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Spanish-Style Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)

Gambas al ajillo is a Spanish classic with Smoked Paprika, Sherry, and loads of garlic. It is an example of a "ración" ("family-style meal") and has turned into one of Spain's most popular tapas.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Garlic, Shrimp, Smoked Paprika, Tapas
Servings: 4
Author: Melanie Preschutti, Kitchen Encounters


  • 2 Lbs Jumbo shrimp (16-20 count) Peeled, deveined, tails left on
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Nomad Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 tsp Nomad Fleur de Sel Sea Salt
  • 1-1/4 Cup Nomad Extra Virgin Olive Oil Divided throughout recipe
  • 8-10 Garlic Cloves Very thinly sliced
  • 4 Small Red Chili Peppers
  • 1 tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Butter for finishing the sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley Minced
  • Rustic bread slices, toasted or grilled To serve


  • In a large bowl, using a large spoon, toss the shrimp with the baking soda, Nomad Smoked Spanish Paprika, Sea Salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Set aside at room temperature.
  • Slice the garlic cloves and the chile peppers, placing them in a small bowl as you work.  Add the remaining cup of olive oil to the garlic and chiles and set aside, to steep, at room temperature, 1 hour.  During this hour, stir the shrimp a few times.
  • Place the garlic-chile pepper-oil in a 31/2-quart chef's pans.  Heat over low heat, until garlic is softened, very fragrant, ever-so-gently sizzling and moving around in the pan by itself, but not browning, 8-10 minutes.
  • Increase heat to medium-high.  Add shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until turning pink, firming up and just short of being cooked through, 3-4 minutes
  • Stir in sherry.  Turn heat off. Stir in  butter.  When butter has melted, stir in half the parsley. Portion into desired-sized serving bowls.  Serve immediately with garlic sauce drizzled over the tops.  Garnish each with remaining parsley.


Nomad Smoked Spanish Paprika

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