Gambas Al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic)

Gambas Al Ajillo (Shrimp with Garlic)

OK, so anything cooked in butter, olive oil, garlic and hot pepper is good. Shrimp, scallops, snails, very small rocks. Still, this is a delightful appetizer and the leftover liquid is perfect for soaking up with bread, if you’re into that kind of thing.

It’s also really, really, really easy to make.


  • 12 large shrimp (1 lb or so)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp hot pepper flakes
  • 4-8 cloves of garlic, chopped (depending on if you’re a garlic fan, or psycho fan like me)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coursely ground salt
  • 2 ounces (4 Tbsp) lemon juice


  • Heat olive oil and melt butter in a heavy pan over medium heat(cast iron is great), or a heavy clay baking dish. Pan should be big enough to hold all the shrimp in one layer.
  • When butter is melted and liquid is hot, add pepper and garlic, lightly brown garlic
  • Add shrimp, cook for about a minute or 90 seconds on the first side
  • Flip the shrimp, cook for another minute, shrimp should be pink and have curled up
  • Turn off heat
  • Add paprika and lemon juice, stir together with shrimp and butter/oil combo
  • Sprinkle salt on top
  • Serve in the pan you just cooked it in, or transfer to a heavy serving dish that can handle the heat