Spanish Recipes

Grilled Shrimp, Gambas a la Plancha

Grilled shrimp or Gambas a la plancha, is a classic Spanish tapa recipe. Whole, unpeeled shrimps are salted, then cooked quickly on a flat-iron grill.

During and after cooking, lemon juice can be squeezed on the shrimp, giving them even more flavour.

Serves 6
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons sea salt

24 medium-large shrimp (about 1 pound) in the shell with heads intact.  ( Look for medium-large whole shrimp and leave the heads on for cooking. Sucking the juices from the flavour-packed heads of the cooked shrimp is considered the best part).

Grilled Shrimp, Gambas a la Plancha

METHOD

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt until well blended. Dip the shrimp briefly into the mixture to coat lightly.

Heat a dry skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, working in batches, add the shrimp in a single layer without crowding. Sear for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Turn the shrimp, increase the heat to high, and sear for 2 more minutes, or until golden.

Keep the shrimp warm on an ovenproof platter in a low oven. Cook the rest of the shrimp in the same way.

When all the shrimps are cooked, arrange on a platter and serve immediately.

Tip - Because the shrimp will be cooked at high heat, do not use a non-stick surface. Use a flat-iron grill or a large cast-iron frying pan for best results.

Buying Shrimp

Most “fresh shrimp” sold in supermarkets, is not fresh. almost all shrimp are frozen right after being caught. This is done in order to preserve them during the shipping process.

If you buy "fresh" shrimp, use them as soon as possible, to store open the bag and place a paper towel over the top, place the bag on a bowl of ice, and store in the coldest part of your fridge. The shrimp should be okay to use for up to two days. 

Frozen shrimp is often a better buy than fresh.
Thaw them yourself just before cooking and you will have much fresher shrimp than if you would have bought them “fresh”. To defrost frozen shrimp, place them into a colander and run cold water over them for a few minutes. 

Frozen shrimp should not be allowed to thaw between buying and storing.

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