Gambas al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp)


  • 1 pound large shrimp , peeled and deveined
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Spanish Albariño or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Salt, to taste
  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Prepare the Shrimp:
    • Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season them with a pinch of salt.
  2. Heat the Olive Oil:
    • In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or a terracotta cazuela (traditional Spanish clay dish), heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté gently until the garlic becomes fragrant and just starts to turn golden. Be careful not to burn the garlic, as it can become bitter.
  3. Sauté the Shrimp:
    • Increase the heat to medium-high and add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet. Cook the shrimp for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they turn pink and opaque. Be careful not to overcook them, as shrimp can become tough if cooked too long.
  4. Deglaze with White Wine:
    • Pour the dry white wine over the shrimp and garlic. Allow the wine to simmer for a minute or two, letting the alcohol evaporate while the flavors meld.
  5. Garnish and Serve:
    • Remove the skillet from the heat. Sprinkle the chopped fresh parsley over the shrimp. Squeeze some lemon juice over the top.
    • Serve the Gambas al Ajillo immediately while hot, accompanied by crusty bread for dipping into the flavorful garlic and olive oil sauce.

Optional Tips:

  • You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less red pepper flakes.
  • Customize the dish with additional ingredients like sliced mushrooms or chopped tomatoes for extra flavor and variety.

Gambas al Ajillo is a beloved Spanish tapa that's quick and easy to prepare, making it a perfect appetizer or light meal, especially when served with a glass of chilled white wine. ¡Buen provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)

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