Shrimp Mozambique – Traditional Recipe

shrimp mozambique on a platter garnished with lemon

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Shrimp Mozambique is a famous Portuguese dish inspired by bold spices and flavors of Africa. The shrimp is simmered in a mildly-spicy garlic sauce that’s made with beer, an array of seasonings and a dash of hot sauce. White rice and fried potatoes are traditionally served with this quick and easy dish.


  • 2 pounds of large shrimp (shell and heads on or off)
  • 11.2 ounce bottle of pale lager
  • 2 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 teaspoons minced or crushed garlic
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground annatto
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea-salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few generous pinches of chopped cilantro


  1. Wash/rinse the shrimp thoroughly, you can leave the shells on or remove them, depending on your preference. Pat the shrimp dry using a paper towel.
  2. In a large bowl, season the shrimp with dry seasonings: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground annatto, dried oregano, ground cumin, kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle the shrimp with a tablespoon of the olive oil, and toss gently. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours, or overnight.
  3. Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and onions and cook them until fragrant. Add the bay leaves, saffron and stir in the hot sauce.
  4. Add the lager to the pan and let cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. The liquid will reduce in volume slightly. Add the remaining olive oil in a slow and steady stream while stirring constantly. Turn the flame down low and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp and watch the color closely as it cooks. Once the shrimp turns pink turn the flame down even lower, cover the pot and let the shrimp cook for 10 minutes in the shells. For peeled shrimp, flip them once the sides facing up turn pink then turn the flame off as soon as the shrimp turns pink on both sides.
  6. Add a squeeze of 1 lemon wedge and stir in the chopped cilantro. Give the shrimp and sauce a final stir. Cover and let sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to settle. 
  7. Present the shrimp on a platter, or on individual plates over rice. Make sure to spoon lots of sauce over the shrimp! Serve fried potatoes or crusty bread on the side for dipping. Garnish with any remaining lemon wedges.


  • Sagres and Super Bock are 2 Portuguese lagers that are sold in the US. If you can’t locate them, you can use any pale lager.
  • 1 packet of Sazon can be used in place of the dry seasonings. Be sure to buy the yellow packets that contain saffron. You’ll still need to season the shrimp with salt and pepper!

Keywords: shrimp, camarão, Mozambique, Moçambique, seafood, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, main dish, entree, garlic, piri piri