Arroz de Camarão – Portuguese Shrimp Rice

Arroz de Camarão is another fantastic Portuguese rice recipe. It comprises the locally grown Carolino rice, shrimp, tomatoes, onions, garlic and a mix of herbs and spices all cooked in a rich shrimp broth. It’s simply delicious, packed with Portuguese flavours and perfect for summer dinners, with the bonus of being a one pot recipe.

Portuguese Shrimp Rice

If you already prepared a Portuguese rice recipe before you are probably familiar with the process. The recipe starts with preparing the shrimp stock, for that I like using the heads and peel of the shrimp. So, it’s highly recommended to buy shrimp with its shell and head on, since these parts are packed with flavour and will produce a stock with vibrant colour taking your dish to a different level.

In Portugal I usually buy them frozen, since in most supermarkets the ‘fresh’ shrimp is usually pre-cooked and not ideal for this recipe. The caliber of your shrimp will depend on how chunky you want them. I recommend using something around 20/30. Keep in mind that when cleaned the weight of the shrimp will reduce by half.

The other ingredients are the usual: Carolino rice, onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, a good white wine, olive oil, tomato concentrate, paprika, and fresh coriander to garnish!

Shrimp rice stock

How to Make Portuguese Shrimp Rice  

Prep Time: 1h 20m

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 6

Calories per Portion: 408


This recipe uses 600g of whole shrimp, which when prepared yields around 300g cleaned shrimp, and 300g of heads and shells. Keep those heads and shells as they’ll be used in the stock!

For the Stock:

  • 300g shrimp heads and shells – caliber 20/30
  • 1,5 Liters of water
  • 1 large onion – roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 large carrot – sliced
  • Black pepper corns (about 6 pepper corns)
  • Fresh herbs: thyme, parsley, bay leaves
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp salt

For the Rice:

  • 300g cleaned and deveined shrimp – caliber 20/30
  • 400g Carolino rice
  • 30ml olive oil
  • ⅓ cup white wine – approx 80ml
  • 1 large onion diced – approx 180g
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 very ripe tomatoes without seeds – approx 160g
  • 2tbsp tomato concentrate
  • ½ tsp piri-piri powder
  • 1L shrimp broth
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh coriander


  1. Start by preparing your stock. Place a tall pot over medium heat, once hot, add the olive oil then the shrimp heads and shells. Sear them for a couple of minutes until golden.
  2. Add in your onion, fry for about 2 minutes until they start to soften. Add the remaining stock ingredients, then cover with water in room temperature. Simmer for about 1 hour. Strain the stock and reserve it.
  3. In the meantime, it’s time to prepare the rice. Place a wide base pot over medium heat, once hot add the olive oil and the diced onion, cook until translucent.
  4. Add the minced garlic cloves, fry for another minute before adding the diced tomatoes. Cook everything for another 3 minutes or until the tomato starts to soften.
  5. Add the bay leaf, the tomato concentrate, the piri-piri powder, and the rice. Cook for another minute before deglazing with the white wine.
  6. Once the alcohol evaporates, add 1 Liter of the hot shrimp stock. If needed season with some black pepper and salt. Cook the rice undisturbed for about 20 minutes with the lid on. 
  7. Add the shrimp to the rice, give it a gentle stir. If you want, you can cut the shrimp into smaller pieces. There should still be plenty of broth, if not you can add more water or broth.
  8. Cover with the lid, cook for another 5 minutes or until the rice is cooked but slightly chewy in the middle. Serve with freshly chopped parsley.
Portuguese Shrimp rice

Have you tried this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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