Camarones al ajillo (Garlic shrimp)

Camarones al ajillo (Garlic shrimps)

This is a dish that reminds me of trips to faraway coastal towns, restaurants overlooking the beach and lazy afternoons.

It reminds me of inexpensive but surprisingly satisfying meals. Of cold beers and cool breezes blowing across my sand-covered bare feet.

Camarones al ajillo (Garlic shrimps)

Some of the good things in life need not be complicated. This is one of those things.

Few ingredients but strong flavors combine in this dish reminiscent of the Spanish “gambas al ajillo”, probably where it comes from. Unlike its Spanish cousin, which is usually served as a ‘tapa’ or a starter, Dominican camarones al ajillo is a main dish, served with rice or tostones. It’s also nowhere near as oily. And like the Spanish dish, now served with pomp and circumstance in highfalutin restaurants the world over, this humble colonial cousin is best enjoyed close to the source.

Camarones al ajillo (Garlic shrimps)

It’s amazing that this dish always brings back such good memories. Romantic ones even. And I say amazing because, much like the garlic mellows out after the long cooking, there is not going to be much kissing after this dish.

Camarones al ajillo (Garlic shrimp)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Camarones Al Ajillo is closely related to that classic of Spanish cuisine "gambas al ajillo". It is a very easy-to-prepare dish that can be found in a lot of beach restaurants in the Dominican Republic.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 lb of peeled shrimps
  • 2 tablespoons of mashed garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped into squares
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 limes cut into 4 quarters (for garnishing)
  • Sea salt
  1. In a heavy saucepan heat the oil over very low heat.
  2. Cook and stir the garlic until it releases its aroma (about 2 mins).
  3. Add the peppers and cook and stir for another minute.
  4. Add the shrimps, and a cook and stir until they become pink throughout.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Garnish with the limes and serve with with tostones.
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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Sara Rodriguez March 24, 2012, 6:15 AM

    Aunt Clara:

    Thank you for sharing so generously with your subscribers! Without people like you I would not be able to cook!


    Srta. Sara (Sarita) Rodriguez

  • Sara Rodriguez March 21, 2012, 7:28 AM

    You are correct! I checked the dictionary also:

    I live in an area where shrimp is frequently found on the menu. Destin, Florida is the "Luckiest Fishing Village in the World."

    I rarely hear nor see the word shrimps. Although the dictionary agrees that it is correct, it's not commonly used in English. It's a bit of a tongue twister to say shrimps. I find the collective use of the word "shrimp" to be much more common, as in shrimp salad, shrimp scampi, crab and shrimp creole, shrimp bisque.

    Thanks for your attention! Love your site!

    • Aunt Clara March 24, 2012, 2:30 AM

      This may be a regionalism. In any case, despite the correctness of the s-ending version I decided that I would rather stick to a more relaxed and US-centric English. After all, most of our readers come from the US. :)

      Thanks for taking the time to write such thoughtful comments.

  • Sara Rodriguez March 5, 2012, 7:51 PM

    Primero, les doy mil gracias por las recetas que tiene aqui! Pense que la comida Dominicana se debe de parecer a la Cubana, y por eso enseguida le di una vista a su lista de recetas.

    Les quiero dar un dato pequeño que encontre interesante. Es algo que me dice que las recetas aqui son autenticas. En Ingles, la palabra "shrimp" no tiene plural. Shrimp significa mas de un camaron y un camaron igual sin "s". Garlic Shrimp es la traduccion al Ingles del titulo de esta receta. En los EE. UU. de A. se encuentra una receta parecida que se considera Italiana, nombrada Shrimp Scampi. Pero el Scampi no se sirve con tostones ni arroz blanco. Pueden notar que yo tampoco soy perfecta. Me faltan acentos y mas.

    Me tienen que decir como escojer los platanos para maduros y tostones, por favor. Y tambien quiero una receta para caldo y mofongo.

    ¡Mil gracias a Clara Gonzalez! ¡Que lindos se ven sus camarones.

    • Aunt Clara March 21, 2012, 3:03 AM

      Gracias Sara, hemos consultado para confirmar lo que ya sabíamos, ambas formas del plural son correctas. Tanto The New Penguin Dictionary (UK) como Merrian Webster (US) lo confirman.

      Muchas gracias por visitarnos y escribir.