Traveling the world through cuisine

Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic)

Pronounced “gahm-baz ahl ah-he-yo”. Succulent shrimp sauteed in olive oil with garlic and seasonings, then served with good bread. The sauce is wonderful for soaking the bread in.

Gambas al Ajillo (Shrimp in Garlic)


  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1 shot of dry sherry
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 lb of shrimp
  • 3 tsp of parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a frying pan, warm up the olive oil on medium heat
  2. Place in the garlic and red pepper. Sauté for one minute.
  3. Raise the heat to high and add in the sherry and paprika, then the shrimp.
  4. Stir well, sauteing until the shrimp are fully cooked (roughly 3-5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper
  6. Top the dish with the parsley and serve.

Quick Notes

If you can, try to find raw shrimp, as they will soak up the sauce while cooking. It’s up to you if you want to peel them before or after cooking. Size is up to you based on your personal taste.

If you can only find cooked shrimp, then make sure they are fully defrosted and patted dry. Watch them carefully so you only heat them up in the sauce, as opposed to overcooking.


If you would rather not play with anything spicy, then feel free to omit the red pepper.

If you have no dry sherry, then use a shot of cognac.

The choice of bread you use to serve is up to you. A baguette is ideal, but I also like to use thick artisan bread.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the shrimp immediately with sliced bread and a slice of lemon for those wanting to add it. You not only eat the shrimp, but scoop up the garlic sauce with the bread. It’s heavenly.

Tags: Spanish, tapas, shrimp, garlic, seafood

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