Recipe: Prawns “Amigo” at O Amigo Snack Bar, Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know that I recently paid a visit to Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal. I spent four days relaxing on golden beaches with crystal blue waters. and exploring the winding, cobbled streets of Lagos town centre. 

And, of course, stuffing my face with delicious Portuguese food. I’m not going to give too much away just yet about the food I ate, or what I got up to – that’s for another blog post – but there was one dish in particular that I just can’t resist shouting about.

O Amigo Snack Bar in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

View of O Amigo Snack Bar from The Big Chill Hostel, Lagos

The closest restaurant to where I was staying at The Big Chill Hostel, on Estrada da Ponta da Piedade, was the O Amigo Snack Bar. It was just like your average traditional pub inside (especially as you could smoke in there!) but it was in this cosy, little pub that I ate what was, by far, the best meal I had during my four days in Lagos.

O Amigo Snack Bar in Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

O Amigo Snack Bar/Pub, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal


Prawns “Amigo” (€10.80) consisted of jumbo king prawns cooked with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli, white wine, parsley and brandy. From the very first taste of that oily broth, the flavour just completely blew me away. It was almost addictive; if I lived in Lagos, I wouldn’t be able to stay away from this place. This dish was served in a clay earthenware dish and accompanied by a side of freshly boiled rice to mix in with the prawns, and a vibrant side salad. 

Prawns Amigo at O Amigo Snack Bar/Pub, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

Prawns Amigo at O Amigo Snack Bar/Pub, Lagos, Algarve, Portugal

I’ve tasted variations on this dish before; gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) are a popular Spanish tapas dish. but usually the prawns are served with fresh, crusty bread to soak up the silky, piquant broth. You could get away with serving this dish either as a main course with rice, or paired with crusty bread as part of a tapas selection; these Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce would be the perfect companion.

I couldn’t stop thinking about this dish after I got home, so I decided to have a go at making it myself. I had a look around for similar recipes online but I didn’t find anything quite like what I’d tried in Portugal, so I came up with my own recipe based on the ingredients the restaurant told me they’d used (apart from the brandy – I left that out). I gave the recipe a go, and the end result both looked and tasted incredible – almost as good as the real thing, but not quite!

Homemade Portugese Prawns Amigo with rice and salad

My take on O Amigo Snack Bar’s Prawns “Amigos”

I know I’m going to be making this recipe over and over again, and I urge you to give it a go too – or, even better – if you’re in Lagos, stop by at O Amigo Snack Bar and try out prawns “Amigo” for yourself. Need somewhere to stay nearby? If you’re travelling alone and watching the pennies then The Big Chill Hostel next door is your best bet, but if you’re in a group and looking for somewhere more up market, consider renting a villa from somewhere like James Villa Holidays

Prawn "Amigos"

This Portuguese dish of jumbo king prawns in extra virgin olive oil with dried chilli flakes, fresh garlic, tomatoes, parsley, sherry vinegar and lemon has a distinct, tangy taste that will leave you wanting more. Using raw, unpeeled prawns will add even more flavour but if you're looking to save time then frozen, raw, peeled prawns taste delicious too. Serve with fresh, crusty bread, or stir in some long grain rice for a healthier alternative.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Portuguese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2


  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g peeled and deveined jumbo king prawns raw
  • 3-4 garlic cloves sliced (use more or less, dependent on how strong you'd like it to be)
  • Β½ - 1 tsp dried chilli flakes to taste
  • 75 g plum or cherry tomatoes
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 200 g long grain rice cooked (125g uncooked, approx)
  • 1 thick slice of fresh lemon
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • pinch of salt


  1. Pour the olive oil into a heat-proof clay earthenware dish (if you don't have one, just use a frying pan like I did) and heat over a medium flame for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced garlic, chilli flakes, tomatoes and salt (to retain moisture) and cook over a medium heat for a further 2 minutes to release the aromas and impart sweetness, stirring continuously so the garlic doesn't burn.
  3. Add the prawns and cook for no more than 3 minutes, so as not to overcook them; if you're using a clay earthenware dish, the prawns will continue to cook even after you've taken the dish off the heart.
  4. Add the white wine, a dash of sherry vinegar, a thick slice of fresh lemon and chopped parsley, and stir to combine.
  5. Stir the rice into the oily prawn broth (unless you're serving it with crusty bread, that is), and serve whilst still hot. You may wish to serve the rice in a separate side dish, so that it can be stirred into the dish at the table.

Recipe Notes

 To avoid overcooking the prawns, prepare all the ingredients beforehand (including the rice and the side salad).

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  1. August 2, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    Looks amazing, I haven’t been to Portugal for years but I remember I loved the food x

  2. August 2, 2016 / 5:46 pm

    Years and years ago we won a weekend holiday in Portugal and as vegetarians we were a little scared of what food to expect. We opted for a veggie soup but when it arrived, fish eyes were staring out at us from the bowl! But we loved our time there, glad you had a great time too.

    • August 4, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      Oh god, that sounds like an awful experience πŸ™ I wouldn’t have liked that at all. I am glad you still had a good time in Portugal, though.

  3. August 2, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    This dish looks delicous I love prawns I’ve not been to Portugal before but do love Portuguese food.

    • August 4, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Aww I’m glad that you like Lagos. I’ve been there twice and I’m already looking forward to a third visit!

  4. August 2, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    Lovely recipe. I would love to visit Portugal one day. xx

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      I bet you’d love it, Portugal is a great country to visit!

  5. August 2, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    Yay a Portuguese recipe, us Med’s are famed for our seafood which is a shame because I don’t eat fish lol!

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:58 pm

      I’m funny with seafood; I love prawns and most fish, but there are some fish (like skate and plaice) that I just can’t stand and also I am very squeamish about shell fish like oysters and mussels; I’ve never even tried them!

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      It’s such an excellent idea, brings back happy holiday memories πŸ˜€

  6. August 2, 2016 / 10:28 pm

    Oh those prawns look amazing, such a cute little restaurant x

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      I can confirm they tasted completely amazing too πŸ˜€

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked it!

  7. August 2, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    Wow, they had some delicious dishes! I’d love to try your version of the prawn amigos.

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:56 pm

      They did have a lovely menu here. This dish is great, I highly recommend trying it out!

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:56 pm

      If you like spicy prawns then you are sure to love this recipe – give it a go πŸ™‚

  8. August 3, 2016 / 7:05 am

    My sister is visiting Portugal in October and I’m sure she’s not staying far from Lagos. She absolutely loves prawns too so I bet she would love to try this, it sounds delicious!

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Aww wow, do you know what the place she is staying is called? Lagos is lovely, I highly recommend a visit if she is nearby.

  9. August 3, 2016 / 8:33 am

    What a gorgeous sounding recipe, and I love the travel photos! You get to go to so many amazing places!

    • August 4, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      Thank you Elizabeth πŸ™‚ I am very lucky.. my waistline isn’t so grateful, however!

  10. August 3, 2016 / 11:31 am

    Just absolute yumness there on plates, I love prawns whether or not I have to peel them myself x

    • August 4, 2016 / 1:02 pm

      I love prawns too. I must be honest, I’ve never actually peeled a prawn before though… I tend to go for the quicker options haha!

  11. August 3, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    Sounds like some delicious dishes – yum!

    • August 4, 2016 / 1:02 pm

      Thanks – it was really good!

  12. August 3, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    The restaurant looks great and the food so delicious. Portugal has some great restsurants.

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:54 pm

      For sure, I would never get tired of walking around Portugal, exploring its many different restaurants πŸ™‚

  13. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
    August 3, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    Everything looks so delicious. I love prawns with chilli – lovely and light.

    • August 4, 2016 / 12:52 pm

      Me too, prawns and chilli are a match made in heaven!

  14. August 4, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    I saw prawns in the title and I was in love already, I absolutely love anything with prawns in!

  15. August 4, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Oooh, we’re visiting Burgau, just down the road from Lagos, at the end of the month! We usually pop into Lagos at least once, so I’ll keep my eye open for this place. Your recipe looks fab

    • August 5, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      Sounds great, lucky you πŸ™‚ I’ll be posting some more things about Lagos – what to eat, where to go, etc – so keep an eye out, never know, might see something you fancy doing while you’re in Lagos πŸ™‚

  16. August 4, 2016 / 5:06 pm

    Oh wow ! would love to visit Portugal! The recipe looks and sounds great

    • August 5, 2016 / 2:51 pm

      Thanks, it is a delicious dish. It’s worth trying it out at home πŸ™‚

  17. August 5, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I love prawn dishes, this looks amazing and full of flavour πŸ˜‰

    • August 14, 2016 / 5:25 pm

      Thanks, me too. I bought a big bag of raw prawns to freeze when I made this dish, so luckily I still have some left over.

  18. August 7, 2016 / 1:44 am

    I love king prawns, however if they are served outside the shell it makes things 10x easier to eat!

    • August 14, 2016 / 5:22 pm

      They were served with the shell removed – it was just the tails that were left on!

  19. August 8, 2016 / 5:04 pm

    I don’t eat prawns as i am a vegetarian. But I really love the design of that wall

    • August 14, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      The wall was so cool, I could stare at it for hours!

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