Shrimp Mozambique-Portugal

What better way to get excited for an upcoming trip than dining on the foods that are native to that country? I am extremely excited as Pittsburgh is now home to an authentic Portuguese restaurant, Marisqueria Mediterranean Bistro (I’ve yet to eat there although I did purchase a Groupon for it a couple of weeks ago so a visit is imminent). While perusing Portuguese recipes this past week, the ones that sounded the most delicious were all from its “African side” as in recipes that had originated in its former colonies and mixed with Portuguese cooking.

I recently bought a guidebook for our trip to Portugal later this year, Eyewitness Travel’s Top 10 Lisbon and included in it is a top 10 section on African Lisbon featuring the names and information of African restaurants and clubs (Portugal at one time had four colonies in Africa-Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands). You can be sure I’ll be checking some of those places out.

For our entree I selected to make Gambas Mozambique or Shrimp Mozambique. It wasn’t too time consuming or difficult to make and actually is the perfect Lenten meal for those of you who do not eat meat on Fridays during this period. While I like shrimp, I don’t necessarily need to eat it too often but D loves it (it is one of the few seafoods he’ll actually eat) so it seemed like a good recipe to try.

Shrimp Mozambique – Gambas Mozambique

(recipe courtsey of portuguesecooking.com)

Serves 2 – (4 as appetizer )

    • ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
    • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
    • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley



  • ½ cup water
  • 1 packet Goya saffron seasoning powder
  • ½ cup light white or red wine or 1 can light beer
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili sauce or generous pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (26-30 count) peeled and deveined

1. Melt the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Toss in the onion and fry it just until it starts to take on a light golden color. Pour in the water. Toss in the garlic, cilantro, water and Goya powder. Cover and simmer the ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the flavor to mingle.
2. Pour in the wine or beer, and the lemon juice then stir. Cover and raise the heat to medium-high to bring the ingredients to a boil. When the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for two minutes.
3. Toss in the shrimp and hot peppers/chili sauce (if using) and give them a turn in the sauce. Cook for three minutes over medium-low heat until the shrimp is just curled tender and turned pink. Spoon the shrimp into bowls and serve with plenty of crusty bread to dip in the flavorful broth.


To accompany it (along with the baguette I had bought), I made Batatas Madierense or Maderian Potatoes (some of you may be familiar with the Spanish potato dish, patatas bravas which means fierce potatoes and is one of the most popular Spanish tapas). I’m not too familiar with Portuguese cooking and while both D and I liked the Maderian potatoes, it was extremely liquid. It might have had something to do with the recipe I used which seemed “off” mainly due to the couple of English inaccuracies. So for this dish I am not going to include the recipe but if you know of a better recipe for Maderian potatoes, please let me know. And clearly, a Portuguese cookbook is at the top of my shopping list when I visit.

I did make a dessert, pasteis de nata or egg custard pastries but they deserve a post on their own for how good they turned out.

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