Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique)



Although this meal can feed a number of people, I decided to make this dish for my husband as a surprise dinner at home after the kids were tucked into bed.  It was our Engage-aversary, 9 years since he popped the question, what better time for an elegant meal?  But, it was a Tuesday night, he was working and I had charge of two toddlers all day and evening… so needless to say my energy was not at its peek.  I needed a quick meal that was just fancy enough for my little candle lit affair… I had some shrimp in the freezer and everything else in the pantry… so, I thought why not?  The dish was delish as always and we got to celebrate and have an adult date night right in our own dining room.

I grew up eating Shrimp Mozambique.  And to eat Shrimp Mozambique is to love Shrimp Mozambique. In my family and in my little area of New England, Shrimp Mozambique is a mainstay.  We serve it every Christmas and several times throughout the year for different gatherings and parties.  Elegant in its presentation, exotic in its flavor and almost magical in its ability to transform a dinner into a party!  All this and you might think this is going to be a long drawn out and expensive recipe that is hard to understand and even harder to follow… but you would be all wrong on all counts.  In fact, Shrimp Mozambique is not only quick and easy, but pretty reasonable to make at home especially if you can pick up this size shrimp on sale for $6.99 for a 2 lb. bag like I did in the freezer section!

With under 10 ingredients, most of which you will be able to find in your pantry… onions, garlic, salt etc. it’s super easy to throw together. And from start to finish you can have this meal on the table in under 30 minutes. The two ingredients that are key in this dish are the Azafran (but this can be easily subbed out with saffron) and the crushed red pepper.  Crushed red pepper is a wet jarred pepper that is usually ground and cured with salt.  You should be able to find it in your Portuguese or Spanish section of your market.

Melt one stick of butter into a pot.

Finely dice 1/2 a large onion or one whole medium onion.

Add onions into your melted butter… you will want to get these started before you add in the garlic as they have a longer cook time than garlic and the last thing you want is burnt garlic!

You will need about 6 cloves of garlic.

Smash your garlic before mincing, it helps to release lots of the flavors on everyone.

Mince garlic.

Once the onions have started to soften, add in your garlic.

You will want to be sure to stir frequently.

Azafran seasoning is similar to saffron, but only about 1/5 the price.4

You will need one packet per pound and so in this case we are making two pounds, so we will need to add two packets.

Add in two packets of the Azafran seasoning.

Add in one heaping Tbs. crushed red pepper. (I think this photo is so cool… my pepper was in the fridge and the pot is really hot causing that white smoke you see around the pepper)

I’ve always been partial to this size shrimp for this recipe. If you like bigger shrimp, go ahead and use it, but this works well for parties, family dinner or anytime.

You can put them in the pot straight from the freezer, no need to pre-soak. I should mention that I leave the peel on, I feel like half the flavor of this dish comes from that peel… I know it can be a bit of a pain to peel while you eat, but it is sooo worth it… and hey, it will slow you down too! Take some time to enjoy your meal!

Stir to coat the shrimp with all the spices and color.

Add in one bottle of beer any run of the mill domestic will do. (If you are allergic to gluten, you could substitute about 1 1/2 cups of dry white wine or just a gluten-free beer)

Be sure the shrimp are coated. Add in a pinch of kosher salt.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, when it comes to a boil lower heat to a simmer and cook for 8-12 minutes and then immediately remove from heat.

The last thing you want is overcooked, mushy and mealy shrimp. Do not over cook this. Shrimp cook really quickly, the smaller the shrimp the faster the cook… I am allowing 8-12 minutes for larger shrimp and to cook off the alcohol in the beer.

There… perfectly cooked shrimp! Now, don’t forget to taste for salt, add another pinch if needed.

For a party, I like to keep white rice separate, but for a dinner party or meal at home, I like to plate my shrimp right onto a bed of cooked white rice.



Recipe for Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique):

(serves 4-6, dinner —- serves 10-15 party)

2 lbs frozen, deveined, easy peel shrimp (do not remove peel)

1 stick butter

1/2 lg. onion, finely diced

6 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

1 Tbs. crushed red pepper, heaping

1 beer (12 oz)

2 packets Goya Azafran Seasoning

kosher salt to taste


In a medium pot, melt one stick of butter.  Add in onions, saute for about 5 minutes.  Add in garlic, saute an additional 5 minutes.  Add in a pinch of salt.  Add in Azafran, stir.  Add in crushed red pepper, stir.  Add in frozen shrimp, stir to coat shrimp in sauce.  Add in beer, stir, cover and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 8-12 minutes. Taste for salt, add if needed.  Serve over a bed of white rice.


*note – Gluten-free adjustment, use gluten-free beer or white wine in place of beer.

9 thoughts on “Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique)

  1. Chilli says:

    My first time cooking your shrimp Mozambique and it turned out awesome!
    The pics really helped . I live in area where there is a huge Portugese influence but never tried to cook this recipe on my own even though l’ve eaten it a million times in restaurants.
    The only thing I changed was using Vigo yellow rice instead of white rice. I thought it gave it a deeper saffron flavor.
    Thank you!

    • Stacy says:

      Chilli, I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Shrimp Mozambique is definitely one of my favorites… Stay tuned for more! Portuguese Kale Soup is coming soon 🙂

  2. Linda says:

    I can second the above comment. Lived in the Boston area for many years, kept our boat in Fall River in the winter. We ate in Portuguese restaurants for many years, in
    Fall River and New Bedford. Last fall while attending the Working Waterfront Festival in New Bedford I got a jar of Pimenta Moida and vowed to try some Portuguese recipes. Your is definitely stellar. Thank you for getting me started.

  3. Jayme says:

    It was my Portugese friend’s birthday yesterday. I made him this recipe. He said it was perfect! Just like he would get in a Portugese restaurant! Delicious! It was my first time making or eating this dish. Your recipe was so easy to follow. Love the step by step photos! I will be making this again. And again! Thank you!!!

    • Stacy says:

      That’s really great! I’m so glad! I try to make the recipes as easy to follow as possible, that way even a complicated recipe can be doable 🙂

  4. Sue says:

    We live very close to Fall River and our favorite restaurant on Columbia Street has the best, hands down shrimp Mozambique. I have made it at home and it comes out good, but there is nothing like sitting down to a cold bottle of Vinho Verde and a sizzling dish of this shrimp. The sauce is an excuse to eat too much bread but the Portuguese rolls are perfect with this dish. The 1 ingredient I don’t see in your recipe is lemon. It may be a regional thing but fresh lemon does hit a note that makes this dish superb. Thank you for sharing your recipe

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