Garlic shrimp


Gambas al ajillo are very popular as tapas. The shrimp used for this recipe should not be excessively large. The kind of chili used for this in Spain is known as guindilla, a Spanish hot red chili of the thin and long varieties, usually dried.


1 lb shrimp (fresh, whole shrimp, peeled and deveined)
4 clv garlic (peeled and slivered)
1⁄4 chili pepper (red hot chili, dried, sliced thin)
1⁄3 c olive oil
  salt (to taste)


  1. Heat up oil in an earthenware pan; sauté garlic 1-2 minutes. When the garlic starts changing color, add chili and peeled shrimp.
  2. Cook shrimp briefly, under 1 minute, the earthenware retains heat very well and shrimp will go on cooking even when the heat source is off.
  3. Cover and serve straight away, still in the pan.
4 servings
Preparation time
Cooking time
Total time
20 minutes


One of the best tapas to be had when the shrimp are the right size and fresh. They are usually served in individual earthenware pans, covered and eaten with small wooden forks.

Angulas, the super expensive and now rare Spanish baby eels, are cooked exactly the same way.

very easy, healthy
fish & seafood, tapas
Spanish food recipes
Food in Europe


Ideally, they should be cooked in individual size earthenware pans. Remember not to put this kind of pan in direct contact with the heat source.

Wash shrimp and peel them carefully. Pat dry or let them stand on kitchen cloth 4-5 minutes. This will make cooking them much easier, otherwise water droplets will make hot olive oil splatter. Shrimp are easier to cook once dried with a kitchen towel.

Use cooked spaghetti instead of shrimp and follow the recipe. You will have a very easy and delicious pasta dish.

Another delicious pasta dish is created by cooking frozen shrimp and cockles with garlic, as explained but obviously in a large pan and for longer time, add the spaghetti, boiled as per packet instructions, and cook for a further minute.