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Spanish Gambas ~ Tapas Pil Pil

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This is one of my favorite quick eats, a constant reminder of the summer that I miss so much at the moment. I came across it when I first visited Spain back in 2004. Gosh, time flies! It’s the easiest recipe in the world and  impresses so many of my friends. A perfect glam bbq starter. You can either serve it as a starter or double up the portion and use it a main course, completely up to you.


20 peeled prawns (gambas) (if you cannot get fresh prawns or do not like cooking with them then you can use pre-cooked prawns but adjust the cooking time so as to warm through thoroughly as opposed to cooking them)

3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped and crushed
2 chilly peppers or 2 teaspoons chilly powder
pinch of cayenne or red pepper 
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper


Put olive oil, garlic cloves, chili peppers, and cayenne pepper in an low earthenware pot. Heat at medium heat or until the oil begins to sizzle. Meanwhile peel and wash the prawns. Dry them off with a paper towel and add them to the pot. Cook the prawns for about six minutes, 3 minutes on either side, or until they begin to turn pink and curl slightly. sprinkle with the parsley and serve at once. As with every other tapas dish, Gambas al Ajillo is traditionally served with a bowl of bread.

You can also add some tomatoes (pealed and pureed) to the sauce, before adding the prawns. It adds the sweetness to the taste and dipping the bread in is just too delicious! I hope you make this soon and enjoy it as much as we do.

X Ines

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