Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)

Small plates may be all the current sharable rage, but they have a long and rich history across the pond in bars, eateries, and otherwise causal digs, meant to compliment the peckish day drinker. Gambas al Ajillo is a classic Spanish tapas dish of the hot variety and ubiquitous as Patatas Bravas. Compliment with artisanal bread to soak up the goodness and a crispy Albariño to round the profiles into perfect bites.

Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)


2 pounds large fresh shrimp with tails in shells
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of Spanish sherry
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 dried chile guajillo, chopped
1 large bunch of parsley, minced
1 large lemon, juice and zest
Kosher salt


  1. Peel and de-vain shrimp, set aside.
  2. Add shells to a pan with olive oil, half the garlic, sherry, chile guajillo, lemon juice, and zest.
  3. Over low heat, cover and occasionally stir for 10 minutes
  4. Add the remaining oil and garlic to a fresh pan on medium-low heat. After two minutes, strain the shrimp stock into the pan and stir
  5. Add shrimp and cook until the shrimp turns light pink. Add parsley. Remove from heat. Do not overcook shrimp. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Gabe Gomez / Photography by Pim Myten

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