A Healthy Appetizer: Gambas Al Ajillo with Argan Oil

Here is a quick and easy appetizer with a mouthful of kick for an impromptu get together with friends. This recipe is packed with protein and the nutritional benefits of the Moroccan Argan oil or the liquid gold of Morocco.

What nutrients are found in this oil? What healthy benefits can you get from the oil popularly referred to as the liquid gold of Morocco? The oil is packed with antioxidants and essential unsaturated fatty acids. The oil can boost your immune system, regulate blood cholesterol levels and benefit people suffering from rheumatism and cardio vascular problems. Your guests will definitely be begging you for this healthy recipe just after the very first bite. Without further ado here is the creative take on the familiar Spanish “tapas” with the nutty flair of 100% pure Moroccan oil.

Gambas Al Ajillo with Morrocan Argan Oil

This is very easy to make. Prep time is about 10 minutes while cooking time is just about the same around 10 to 15 minutes. All in all that will give you a total of 20 – 25 minutes. This will serve 2- 3 people. If you’re planning to serve this as a main dish just double the recipe or do more depending on the people you would be serving.


1 lb of shrimp, about 25 counts to a pound
1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 tbsp Moroccan Argan Oil
2-3 oz of cognac or you may substitute dry sherry instead
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon for juice
3 tsp finely chopped or minced fresh parsley
1 Baguette


It will be your choice if you want to serve this appetizer with the shrimp’s shell intact. But it will be best to have the shrimps peeled and deveined, leaving just the tail for decorative purposes. If you also like larger shrimps or prawns you may use such as a substitute. Prawns or larger shrimps would have a fewer count in a pound.

In a heavy frying pan warm the olive oil over low to medium heat. Sauté the garlic and dried red pepper flakes for about a minute, or until golden or they begin to brown. It is important that you do not burn the garlic!

Turn the heat up all the way to high then add the shrimp, paprika, cognac (or sherry if you prefer sherry) and lemon juice. Be sure to stir well, sauté, and stir briskly until shrimps are cooked. Shrimps are ready when they curl and their colors turn pink.

Remove from heat. Transfer shrimp to a warm plate or if you prefer you can serve it right from the pan. Drizzle with Moroccan oil and season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper or if you like more heat, sprinkle more red pepper flakes. Garnish with chopped parsley. Try it with fresh bread!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.