Garlic shrimps – Fried gambas al ajillo


Garlic shrimps – the actual demystification

I know that all of us are very into seafood but none of us actually takes charge of buying and cooking it. There is some sort of automatic blocker for dealing with an ingredient that is so subtle and delicate. Adding the fact that it can also be expensive and toping with our general risk aversive attitude, seafood goes to the bottom of the list when it comes to priorities of shopping.

There are two ways to tackle this problem, either go to a supermarket nearby and buy some pre-packaged, deveined, and cleaned shrimps or go to a nearby fish-market and buy some fresh ones. Now the latter is always better and much tastier but pack a little extra effort. Garlic shrimps will go great with both.

If you get fresh shrimp, bear in mind that they tend to go bad very easily, so at this point, your nose is your best friend.

  1. IF shrimp smells funny (funny=amonia in food) THEN NO GO.
  2. Fresh shrimps have a very robust built – so if they are extremely soft and slimy – that’s another no-go situation.
  3. If you are buying it in a supermarket – 9 times out of 10 – they are frozen fish which are thawed – so unless you will use it immediately, just go for the frozen ones

For all the other cases make sure that you buy frozen ones. Let them defrost under runny water and it will take just a couple of minutes. Clean them up really well – you do not want any seafood slime left. If they come with the shell it is up to you what you do with it, but if you de-shell them, on their back you will see a black line – take a knife, make a little cut, and take it out. 

Once they are clean and ready, you have to prep everything. As shrimps cook really fast, we want to make sure that we have everything at hand so that they do not get all gummy. Once everything is ready, open up a bottle of white or chilled rose wine, and let’s get to cooking! Here are some other shrimp recipes.

garlic shrimps

Depending on how this plate comes out for you, you can integrate some sort of additions to the dish. Eating it as is, works – but getting a bottle of wine and eating the shrimp with it, works as well.

garlic shrimp

Garlic shrimp

Seafood is easy when done simply. Let's learn the great garlic shrimp recipe – the Spanish gambas al ajillo – a Spaniard delicacy to die for!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 2
Calories 200 kcal


  • pan


  • 500 gr of fresh or thawed frozen shrimp
  • a couple of garlic cloves
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • some smoky paprika
  • olive oil
  • A little bit of chopped coriander for freshness
  • a bit of cognac or a type of spirit to deglaze


  • Clean up the shrimps, dry them up, and put them aside. Chop the garlic into small pieces. 
  • On a frying pan, add some olive oil and chop the garlic.
  • Quickly fry the garlic, and once it gets a little translucent, add the shrimps
  • Salt them, pepper them, paprika them and if you like it a little hot, add some red pepper flakes. 
  • Make sure not to overcrowd the pan as then the shrimps are going to release a lot of liquid and you will be boiling them.
  • they will need 2 minutes on each side. By this time the garlic would have been caramelized and everything would look and 
  • You can potentially deglaze them. Be carefull of the fire if you are cooking with gas
  • Remove it from the pan and make sure to eat it immediately.
  • If you think you added a little too much red pepper flakes as I did, just shop some coriander on top!
Keyword garlic, shrimps
Kitchenette Traveler
Kitchenette Traveler
I am just the average Joe, working in tech, that requires a lot of travel and at the same time, struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle while trying to stay away from those delicious burgers... As such, my tips are lessons learned from failure, complete mess-ups and whatever experience I have gotten in the past.

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