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+ servings
Gambas al Ajillo
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
42 mins
Gambas al ajillo are traditional Spanish prawn tapas prepared with garlic that are often offered in the bodegas.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Renards Gourmets
  • 2 lb prawns
  • 15 cloves garlic , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 small dried hot peppers
  • 20 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper , freshly ground
  1. Place each prawn, belly facing toward you, and open the shell with your fingers. (You can also use scissors).
  2. Squeeze a little on the tail to get the flesh. If the prawn is whole, then pull on the head holding the body with the free hand. That way, the shell should follow. Remove the black vein by gently incising the back with the tip of a knife.
  3. Wash, drain and dry with paper towel.
  4. Season with salt immediately by mix them thoroughly with your hands. Set aside.
  5. In a Dutch oven (ideally earthenware), pour the extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the peppers and garlic. Sauté the garlic without browning them.
  7. Remove the garlic and hot peppers from the oil and set aside.
  8. Add the prawns to the hot oil.
  9. Increase the heat and sauté for 1 minute on medium/high heat, stirring constantly. Lightly season with black pepper.
  10. After one minute, the oil will change color, the prawns will release their broth.
  11. Add reserved hot peppers and garlic. Mix well.
  12. Serve immediately when the prawns are are cooked but still juicy, about 10 minutes.