How To Make Gambas Al Ajillo: Spicy garlic shrimp
Total cooking time for this recipe is about 5 minutes so have all your ingredients right in front of you before you turn on your stove: olive oil, garlic, shrimp, dried red peppers (or red pepper flakes), and salt.
- Prepare the Shrimp: You’ll need 10 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels.
- Sauté the Shrimp: Heat a small cast iron pan for 30 seconds over a high flame. Add 1/3 cup of olive oil and wait 10 seconds, then add the garlic and the peppers and sauté until the garlic is golden brown. Add all 10 the shrimp quickly. Sauté for 1 minute and then turn with tongs. Salt. Sauté for one more minute, stir, and then serve immediately while the shrimp are still sizzling in the pan (with a plate underneath).
- Serve with bread – it’s amazing how the oil changes in flavor as the shrimp release their juices!
Chef’s Tips For Success:
- I highly recommend a 6-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe. It’s a relatively inexpensive investment and you can make a myriad of sizzling little dishes with it. It’s also great for omelets.
- The best-tasting shrimp are the ones you buy still in the shell. The pre-shelled shrimp often smell bleach-y and lack texture. Frozen is fine, just defrost in cold water first.
- The key here is very hot oil, and if you put more than 10 shrimp in at once, it will cool down and the shrimp won’t cook fast enough to retain their wonderful texture.
- If you’re cooking for a crowd, peel and devein 20 or even 30 shrimp so you can quickly cook up a couple more batches. They disappear quickly!
BIG thanks to Deborah for this wonderful spicy garlic shrimp recipe. THIS DISH IS SO GOOD!! It’s a thrill to be able to make fabulous authentic Spanish tapas at home. I can’t wait to get a copy of The Taberna de Haro cookbook, which is forthcoming. I promise I’ll link to it as soon as it’s available.
Here’s the recipe for Gambas al Ajillo: Spicy Garlic Shrimp. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Gambas al ajillo (Spicy garlic shrimp)
Recipe compliments of Deborah Hansen, chef/owner of Taberno De Haro.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 5 min
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer, Tapas
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Spanish
- 10 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined (The best-tasting ones are the ones you buy still in the shell. The pre-shelled shrimp often smell bleach-y and lack texture. Frozen is fine, just defrost in cold water first).
- 1/3 cup Spanish extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves of garlic, sliced crosswise into uniform 1/8-inch slices
- 2 small dried red peppers, broken in half (We use chile de arbol) or 1/4 teaspoon of hot crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Place all your prepared ingredients right in front of you. Dry the shrimp.
- Heat the a 6-inch cast iron shallow pan for 30 seconds over a high flame. Pour in the oil. Wait 10 seconds, then add the garlic and the peppers, and sauté until the garlic is golden brown. Add all 10 the shrimp quickly. Let sauté 1 minute and then turn with tongs. Salt. Let sauté one more minute, stir, and then serve immediately while they are still sizzling in the pan (with a plate underneath). High and fast is the name of the game here.
- Serve with bread, and savor how the oil changes in flavor as the shrimp release their juices!
Don’t have a cast iron pan? If you use a metal frying pan, make sure it is small, 8-inches or less, and diminish the cooking time of the shrimp to 20 seconds on each side.
Keywords: garlic shrimp, Spanish shrimp Tapas,