Camarones al Ajillo – Honest Cooking Recipe

Camarones al Ajillo is a must-try with its tender and flavorful shrimp, infused with garlicky and herby oil, perfect for mopping up with bread.

This is a beloved Spanish and Latin American dish with shrimp (camarones) cooked in a delicious garlic (ajillo) sauce. Despite its simplicity, this dish is packed with rich and bold flavors, making it a popular favorite among diners at Son Cubano. 

The typical preparation of shrimp involves sautéing them in olive oil with a generous amount of minced or sliced garlic and other ingredients like parsley, chili, and white wine. This results in a dish where the sweet flavor of the shrimp perfectly blends with the aromatic and savory notes of garlic and other seasonings. 

Executive Chef Brian Morales’s version of the famous shrimp dish at Son Cubano is just as good as the original but more decadent, rich, and luxurious. The dish consists of cooking shrimp in garlic, blended oil, white wine, lobster broth, fresh chili paste, asparagus, and cilantro to enhance the flavor. The chef recommends using blended oil as it is a more cost-effective option than olive oil. The chili paste provides heat to the dish and complements the garlicky flavor, while asparagus adds texture and flavor. Butter is added to give the broth a creamy texture. Finally, the dish is garnished with scallions and chili and served with crusty sourdough bread to soak up the garlicky sauce. If you can’t find lobster broth, you can use vegetable broth or even make your own shrimp broth using the leftover shrimp shells.

See Also

Asparagus with Spanish Chorizo Sausage

Here are some tips for cooking

  • Use a generous amount of good-quality oil that is not too heavy.
  • Let the garlic release its fragrance slowly (some cooks start with cold oil) to prevent it from becoming too bitter and overpowering the shrimp.
  • Cook the shrimp gently in the oil and other ingredients until heated through and still juicy inside. 

Where to eat it ?

Son Cubano, located in New Jersey, is a restaurant that offers a taste of 1950s Cuba, including glamour, elegance, music, and, of course, food. You can relax in one of the two luxurious dining areas and then head to the bar for cocktails like Old Havana (Captain Morgan Rum, Guava, Hand-Crafted Mint Syrup, Fresh Lime Juice, Aromatic Bitters, and Prosecco). You can sit on the patio or walk down to the water’s edge to enjoy the breathtaking views of Manhattan after trying dishes such as Camarones al Ajillo or Market Fish paired with coconut rice. 

Print

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Description

The dish is prepared by cooking the shrimp in garlic, oil, white wine, lobster broth, fresh chili paste, asparagus, and cilantro to add flavor. The dish is garnished with scallions and chili and served with hearty pieces of crusty sourdough bread to mop up the garlicky sauce.



  • Begin by deshelling and deveining the fresh shrimp. Leave the tail on to retain the moisture and flavor of the shrimp. Then, season with salt and pepper.  
  • Add 1 tablespoon of blended oil to pan and begin to heat up until you see a little bit of smoke coming off pan remove pan from flame. At this point add the shrimp. Note from the chef: this step is important, so your pan won’t scorch and flame up.
  • Return to the heat and sear the shrimp until fully cooked and golden brown (about 3 minutes) 
  • Next add minced garlic to the pan, and allow to cook briefly. When the garlic becomes a golden-brown color, add the white wine to deglaze pan and release all that beautiful fond (flavorful browned bits that stick to the bottom of a pan after searing) 
  • Add the sambal olek, lobster broth, and reduce for about 1 minute
  • Add cold butter, sliced asparagus, and allow for sauce to simmer and become rich and luxurious 
  • Next, turn off the heat and add fresh cilantro to the sauce. Set to the side. 
  • In another pan, add 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil and toast 2 to 4 slices of sourdough bread and set aside. 
  • In a rimmed plate or shallow bowl, add the shrimp and sauce, garnish with thinly sliced Fresno chili and scallions. Serve with the toasted sourdough for dipping and enjoy! 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Cuban

Keywords: Camarones al Ajillo, Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Latin American Cuisine, Spanish Cuisine, Cuban Food, shrimp recipes, spanish tapas, tapas recipes

Alyssa Holder

Alyssa Holder is a contributing food and travel writer

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