3 days post-Thanksgiving and I am over leftovers. Don’t get me wrong I love beige food, but I can only repurpose and eat so much of it. So if you are like me and are in need of a little spice this is the dish to make. This fiery, tomato-based Portuguese garlic shrimp dish will leave your lips tingling. Made with a ton of garlic, white wine, and peri-peri spice blend it is easy, relatively quick, and damn delicious.
Peri-Peri or Piri-Piri… What’s the Difference?
Peri-Peri and Piri-Piri are often used interchangeably. While both are words for African’s Bird Eye Chilies we are looking for the Peri-Peri spice blend for this recipe (or piri-piri spice blend). Peri-Peri is a fiery spice blend consisting of paprika, onion, garlic, bird’s eye chilies, oregano just to name a few. It is spicy, garlicky, and herbaceous. Yes, I know it can be annoying to buy a specialty spice blend for one dish, but peri-peri blend can be used in so many dishes, sauces, and is a great marinade for meat and chicken. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to find it at your local supermarket, but I got you. Below are a few places where you can order this spice blend if you don’t have access to a specialty spice shop.
The Spice House This one is my favorite, and the one I use. Here is a link directly to their Peri-Peri blend. If you purchase the “flatpack” it ships for free so no additional charge for convenience. Also, for 10% off use my code THEBOLDAPPETITE.
I rounded up a few other options below. I have not tried these but these seem to be good options based on ratings and convenience. If you decide to find this spice mix on your own just remember you are looking for a dried spice mix, not a pre-made sauce or hot sauce.
Valley of Tea
A Spice Affair
What You’ll Need for Portuguese Garlic Shrimp
- Shrimp – Since this is a true shrimp dish I like to use extra-large fresh shrimp. However, whatever you like or have on hand works. Fresh or frozen is okay. If you go down the frozen route just make sure they are completely defrosted and are patted dry before seasoning.
- Peri-Peri Spice Blend– See above.
- Garlic – This sauce is built on garlic, hence why it is in the name. Fresh only!
- White Onion
- Tomato Paste – If you recall my Tomato Risotto recipe, the best way to get the most out of your tomato paste is to toast it until it is a dark deep red. If you aren’t doing this, you aren’t getting the most out of your paste and foregoing the natural umami flavor tomatoes have.
- White Wine – Choose a dry white wine you would drink
- Chicken Broth – Or vegetable is fine, stay away from seafood, the sauce gets enough flavor from the shrimp.
- Cilantro – For a pop of brightness.
- Butter & Olive Oil – Olive oil to sear the shrimp. Butter to build the sauce.
Step by Step Portuguese Garlic Shrimp
Sear The Shrimp – You are going to get not only a better flavor, but a better texture if you sear the shrimp in the pan before assembling the sauce. Season the shrimp with a heavy pinch of salt before cooking. With a heavy squirt of olive oil over medium-high heat sear each side for 2-3 minutes (for large shrimp, less for smaller shrimp). Don’t worry if they aren’t completely cooked through, in fact aim to pull them out before they are. They will simmer in the sauce for a few minutes at the end.
Assemble the Sauce + Simmer – Add butter, onions, and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant (low heat!). Add the tomato paste and cook until deep red. In the last 2 minutes of cooking at the peri-peri blend. We don’t add this in the beginning because we don’t want to burn the spices. Deglaze the pan with wine, followed by chicken broth and simmer to reduce.
Shrimp + Sauce = Portuguese Garlic Shrimp – Add the shrimp + the shrimp juices that pooled at the bottom of the bowl or plate back to the pan + the cilantro. Cook for approx 3 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through (add more time if needed). This dish is great on its own, however I prefer it over rice or with a piece of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.
Looking for more shrimp focused dishes? Check out the below:
Spicy Calabrian Shrimp
Garlic Honey Shrimp
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Portuguese Garlic Shrimp
- 1 – 1 1/2 lbs shrimp shells off, de-veined
- 2 tbsp olive oil or more
- 3 tbsp butter
- 8 cloves garlic fresh, minced
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp peri-peri spice mix more if you want it extra spicy
- 3/4 cup white wine dry
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- Season shrimp with a heavy pinch of salt and toss.
- In a pan over medium heat add olive oil. Once heated up add the shrimp and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side (for extra large shrimp, less time for smaller shrimp). Remove and place on the side *Don't worry if they aren't completely cooked through, in fact aim to pull them out before they are. They will simmer in the sauce for a few minutes at the end.
- Lower the heat to medium-low. To the same pan add butter, garlic, and onions. Season with 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook until soft and fragrant 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook down until it is deeper in color approx 7 minutes. In the last 2 minutes of cooking add the peri peri spice blend.
- Deglaze the pan with wine and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken broth and cook for another 5 minutes until broth has reduced and is no longer watery.
- Add back the shrimp +. any residual juices that formed in the plate or bowl. Add cilantro and cook for another 3 minutes until shrimp are cooked. Serve immediately as is or over rice.
Fantastic!! Everyone loved it