Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique)

Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique)

The Spruce / 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.)

This is one of my absolute favorite dishes and always brings to mind a great memory. When my daughter was just three-years-old, we went to a restaurant in New Bedford, Massachusetts (where many Azorean and Madeiran families settled) with my father's first cousin, Conçeiçao, or Cussie, as we called her. We ordered the Shrimp Mozambique, which Cussie adored, and much to our surprise, my daughter gobbled it up! Cussie couldn't believe it and continued to tell the story of the three-year-old gourmand for years afterward.

This spicy dish is a favorite in Portugal too. You can serve it as an appetizer, or as an entree over rice.

There are many different versions of this dish, and every one of them I have tried is delicious. I like my version because I use the hot Spanish paprika and that adds a special flavor. A bit of hot spice is required in order to make this dish what it is, but how spicy is up to you. The recipe as written here 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 here 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.


  • 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 / 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 pan

    The Spruce / 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 / 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

    The Spruce / 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 / Eric Kleinberg

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

    Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique)

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg


Serve with toothpicks or small forks, if you are having the shrimp as an appetizer, or over rice, if they will be an entree. In either case, don't forget to have some good, crusty bread on hand to soak up the delicious sauce!