Portuguese Style Shrimp with Swamp Sauce

by | Jun 27, 2010 | Family Traditions, Main Dishes

In addition to his marinated fava beans, our cousin Chris brought some Portuguese style shrimp to our Calhoun Family Reunion in May. With garlic, wine, red pepper, and cilantro, these shrimp really have a great flavor. And, to add another dimension of flavor, Chris brought a swamp sauce dip for dipping the shrimp. The shrimp tasted great with or without the swamp sauce. The recipe for the shrimp and swamp sauce are below.

Read more about the family reunion, the Calhoun family’s Portuguese heritage, and Chris’ marinated fava beans by clicking here.

Cousin Chris

Portuguese Style Shrimp


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup vinho verde or other white wine
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 pounds large uncooked fresh shrimp (approximately 21–25), rinsed and in the shell (out of the shell also works)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter


In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown. Stir in the tomato, bay leaf, garlic, and red pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until mixture is soft and tomatoes are partially dissolved, about 15 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the cilantro, shrimp, and salt. Mix and cover. Simmer 3 minutes or until the shrimp are tender.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a serving dish and cover. Melt the butter into the broth, then strain or puree the broth. Serve the broth mixture on the side as a dip.

Chris’ Special Swamp Sauce for Dipping the Shrimp (not Portuguese)


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon whole oregano, crushed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cayenne to taste


Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Curta que a vida é curta.

Enjoy every moment because life is short.