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Spanish Garlic Prawns is a Spanish dish consist of prawns, garlic, smoked paprika and chopped parsley sautéed in olive oil. It is commonly served with crusty bread and slices of lemon for acidic flavor. This dish is low in carbs and is considered Keto friendly.

Spanish Garlic Prawns, also known as Gambas Al Ajillo, consist of garlics, prawns, garnished with parsley sauteed in olive oil with paprika served on a plate.
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The first time I tried this food was in a Spanish restaurant where they serve this delicious shrimp dish. That food inspired me to make my version of Gambas al Ajillo.

This food is an example of Spanish Food that has a rich flavor which is nutritious and delicious. I noticed in Spanish cuisines, they have tons of unique seafood dishes. Shrimps or Prawns are one of my favorite Seafood in my life. They taste delicious and it does not have bones like Crabs or other fishes.

In this post, I will be showing you how to cook a Spanish Garlic Prawns also known as Gambas al Ajillo.

Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients of Spanish Garlic Prawns Recipe (Gambas al Ajillo)

The recipe for Spanish Garlic Prawns or Gambas al Ajillo is relatively easy compared to other seafood dishes. Here are the ingredients you need to make this delicious Spanish prawn recipe:

Prawns: You will need a fresh raw prawn since it has a stronger flavor. You can use large or medium-large prawns since it is meaty and it tends to get smaller when cooking them. Also,

Garlic: Garlic is one of the most important ingredients for this recipe which is commonly used in most Spanish cuisines. It’s having a pungent and strong aroma which can enhance the flavor of this dish.

Paprika: I am using smoked red paprika since this will add a smoky flavor, and gives a red color to the dish.

Olive oil: It is one of the important staple ingredients in Spanish Cooking. You can use any olive oil, but I recommend extra virgin olive oil since it is made from pure and cold-pressed olives which are healthier and has a stronger nutty flavor than regular olive oil.

Lemon wedges: The lemon will add a slightly acidic flavor to this dish. Usually, this is served together with the Spanish garlic prawns on the plate which we squeeze on the prawns before eating it.

Parsley: This will be used to add freshness to the dish. You can also garnish it on top of the prawn before serving.  

Notes: Traditionally, you will need a white wine to add the sauce for this dish, but I don’t add any alcoholic content to all my recipes. I instead use more olive oil.

Is there a difference between Shrimp and Prawn?

I was asked from someone what is the difference between prawn and shrimp? And can you use shrimp instead? The truth is, it doesn’t matter because they both taste the same. The only difference is the structural shape of their body which is not a big deal. If you will like to use shrimp, you are more than welcome to do so. Sometimes, I use shrimp or prawn in this dish, and it only depends on the availability in the market.

Step-By-Step Instruction

Here are instruction to make this delicious Spanish Garlic Prawns

  1. Firstly, I add extra virgin olive oil to the pan. 
  2. Once it becomes hot, that is when I added the garlic and then let gently stir till it turns light brown but not overcooked.
  3. Next, I add the prawns and sear them for 20-30 seconds on each side or until it turns pink.
  4. While the prawn is still cooking, I added the salt, black pepper, chopped parsley, and paprika. After the prawns are pink, stir gently before turning off the heat.
  5. After that, I transferred it to the plate and garnish it with chopped parsley again.
  6. Serve it with slices of lemon and some crusty bread before eating. Enjoy! 
Spanish Garlic Prawns consist of prawns, paprika, garlic, garnished with chopped parsley sautéed in olive oil served in a pan.

Tips and Hints

  • It is best to use fresh prawns than frozen one that is stored in the freezer since it is fresh and has a stronger flavor and aroma.
  • Do not overcook the prawns since this will give you a tough and rubbery texture.
  • Use a larger pan when cooking the prawns. You need to make sure it doesn’t overcrowd the prawns or else you may not be able to sear it properly.
  • If you want it spicy, you can add a drop of cayenne pepper.
  • Some prefer to cook the prawns with the shells since this is where the stronger flavor comes in. But it prefers to have it peeled and deveined since it is more convenient to eat it. I couldn’t imagine removing the shells with my hand for every bite of it.

Substitution and Variation

  • You can use other types of oil, like avocado oil or coconut oil
  • If you don’t have parsley, you can use chopped coriander or basil.
  • With these ingredients, you can make this into a pasta dish.

Other Prawn / Shrimp recipes to try

Here are other recommended shrimp / prawns recipes to make at home:

  1. Shrimp Croquettes
  2. Prawn Masala

Gambas Al Ajillo is an example of Spanish food recipes. It is delicious and nutritious. If you are looking for Spanish recipes, here are an example of authentic Spanish recipes you may love to cook at home.

📋 Recipe Card

Spanish Garlic Prawns, also known as Gambas Al Ajillo, consist of garlics, prawns, garnished with parsley sauteed in olive oil with paprika served on a plate.

Spanish Garlic Prawns Recipe (Gambas al Ajillo)

Saif Al Deen Odeh

Spanish Garlic Prawns is a Spanish dish consist of prawns, garlic, smoked paprika and chopped parsley sautéed in olive oil. It is commonly served with crusty bread and slices of lemon for acidic flavor.

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 5 mins

Course Main

Cuisine Spanish

Servings 4 servings

Calories 376 kcal

Ingredients  

  • 500 grams of prawns (OR Shrimp if you don’t have prawn)
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • salt and black pepper for taste
  • half slice of lemon

Instructions 

  • Add extra virgin olive oil on the pan. Once hot, add the garlics. Give a quick stir still it turns light brown. Do not overcooked it.

  • Add the prawns. Sear it on each side for 20 to 30 seconds or until it becomes pink.

  • Add salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and chopped parsley on the pan. Stir to combine before turning off the heat.

  • Transfer into the plate. Garnish it with chopped parsley again.

  • Serve it with a slice of lemon and any crusty bread you desired. Enjoy!   

Notes

  • If you don’t have prawn, you can just use shrimp instead
  • I use extra virgin olive oil, but you can use pure olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil if desired. Do not use vegetable cooking oil since it will not taste good
  • You can use Spanish paprika instead of smoked paprika.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servingsCalories: 376kcalCarbohydrates: 4.5gProtein: 29gFat: 27.5gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 270mgPotassium: 291mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 0.2gCalcium: 128mgIron: 1mg

Keyword gambas al ajillo, spanish garlic prawns

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