Gambas for Game Day

Gambas al Ajillo

Gambas al Ajillo (sauteed shrimp with garlic) may usually be a staple in Spanish tapas joints, but the same dish is also a popular Filipino bar food (perhaps a takeaway from a couple hundred years of Spanish colonialism, I’m guessing).

And despite its Spanish origins and Filipino popularity, gambas al ajillo are also perfect game day fare for an All-American Super Bowl shindig–especially if all of your Crispy Adobo Wings dissappear before the first timeout.

In fact, gambas al ajillo are so quick and easy to prepare, you can probably get a batch done, from start to finish, in 5 minutes flat–ensuring you don’t miss a single play, snap, or commercial (hey, I don’t judge) during your Super Bowl viewing party.

Gambas1

Gambas. Not to be confused with Goombas.

Featuring a glut of garlic and chilies, some Spanish smoked paprika, and just a touch of banana ketchup for sweetness, my version of Gambas al Ajillo is fairly straightforward. Even if you’ve got a few riojas, or better yet, a few cold San Miguel beers, in your system and you’re stumbling around your kitchen like Bo Jackson on a Tecmo Bowl field, the end result is still a touchdown (yes, I tried very hard to work in that reference).

Ah, Tecmo Bowl. It’s a classic.

Anyways, even if you’re not throwing a party where appetizers are needed, you can still make this recipe as a main course. I like to split open a nice crusty baguette, brush its insides with the garlic sauce, and then fill it with the spicy shrimp for a Gambas Po’ Boy.

Gambas al Ajillo Po’ Boy

Gambas al Ajillo (Spicy Shrimp and Garlic)

Makes 2-4 appetizer servings

1/4 cup olive oil
6-7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
1 thai bird chile, finely chopped
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish parika
Optional–1 tablespoon banana ketchup (can be found in Filipino markets)
juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chile flakes, and chile to the pan and cook until garlic just begins to brown, about 30 seconds.

Add the shrimp and paprika to the pan and toss to coat. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink and are just cooked through–about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper. Remove shrimp from heat and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

  • Alisa January 31, 2011, 9:22 pm

    I know I should have bought some shrimps, this looks so good! I need to make me some of these

    Reply
  • caninecologne February 1, 2011, 8:56 pm

    hi marvin
    only 6-7 garlic cloves? :) i have a similar recipe and i use 10+ cloves, depending on how garlicky i want it to be. i should try your kicked up version – i notice you use thai bird chile! nice!
    remember Coleco Head to Head Football? ha ha

    Reply
  • Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves February 2, 2011, 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Who knows? Maybe they’ll make a shirt w/ goombas eating gambas!

    Reply
  • Hypnotherapy London February 3, 2011, 3:12 am

    Looks great! Thank you

    Reply
  • Joy February 6, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Ohh this looks great. I’m so craving this now.

    Reply
  • Charlotte February 12, 2011, 4:16 pm

    I love eating gambas al ajillo with some pasta. The garlic is so flavorful. I don’t use ketchup or paprika, just olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, and shrimp. Yum!

    Reply
  • Christopher Hinn February 13, 2011, 2:04 am

    Yummy! This is my favorite! Gambas, so heavenly!

    Reply
  • unique baby gifts February 18, 2011, 1:12 am

    I love eating gambas al ajillo with some pasta. The garlic is so flavorful.Its a very nice recipe.I like it.

    Reply
  • Gambas March 31, 2011, 10:48 pm

    Thanks for the recipe!The garlic is so flavorful.Its a very nice recipe.I like it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrSTQDVc0tc Looks great! Thank you.I love how simple it is, no excuses not try it

    Reply
  • wedding catering los angeles May 12, 2011, 10:53 pm

    I love eating gambas al ajillo with some pasta. And most likely the garlic is so flavorful. I don’t use ketchup or paprika, just olive oil, red pepper flakes garlic and some shrimp…Very delicious water comes in my mouth..!

    Reply

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