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Spanish Garlic Shrimp [Easy Recipe!]

The Spanish garlic shrimp, or as it is called in Spanish, Gambas al ajillo, is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes from Andalusia.

In this article, I will show you how to cook the perfect garlic shrimp, and I’ll also give you some tips so you can entirely customize this recipe.

Spanish Garlic Shrimp - DIY Easy Recipe
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Background of the dish

Background of the dish, easy garlic shrimp recipe

Gambas al ajillo or Spanish garlic shrimp is an emblem of Spanish cuisine in general, but it actually had its origins on the coasts of Andalusia. This recipe was developed hundreds of years ago in southern Spain since shrimp is a type of seafood that is very abundant.

It quickly became a classic since it is very easy and fast to make and at that time shrimp was one of the cheapest foods that fishermen from the area could afford.

Today the recipe continues to be extremely popular and can be found basically in any bar or restaurant in Andalusia, where it is made with some of the best shrimp in the world.

If you like this recipe, then you should definitely try other delicious Spanish recipes, such as Spanish Shrimp Soup, gazpacho with Shrimp, and Spanish Seafood Soup. They are some of the best seafood recipes and also come from Andalusia!

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Looking for the most authentic Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe? This garlic shrimp recipe can be found in most authentic Spanish restaurants. Known as Gambas al Ajillo, this spicy garlic shrimp recipe will make you crave Mediterranean cuisine. Due to its ease and simplicity, this is the best garlic shrimp recipe you can prepare at home. Chose this easy Spanish garlic shrimp recipe if you're in a hurry, and want a delicious, yet wholesome dish for your family. #shrimprecipe #spanishrecipes
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Things You’ll Need for Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe

The best part of this Spanish shrimp recipe is that you don’t need any rare or expensive ingredients, and you definitely already have the necessary kitchen tools.

When it comes to the ingredients, this recipe calls for frozen shrimp, but you can use fresh ones as well!

Of course, the original Andalusian recipe calls for fresh shrimp since Southern Spain has a large port area,  but this quality of seafood can be hard to find in other places in the world.

If you are sure that the fresh shrimp from your town has good quality, then use that one! If you have any problem cleaning and deveining the shrimp, there are some pretty cool kitchen tools that can help, or just a pair of clean scissors will do the trick.

garlic shrimp recipes,

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large frozen shrimps (thawed and peeled)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • ¼ cup (60g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry 

How to Make Spanish Garlic Shrimp – Step by Step Guide

shrimp in garlic sauce
  1. To start making this Spanish garlic Shrimp recipe, just grab a bowl or a large plate and place in the clean and peeled shrimp. You can buy frozen shrimp that usually comes cleaned and peeled, or you can use fresh shrimp and prepare it yourself. The fresh shrimp is always better, but make sure it’s good quality, otherwise, the frozen one is preferable. Season the garlic with salt and paprika and set aside. In the meantime peel and chop the garlic.
  2. Up next, use a frying pan or skillet and heat the olive oil at medium heat. Cook the garlic until it reaches a golden color, or for 2 minutes. Be careful while cooking the garlic since it turns brown really easily.
  3. Then add the shrimp and turn the heat up to high. Toss and turn the pan with the shrimp for 2 minutes or until it curls but remains undercooked. This helps to seal the shrimp and fill it with garlic flavor but without overcooking it.
  4.  After that pour the dry sherry and stir until it comes to a boil, you should hear a sizzle and see some bubbles, this way the sherry flavor won’t be strong and overpowering. Cook for 2 more minutes or until the shrimp is cooked all the way through. 
  5. For the final step on this Gambas al ajillo recipe, all you have to do is to remove from the heat, add one tablespoon of chopped parsley and mix everything together. Then serve warm and enjoy!

Substitution of Ingredients

how to cook garlic shrimp

There are times when you want to make a recipe but don’t have all the ingredients to make it, and in times like these where we have to avoid leaving our homes, a simple shrimp and garlic recipe can be difficult to make with the original ingredients.

Thankfully, there are many substitutions that you can make in the ingredients as long as you have the main one that it’s the shrimp (fresh or frozen).

For example, you can substitute the dry sherry with the same amount of white wine, just make sure you bring it to a boil so the alcohol evaporates, otherwise you might get a bitter flavor.

You can also use 2 tablespoons of fish or vegetable broth instead.

This is a pretty healthy recipe, but you can make it even healthier if you make a baked garlic shrimp recipe or grilled garlic shrimp recipe. Using these techniques, you only need 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil, so you are reducing a lot of the fat from the recipe.

Lastly, I encourage you to try different types of spices on this Spanish garlic shrimp recipe. For example, you can use hot paprika or black ground pepper to make a more spicy garlic shrimp recipe.

Just remember that in this authentic version the garlic and shrimp are the true stars of this dish. And if you love eating shrimp with garlic, make sure to try our creamy Spanish garlic sauce recipe.

Tips on Serving Spanish Garlic Shrimp

gambas al ajillo recipe

One of the best parts of this garlic shrimp recipe is that you can serve it in many ways, and it can also make you look like a professional chef!

In the recipe, I already show you how to make shrimp so you know how easy it is, but if you choose the right dish presentation you can impress everyone.

For example, you can serve it as an entree in small bowls with some toasted bread, this way it’ll be more filling and also have a crunchy texture.

If you are looking for what to eat in Cordoba, you might see that some restaurants serve the shrimp with a garlic sauce, and you can also make that!

You just have to transfer the Spanish garlic shrimp to a bowl immediately after you’re done cooking it, this way you won’t lose any of the juices and you will have the garlic sauce.

If you are that person who could eat shrimp at any meal, you must try our Gazpacho with Shrimp, perfect for hot summer days.

How to Store Spanish Garlic Shrimp

How to Store Spanish Garlic Shrimp

For this dish, there are different ways of saving that you can use if you have a little left or if you want to make it a couple of days before consuming it.

The easiest thing is to keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days. You can use a sterilized jar and store the shrimp in garlic sauce, this way you won’t lose any of the juices from the dish.

You can also store it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag, and it will last on the fridge for up to 4 days.

Since this is the best garlic shrimp recipe, you can also freeze it! If you want to freeze them, you just have to let it cool until it reaches room temperature and stores them in a covered jar or bowl.

It can last from a month to 45 days, so be sure to put a date tag so you don’t forget! To defrost it, you just have to leave it in the refrigerator the night before.

Recipe Card: Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Yield: 4

Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe

Spanish Garlic Shrimp - DIY Easy Recipe

The Spanish garlic shrimp, or as it is called in Spanish, Gambas al ajillo, is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes from Andalusia.

In this article, I will show you how to cook the perfect garlic shrimp, and I’ll also give you some tips so you can entirely customize this recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large frozen shrimps (thawed and peeled)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup (60g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry

Instructions

  1. Grab a bowl or a large plate and put in the clean and peeled shrimp. Season with salt and paprika and set aside. In the meantime peel and chop the garlic.
  2. In a frying pan or skillet heat the olive oil at medium heat. Cook the garlic until it reaches a golden color, or for 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the shrimp and turn the heat up to high heat. Move the pan tossing and turning the shrimp for 2 minutes until it curls but remains undercooked. 
  4.  After that pour the dry sherry and stir until it comes to a boil. Cook for 2 more minutes or until the shrimp is completely cooked. 
  5. Remove from the heat, add one tablespoon of chopped parsley and mix everything together. Serve warm.

Notes

For this Spanish Garlic Shrimp Recipe, you can replace the dry sherry with another type of wine, or even for the same amount of broth or a sauce. I recommend using the sherry because the flavor goes really well with the shrimp.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

4

Amount Per Serving Calories 152Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 239mgSodium 1266mgCarbohydrates 4gNet Carbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 26g

All information presented and written are intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. The writers and publishers of visitsouthernspain.com are not nutritionists or registered dietitians. Statements within this site have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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