Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique)

Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique) in a white bowl

The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
382 Calories
22g Fat
13g Carbs
27g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 382
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 239mg 80%
Sodium 1616mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 138mg 11%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 401mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Shrimp Mozambique (camarão a Moçambique) is a dish served in this East African country that is made with very spicy peppers and shrimp with the shells on—keeping them on adds flavor. You can serve it as an appetizer, or as an entrée over rice.

There are many different versions of this dish, but this one uses hot Spanish paprika, which adds a special flavor. A bit of heat is required in order to make this dish what it is, but you can customize the spice level to your liking. As written, this shrimp Mozambique recipe is on the moderate to low end of the heat. To make it spicier, increase the amount of chopped pepper, or sprinkle it with a good hot sauce at the table.

In Portugal, the pepper that is used is the little red piri-piri, which is imported from Africa. It's hard to find that in the United States unless you are lucky enough to live near a Portuguese community. You can buy it as a sauce or powdered spice, and sometimes you can get the dried pods. You can substitute it with a habanero chili or a New Mexican pequin, if those are more accessible to you.


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped

  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika

  • 2 teaspoons chopped piri-piri, or other hot pepper

  • 1 pinch saffron threads

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled

  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique) ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan, such as a large cast-iron frying pan, until it begins to shimmer. Add the chopped onions and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they have changed color, around 10 minutes.

    Onions and oil in a cast iron pan

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. While the onions cook, mix the minced garlic, paprika, hot chopped pepper, saffron, and salt together in a small bowl.

    Minced garlic, paprika, hot chopped pepper, saffron, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Add the contents of the bowl to the onions and continue to cook them for about 2 minutes at medium heat. Add the wine and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the wine has reduced a bit.

    Onions, oil and spices in a pan for shrimp Mozambique

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  5. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook gently, covered, until the shrimp have just turned pink (about 5 minutes). Do not overcook them.

    Shrimp and sauce in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Stir in the parsley and the lemon juice and serve.

    Shrimp Mozambique in a cast iron pot (Camarão Moçambique)

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg


Serve with toothpicks or small forks, if you are having the shrimp as an appetizer. This dish is also great served over rice, to help balance out the heat, as a main dish. In either case, don't forget to have some good, crusty bread on hand to soak up the delicious sauce.

How to Store Shrimp Mozambique

This recipe will keep for 2 to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat, adding a little liquid if needed, over a medium-low heat to avoid overcooking the shrimp. Cooked shrimp doesn't tend to freeze and reheat well, as the texture suffers.


When cooking with hot peppers, it's advisable to take a few precautions because the oils in peppers can burn if they come into contact with skin, eyes, or nose.

  • Wear disposable gloves while cutting them; throw the gloves out after you're finished.
  • Don't touch your eyes, skin, or nose with the gloved hand.
  • If you have cut hot peppers without gloves, wait a while before taking out or inserting contact lenses.