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Spanish Tapas Style Shrimp - Gambas al Ajillo

Garlic shrimp 2


One of the most common "tapas" of Spain, "gambas al ajillo" requires only a few ingredients, and can be prepared fairly quickly. Be sure to serve shrimp with some good crusty bread for dipping in the delicious garlic flavored olive oil. If you’re planning a trip to Spain, here are a couple of great tapas bars in Madrid near the Prado Museum - Estado Puro and La Trucha -

Download Spanish Style Shrimp Recipe


14 medium garlic cloves, peeled

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

8 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

1 (2-inch) piece mild dried Cascabel chile, roughly broken, seeds included

1 ½ teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

1.    Mince 2 garlic cloves with a garlic press. Toss minced garlic with shrimp, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt in medium bowl. Let shrimp marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2.    Meanwhile, using flat side of chef's knife, smash 4 garlic cloves. Add remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil and smashed garlic to 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is light golden brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow oil to cool to room temperature. Using slotted spoon, remove smashed garlic from skillet and discard.

3.    Thinly slice remaining 8 cloves garlic. Return skillet to low heat and add sliced garlic, bay leaf, and chile. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender but not browned, 4 to 7 minutes. (If garlic has not begun to sizzle after 3 minutes, increase heat to medium-low.)

4.    Over medium-low heat, add shrimp with marinade to pan in single layer. Cook shrimp, undisturbed, until oil starts to gently bubble, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip shrimp and continue to cook until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Increase heat to high and add sherry vinegar, lemon and parsley. Cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are cooked through and oil is bubbling vigorously, 20 to 25 seconds. Serve immediately.

The slightly sweet Cascabel chiles

  Garlic shrimp chiles 


Adding garlic with aromatics adds intense flavor

Garlic shrimp skillet oil

Garlic shrimp plate


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virus classification

Shrimp belong to the group of crustaceans within the seafood, a food that has a low level in fat and calories compared to beef and chicken, beef or pork.

dining tables

The recipe looks so good! I mean it! I just tried it and I am really satisfied! Great job!

Gluten Free Products

That looks like a mouth watering seafood dish but with all the spices it can taste like a wild fire. However, that's Spanish dishes are all about.

Melaine Martin

I did not know that this only requires little number of ingredients. I first tasted this when my grandparent visited us here in our house. She cooked this one for our family dinner. It was everybody's favorite then.

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