Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimps)

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A favorite tapas dish with garlicky shrimps in olive oil and a hint of heat from the chilies and the pimentón or Spanish smoked paprika, all sopped up with fresh bread. Life doesn’t seem so bad after indulging yourself with this dish! 😉

We prefer to use bigger shrimps, 25-30 count per kilo so the each person get 4-5 shrimps per portion. Also, we serve the dish with lemon wedges on the side so that each guest can adjust the sourness to his/her own taste.

I prefer to have alot of oil for the bread but it’s up to you. Use less olive oil if you prefer a drier dish.


  • 500g raw shrimp (25-30count/kg) peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 mL olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, to garnish


Step 1

Heat up the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.

Step 2

Add the garlic, chili and pimentón. Stir and cook for about 1 minute until the oil is infused with the garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic as the taste will e bitter.

Step 3

Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp and saute in the oil until they start turning pink, about 2 minutes.

Step 4

Add the cognac and cook until the shrimp is no longer raw.

Step 5

Transfer to a tapas dish or a ceramic dish and garnish with parsley and a wedge of lemon.

Step 6

Serve with fresh baguette.

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