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a plate of gambas a la plancha with a small plate of sea salt
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5 from 8 votes

Gambas a la plancha

Gambas a la plancha is a quintessential tapas dish throughout Spain, served everywhere from tiny street stalls, tapas bars, to fine restaurants.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Vy Tran


  • Cast iron pan


  • 2 lbs live spot prawns, shell-on
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • sea salt to taste


  • Rinse the prawns under cold running water then lay them flat on a few sheets of paper towel to dry.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of olive oil and garlic to a bowl and mix well to combine.
  • Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat until hot and scatter with a good handful of sea salt.
  • When the pan is searing hot, dip the prawns in the garlic-olive oil and place them on the pan.
  • Cook the prawns for about 1 minute on each side, until a brown crust from the prawn juice solidifies on the shell and the tail meat is just cooked and translucent in the center. Cook them for 30 seconds longer or shorter depending on the size.
  • Transfer the prawns to a serving platter and serve immediately with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.