll be rushing to make it! I tried tripe in Porto – didn’t really care for it I have to say!

    1. Author

      Can’t say I blame you – I won’t be honing my culinary skills on this one either ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Wow! A Frankenstein potato. I did not expect to see all that rice and sausage falling out it. It is definitely up there as foreign in my mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Author

      The whole concept of stuffing a stomach with rice and meat then boiling it is foreign to me but variety is the spice of life, as they say!

      1. Haha, true, but it would be hard to stomach (haha…pun intended). Well, I am from Thailand and believe me I have also seen strange foods there. But then my American friends feel some of my taste are strange too…lol Oh well, at least you can say you tried it.

        1. Author

          Exactly! I have to admit that I was curious about it – it’s listed on the local authority website as a local gastronomic speciality – but that’s been well and truly satisfied ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. EEEWWWW!! Sounds as though the ingredients might be OK cooked in a casserole dish, but Iยดll pass on the sewn-up pigยดs stomach! LOL

    1. Author

      Yeah, I don’t know if it was mainly in my head but there seemed to be an after taste that was just a bit ‘wrong’ for me. I tried trip not so long ago (never again!) and it reminded me of that, perhaps unsurprisingly ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Hmmm … my parents used to (try to) feed me tripe when I was a kid – and I knew even then that it was “odd”. Talk about foreign ๐Ÿ˜‰

Over to you. Please share your thoughts in a comment.