Spanish Shrimp Tapas

Spanish Shrimp Tapas
Spanish Shrimp Tapas

If you visit Spain, you will discover quickly that there is a great love of seafood present in both the culture and the cuisine. This particular dish is extremely popular in bars famed for their tapas, or appetizers, though you are more likely to find it called "gambas al ajillo." Shrimp shows up in a variety of of dishes, from those shrimp that are grilled over an open flame to the shrimp that are fried up in a skillet. The later method was our choice for this particular recipe.

You can start off with either fresh or frozen shrimp, though Jeff recommends fresh. These can be peeled and deveined or you can leave the tail on, whichever you prefer. If you are using frozen shrimp, be sure to allow them to thaw for about ten minutes or so in cold water before you cook with them. When you cook your shrimp, you will discover they cook very quickly in the cast iron, usually needing about a minute for each side. You may have some sear marks on your shrimp, which is the nature of cooking in this kind of pan, but that’s just fine. Take care not to overcook your shrimp or they will become mushy or mealy, which is especially unpleasant if you are expecting to bite into a firmer shrimp.

For the garlic, you can use fresh garlic or reconstituted garlic flakes in place of fresh. No matter what you use, you’ll want to cook it until it is softened, but you do not want it to brown. With a little research, Jeff discovered that the spices used in this recipe were pretty much all present in our Chili Powder Mild. The only things absent from the chili powder were nutmeg and sugar, which he added separately. Once you have finished preparing this easy dish, you can serve your shrimp in the skillet or you could remove it from the pan and put it on a different dish. Either way, these attractive little shrimp are sure to catch the eye of anyone who likes seafood.

 Print Recipe

  • 1 lb shrimp size 21-25, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder Mild
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  1. In a small bowl add Organic Garlic Flakes and just enough water to cover them, let sit for 5-10 minutes and drain excess water.
  2. Thaw shrimp and rinse in cold water.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together Chili Powder Mild, Ground Nutmeg and sugar.
  4. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet to med high heat.
  5. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, be careful not to brown.
  6. Remove the garlic from the pan and set aside.
  7. Turn heat to high.
  8. Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
  9. Add shrimp to the pan and sear each side about 1 minute.
  10. When shrimp becomes pink and has some sear marks, toss in the dry spice mixture and 1/2 of the parsley.
  11. Cook for about 30 seconds to warm the spices.
  12. Remove from heat and serve immediately with lemon on the side.