Fofos de Arroz Recipe from Mozambique: A Delicious Rice and Shrimp Dish

Fofos de Arroz

Fofos de Arroz Recipe from Mozambique: A Delicious Rice and Shrimp Dish
Region / culture: Mozambique | Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Fofos de Arroz
Fofos de Arroz

Fofos de Arroz is a traditional Portuguese dish that consists of shrimp balls coated in a rice paste and deep-fried to perfection. These crispy and flavorful appetizers are perfect for any occasion and are sure to impress your guests.


Fofos de Arroz has been a popular dish in Portugal for many years, with its origins dating back to traditional Portuguese cuisine. The combination of shrimp and rice in a deep-fried ball is a unique and delicious way to enjoy seafood.


How to prepare

  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring 1.5-2 qt (1.89 liter) of water, chillies, garlic, bay leaf, and 0.5 tsp of salt to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice.
  2. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are tender but not soft.
  3. Discard the bay leaf and set the rice aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, shell the shrimp.
  5. Devein the shrimp by making a shallow incision down their backs with a small, sharp knife and lifting out the black or white intestinal vein with the point of a knife.
  6. Wash the shrimp under cold running water.
  7. Then drop them into enough lightly salted boiling water to cover them completely, and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, or until they turn pink.
  8. With a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to paper towels to drain.
  9. Cut each shrimp crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces about 0.5 inch long, and set aside.
  10. Put the rice through the finest blade of a meat grinder or through a food mill.
  11. In a deep bowl, combine the rice paste, onions, parsley, egg yolk, and the remaining 0.5 tsp of salt.
  12. Knead vigorously with both hands to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  13. To shape each shrimp ball, moisten your hands with cold water and scoop up about 1.5 tbsp of the rice-paste mixture.
  14. Pat it into a flattened round, place a piece of shrimp in the center, then pat and press the edges of the round over the shrimp, enclosing it completely.
  15. Roll the fofo between your palms to form a ball about 1 inch in diameter.
  16. One at a time, dip the balls into the egg-and-water mixture, then roll them in the crumbs.
  17. Arrange the balls side by side on a rack set over wax paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set the coating.
  18. When you are ready to cook the fofos, preheat the oven to its lowest setting.
  19. Line one or two large baking sheets with a double thickness of paper towel and place them in the center of the oven.
  20. Pour the oil into a deep fryer or large, heavy saucepan to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat the oil until it reaches a temperature of 375°F (191°C) on a deep-frying thermometer.
  21. Deep-fry the fofos 5 or 6 at a time, turning them frequently with a slotted spoon for about 5 minutes, or until they are richly browned on all sides.
  22. As they brown, transfer them to the lined baking sheets to keep warm in the oven.
  23. Serve the fofos de arroz while they are still warm, arranged attractively on a heated platter.


  • Add diced vegetables to the rice paste mixture for added flavor and texture.
  • Use different types of seafood, such as crab or lobster, instead of shrimp.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to customize the flavor of the shrimp balls.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to devein the shrimp properly to ensure a clean and tasty final dish.

- Use fresh parsley for a burst of flavor in the rice paste mixture.

- Refrigerate the shrimp balls before frying to help them hold their shape.

- Keep an eye on the oil temperature while frying to prevent burning.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Fofos de Arroz as an appetizer with a side of dipping sauce or as part of a seafood platter.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying is the best cooking technique for Fofos de Arroz to achieve a crispy exterior and a tender interior.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use breadcrumbs instead of pulverized bread for the coating of the shrimp balls.

- Substitute other types of seafood or even ground meat for the shrimp.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the shrimp balls ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to fry. This makes it easy to have a delicious appetizer ready to go for your guests.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the Fofos de Arroz on a platter with fresh herbs and lemon wedges for a beautiful and appetizing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Serve Fofos de Arroz with a crisp white wine or a light beer to complement the flavors of the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Fofos de Arroz in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place them in a preheated oven until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Fofos de Arroz contains approximately 250 calories.


Each serving of Fofos de Arroz contains approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Fofos de Arroz contains approximately 10 grams of fats.


Each serving of Fofos de Arroz contains approximately 15 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Fofos de Arroz is a good source of vitamin C, iron, and calcium.


Fofos de Arroz contains shrimp, eggs, and wheat, which may be allergens for some individuals.


Fofos de Arroz is a well-rounded dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals.


Fofos de Arroz is a delicious and unique dish that combines shrimp, rice, and deep-frying to create a flavorful and crispy appetizer. With a few simple ingredients and some cooking techniques, you can enjoy this traditional Portuguese dish at home.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still recall the sense of amazement I felt when I first saw this recipe for Fofos de Arroz. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting my friend Maria in her quaint little village in Portugal. Maria was known for her amazing culinary skills, and she had promised to teach me how to make one of her favorite traditional dishes.

As we sat in her cozy kitchen, Maria pulled out a worn and tattered recipe book that had been passed down through her family for generations. She flipped through the pages until she found the recipe for Fofos de Arroz, a popular dessert made with rice, sugar, and cinnamon.

Maria explained that this dish was a staple in her family, and that she had learned how to make it from her grandmother when she was just a little girl. She described how the dish was traditionally served at special occasions and celebrations, and how every family in the village had their own unique twist on the recipe.

I watched in awe as Maria gathered the ingredients and began to prepare the dish. She moved with such grace and precision, her hands working in perfect harmony as she measured and mixed each ingredient. I could see the love and care she put into every step, and I knew that this dish was going to be something truly special.

As the sweet aroma of cinnamon filled the air, Maria shared stories of her childhood and the memories she had of making Fofos de Arroz with her grandmother. She spoke of lazy summer days spent in the kitchen, learning the secrets of traditional Portuguese cooking and creating cherished family recipes.

As we sat down to enjoy the finished dish, I took my first bite of the Fofos de Arroz and was instantly transported back in time. The creamy texture of the rice, the sweetness of the sugar, and the warmth of the cinnamon all combined to create a flavor that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

I knew in that moment that I had to learn how to make this dish for myself. I begged Maria to teach me the recipe, and she graciously agreed. Over the course of the next few days, I watched and learned as she guided me through each step, patiently explaining the process and sharing her tips and tricks for making the perfect Fofos de Arroz.

As I practiced and perfected the recipe, I began to understand the true magic of traditional cooking. I realized that it was not just about following a set of instructions, but about connecting with the past, honoring your heritage, and creating something that would be cherished and passed down through generations.

Now, whenever I make Fofos de Arroz, I am reminded of that summer day in Maria's kitchen, and the lessons I learned about the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories. I am grateful for the gift of this recipe, and for the opportunity to carry on the tradition of making this beloved dish for my own family and friends.

And so, as I sit here now, surrounded by the comforting smells of cinnamon and sugar, I am filled with a sense of joy and gratitude for the culinary journey that has brought me to this moment. I may have learned how to make Fofos de Arroz from Maria, but the true magic of this dish lies in the stories and traditions that have been passed down through the generations, and in the love and care that goes into every bite.


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