Catalan-Style Garlic Shrimp

February 2, 2015

Catalan-Style Garlic Shrimp

Cooking is all about making mistakes.
Sometimes you have to test recipes a few times before you get the desired result. Sometimes you just aren’t thinking straight. That was me, this past weekend.
I experienced two major cooking disasters: one involving avocado chocolate cookies, the other one a Chinese beef noodle soup.
I still haven’t recovered from those catastrophes, so I’ll avoid telling you about it.
But not everything has been a failure.
I have finally figured out the perfect way to make at home Catalan-style Garlic Shrimp, just like in Barcelona.

Catalan-Style Garlic Shrimp

First off, let’s not forget that I’m not huge on shrimp. I like them only when they’re perfectly cooked with the right balance of flavours.
Otherwise I HATE them.
Just like a kid hates broccoli, cauliflower, fish, asparagus, or kale.
But with this Catalan-Style Garlic Shrimp it was love at first sight.
I don’t know what it is about this dish but it’s just perfect.
Maybe because it reminds me of Spain, Barcelona, Plaça de Catalunya, Gaudì, Montjuïic mountain... — I’d better stop, otherwise the need to go back to Barcelona is going to be too hard to resist.
Sorry for that, back to the shrimp.
I love the combination of flavors here.
There’s garlic, a bit of heat from the red pepper flakes, a hint of acidity from the lemon juice, and a spark of spring-green freshness from the parsley.
It all comes together so well, I’m sure you’re going to love it as much as I do (or at least so I hope!)

Catalan-Style Garlic Shrimp

Catalan-Style Garlic Shrimp                                                                                             Print this recipe!

Serves 3 as a main course (or 6 as an appetizer)

¾ lbs / 340 gr small or medium shrimps, shelled and de-veined
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 garlic cloves, whole
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt


Sprinkle shrimp with salt and let sit for 10 minutes.
Heat olive oil and butter In a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute’ for 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add shrimp and cook until they have turned pink about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add lemon juice, paprika, and season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 further minute.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 260 calories, 18 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 24 grams of protein.


  1. Yum. Agree, shrimp needs to be seasoned and cooked just right for me to like it. Otherwise it is like eating a piece of rubber.

  2. I saw shrimp on here and I thought I was visiting a parallel universe theironyou!
    Dude - this more than makes up for them other mishaps! I once tried an avocado and chocolate chip loaf and it was an EPIC fail - I bet you will perfect your avocado/chocolate cookies before I even attempt that loaf again! :)

  3. I know all about those cooking disasters. But your shrimp looks perfect!

  4. Truth be told I thought of a month end kitchen mishap post in December. Not all of our creations make it and I have to laugh at myself sometimes, half of the mistakes are my own! But as a cook/baker I feel nothing ventured, nothing gained and inventiveness and creativity is what drives me. I love the recipes you put out here and the photography. Nice shrimp dish here and thanks for getting me daydreaming about travelling to Spain.

  5. Mate, this reminds me of a dish I had in Barcelona!!! (It was at like 10pm and I was starving because no one ate before then lol). Shrimp is something I love, but it can be done wrong! This however, is a winner.

  6. Amazing, simply amazing!

  7. Oh, how I wish my husband liked shrimp! These sound absolutely wonderful. I fully understand the need to go back to Barcelona. Barcelona is one of my favorite places, especially everything Gaudi. We get to go back next spring, and I can hardly wait. :-)

  8. Hi Mike, looks like a delicious recipe, Love the flavors. I never cook shrimp as I always over cooked them. That job is my husband's, he always does a great job.

  9. This shrimp looks amazing! I can't wait to give it a whirl! I'm a huge shrimp fan, but you are has to be done right or the consistency totally messes up any type of enjoyment! I also agree that cooking is always an experiment. Personally, I do my best when I make it up as I go along!

  10. Hah...I totally had 2 complete recipe fails last week, too. I was totally in the dumps because I thought both of them would turn out awesome...instead they earned a big, fat red "F." But this shrimp earns an A+...not only because you ventured into the shrimp world, but because it's easy and sounds amazing. Nice work! #WolfpackSeafoodAdventures

  11. I need to make these soon! Spanish tapas has something very similar called 'Gambas Pil Pil' which is basically prawns in chilli, oil and garlic, and they are a classic favourite of mine. I'll definitely look forward to recreating this!
    - Jem
    Jem's Blog

  12. These look like simple perfection, I've really been into quick and easy recipes lately and this fits the bill!

  13. I haven't had shrimp in so long because "I'm not supposed to" according to my doctor and allergy tests, but ugh, I want it so badly, especially after looking at this!

  14. Yayy! I love shrimp, and my husband too..Look likes I have found the perfect food to prepare in Valentines. Do you think having this with the best dimsum in hong kong would be a great treat for him? Can you give some other dishes? This Valentines is making me more problematic than having a bad day at work. arghh!!