Shrimp Mozambique: Steeped in Tradition, Garlic and Beer

by Jennifer on April 29, 2011

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I am caving to the pressure to share this recipe (you know who you are). However, before I give you the recipe I have been obsessed with for 10 years, I will make you ‘listen’ to this story I call ‘Never enough Napkins’

My husband is Portuguese. As in, came over from Portugal with his parents when he was 5 years old. Now, when you eat at his parents house, you eat as if you are training to become a professional eater. I am certain that even if I had never given birth that I would have this additional 15 pounds on my frame simply from not wanting to break his mom’s heart when we eat there.

What do I mean by that? I mean, if you don’t clear your plate twice, you are in danger of hurting her feelings. So, the first time I met his parents, his mom went all out by making a huge roasted chicken, octopus, a huge salad, boiled potatoes, friend potatoes, kale soup, bacalhau, olives and shrimp Mozambique. I filled my plate and went in for the kill.

Then it happened, I had one shrimp from the bowl of heaven and I was sold. It was so fragrant, vibrant and yes a bit messy (his mom serves with shell on so you need to peel). Soon after eating the first serving, I used the one napkin that was next to my plate. I asked my boyfriend to ask his mom for more (that’s correct folks, she only speaks portuguese) napkins. She jumped up and brought over a pile of 20 napkins. The men in the family starting laughing.

His mom was on the verge of tears that some skinny fair-skinned woman was prepping for the second serving and needed to prepare with toweling. We instantly bonded. Ten minutes later I begged my boyfriend to ask her to stop putting more food on my plate.

p.s. This is not a reduced fat recipe. I may develop one. Maybe some day.


Want more? How about a Shrimp Mozambique Po’ Boy!

Lori @ RecipeGirl April 29, 2011 at 9:24 am

SOOOOO yummy. Will we be eating this good at camp? 😉

merry jennifer April 29, 2011 at 11:19 am

I think you just gave me dinner inspiration for this weekend. What a luscious-sounding recipe! Thanks so much for sharing it. 🙂

Heather at FarmgirlGourmet April 29, 2011 at 11:55 am

Oh my deliciousness! Yum!! Thanks for sharing. Great photographs as well!!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food April 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Oh boy! You’ve hit my sweet spot with this delectable recipe. I’ve spent most of the past 18 years living and working in South Africa, where my green grocer, regular grocer, butcher, favorite restaurants, and many of my friends were Mozambican. And I both grew up on and now live on the FL Gulf coast where perfect (and cheap) wild-caught shrimps are always easy to get. Looks wonderful and exactly what I want to make tomorrow.

Carolyn April 29, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Okay, this is my kind of recipe. I am making this one for sure!

Nicole Feliciano April 30, 2011 at 12:16 am

Super Yum! Thank you for opening the vault and sharing.

Aggie April 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Love love love the story. So cute. My best friend growing up was Portuguese and we are Italian so I am very aware of the eating situation you are speaking of. My grandpa is the same way…he is thrilled when we eat it all up, twice…especially the kids.

This dish sounds so heavenly delicious. I love shrimp…and that broth I so wish I could stick a spoon or a big piece of bread in.

Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm

This sounds and looks amazing

Shaina May 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I absolutely adore this story and the recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

Sommer@ASpicyPerspective May 2, 2011 at 9:28 am

Beer and shrimp are always a good idea! 🙂

Jaime {sophistimom} May 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Wow, Jennifer, that looks absolutely delicious. I will have to try it. Soon.

Bianca @ Confessions of a delicious. Chocoholic May 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm

This sounds absolutely delicious. Shrimp stands up really well to spicy sauces and I can imagine this going perfectly with rice!

Jennifer May 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Amazing with rice and to be honest, I often don’t finish the rice as I am full from eating the fresh bread that soaked up the juice. Slurp!

Dianna May 3, 2011 at 2:03 am

Where would one find Goya Azafran? I am in California.

Medifast Coupons May 3, 2011 at 11:25 am

What a great sounding mozambique!!! My best friend as a child was fresh from Portugal when we were about 8 or 9 and we became fast friends even though she didn’t speak a lick of english. And oh boy could her mom cook, wow! Lots of meals growing up together and of course she learnt the english language in record time, her mom to this day still doesn’t, I think she does and chooses not too. She can eavesdrop and everyone says oh it is okay she doesn’t speak english, smart lady and one heck of a cook.
Here I am going down memory road, thanks so much for your recipe to try, and I can’t wait to impress with it.

Charissa May 3, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’ve never been to your blog before, it’s beautiful!

This soup looks so great…right now it’s raining where I live, so this looks rawwwwther a appealing! Thanks for sharing

Jennifer May 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Hello Charissa and welcome. I am all giddy that you stopped by and left a comment – thank you so much!

Norwegian Phoenix May 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

This sounds completely amazing. I’m so glad I found this while looking for something to cook for dinner. Yum! I can’t wait!

Have a great day!

Adelaide@Norwegian Phoenix

Chrystani May 3, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I wasn’t going to make dinner tonight until I seen this recipe…
My stomache is growling at my desk. Thanks <3

Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls May 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

This sounds wonderful! Loving all the ingredients!

New to your blog; happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

Noon May 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm

This turned out great. I made my own Goya Azafran – teaspoon cumin, teaspoon granulated garlic, teaspoon tumeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, small pinch of saffron.

Jennifer May 9, 2011 at 9:03 am

Hi Dianna, you should be able to find it in the spanish/international section of your local grocery store

Family Foodie May 10, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I will be trying this recipe!

Felicia May 28, 2011 at 8:40 am

Hi Jen! Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was so delicious- I will be making it for my family this weekend!

Gil Sequira July 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I have a recipe for shrimp Mozambique on my website ,but this one sounds fantastic. I will try it soon.

Sue December 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm

This recipe is close to how I make it – but I marinate the shrimp in the olive oil, beer, garlic and hot crushed Portuguese pepper and leave it overnight or at least 8 hours. I use a cast iron skillet, heat it up with some butter, cook the shrimp (after draining with a slotted spoon) and sear them in the pan. I do this in batches, transferring to a bowl as I cook them (cook only one layer at a time, don’t pile on too many shrimp or they won’t sear). When I’m done cooking, I pour the marinade in the hot skillet, boil it up, scraping the tasty bits from the bottom, and cooking off the alcohol and liquid from the beer. Pour the whole thing over the shrimp, and mmmmm….tasty.

Jennifer December 24, 2011 at 10:29 am

Sue, that sounds amazingly amazing – will try. Thank you for sharing

Carrie January 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Oh you saucy vixen! This looks INSANE!

Sicilia Alfonso May 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm

This was so AWESOME! My husband loved it so much, he complimented me on it 3-5 times. I always take the tail off too. Thank you

Tanna May 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

This is one of my favorite dishes Jennifer-thanks for sharing your version! My family is Cape Verdean from New Bedford, MA.-we often eat Portuguese food. The meal you had at your mother-in-law home is what I always have at Antonio’s Portuguese restaurant-their food is delishes! Thanks again for sharing!

Sheri June 8, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Jennifer thank you SO MUCH for sharing this. It certainly looks AM-MAAAAA-ZING!! and I am sure it tastes even better. I’m going to have to make this for my dad. My grandfather was off the boat but my grandmother was Norwegian and a horrible cook. When dad is in the mood for Portuguese cusine he heads out to a restaurant. I would LOVE to make this for him.

Lori June 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Great story, I also have a fiance’ who came here from Portugal when he was 5 and I love this shrimp! Yes, it is messy but so tasty. I understand the dinners his mom would serve this shrimp as an appetizer along with Kale soup. Next is the breads, (small salads) pork and chicken, boiled potatoes and fries and chourico, the baccula (sp), breaded greenbeans (from the garden) and then the desserts…to much to list. Thanks for sharing 🙂 oh yeah and the homemade wine!

Tom August 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I just had shrimp mozambique at a friends house just the other night and wanted to re-create it for myself. I found and used this recipe and it came out absolutely awesome !!!…even better than what i had at my friends. The only adjustment i made to this recipe was substituting 16-20 ct shrimp as i like a larger size shrimp personally and i added two more tablespoons of butter right at the very end off the heat for added richnes. I also added just a tablespoon or so of fresh squeezed lemon as well. Definetly going to be doing this one often !!

Jennifer August 30, 2012 at 6:20 am

Hi Tom – thank you so much for your flattering comment and for trying the recipe. I love when people share what they did with it and how it came out. Regards, Jennifer

Jason Machado October 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I myself am portuguese and my girlfriend is italian I love my heritage the food has a lot to do with that i prefer portuguese over italian but needles to say we eat like kings and queens i so have the best of both worlds lol she also fell in love with this the moment she tried it i absolutely love shrimp mozambique with rice I also think it’s amazing with chunks of chicken breast and round fried potatoe slices with fresh bread for dipping I find myself at times wanting to just drink that sauce but I’m in fear of having a heart attack this is a great recipe thank you for sharing and god bless ur mother inlaw

Cecelia Weeks October 31, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Thanks to you tonight I was a hero! My son loved this recipe!

Cecelia Weeks October 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I have been looking for a shrimp Mozambique recipe for a looong time and, thanks to you, tonight I was a hero! My son just LOVED this. It will definitely be going into the “make often” file! Thanks again! And I will have to check out more of your site!

Jennifer November 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Thanks Cecelia, happy to help. I am making it tonight for friends still without power from Sandy

Aimee St.Germain January 2, 2013 at 10:17 am

So glad to have come across this recipe. Not long ago, I moved away from Newark, NJ. I lived in “the Ironbound” – a predominately Spanish and Portuguese neighborhood with fantastic and authentic restaurants. (I also had the most sweet and wonderful Portuguese neighbors, who I miss dearly.) One of my favorite dishes was shrimp Mozambique – only the restaurant used very large prawns instead of the smaller shrimp most Americans are familiar with… I look forward to trying this recipe very soon! I am sure it will bring back many fond memories. 🙂

Shannon January 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I am just finding your recipe and story. I too am Portuguese and laughed out loud as I read because it’s so true. My Irish BF wants to cook me dinner so what better meal than this. I haven’t had it in years and can’t wait! YUM

Miria March 1, 2013 at 11:02 am

I wish my husband wasn’t allergic to shrimp! We would be eating this today! I will have to wait for a girls night. 🙁

Krista April 8, 2013 at 12:05 am

I too am portuguese and this story is sooo true. I like it best with chicken instead of the shrim and the fried potado slices to dip with.

Sarah July 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I just made this for dinner and it’s amazing! I know exactly what you mean by that story! I dated a Portuguese guy for a while, and every time I ate with his family, his mother and father (and sometimes his grandparents!) would tell me I hadn’t eaten enough after 2 heaping plates AND salad AND bread! “You’re small, you need to eat up!” was their favorite phrase when I was around.

Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe 🙂

Brittany July 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thank you so much for this recipe! Born and raised in Portuguese -heavy southeastern Massachusetts, I’ve grown up on malasadas, chourico, cacoila and Shrimp Mozambique. My mother’s recipe turns out a little different each time she makes it because she refuses to adhere to measurements, so it’s nice to find one with similar AND consistent flavors. I’ve now made this several times (both shrimp and chicken) with 6+ cloves of garlic (because there’s never enough) to very positive response!

Amanda April 10, 2015 at 11:37 am

I could swear that I myself was writing this same story. It made me laugh while reading! This is the exact same recipe I have used for 12 years! There is no words to describe how good this is!!! My daughter (who is now 7 years old) has elected this as her “favorite thing to eat ever” from the time she could actually eat “real food” she says. Everytime I ask her what she wants for dinner she replies “Mozambique”! She have this everyday if I allowed her! And the part about the napkins is the best, as I keep the shell on and you peel before you eat (I was taught by my husband’s family or our family; I should say. that keping the shell on allows the shrimp to “take in the flavor”. Thank you for sharing your story. I was certain (as a fair skinned American girl) that I was the only one to master such recipes as this one. I’m sure that there are many more that we could share. Absolutely delicious! Kudos!!

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