gambas a la gabardina fried prawns

Gambas a la gabardina, gambas fritas, are prawns coated in a batter of flour, eggs and parsley and fried in a thick layer of olive oil. If you want to make someone fall in love with seafood, there is probably no more tempting tapas in Spanish gastronomy than this!



Gambas a la gabardina, battered fried prawns, are a popular Spanish tapas. They are served either as tapas on their own or as part of a larger "fritura mixta" (a mixture of various fried seafood).



Only fresh/uncooked large prawns are suitable for this recipe. You can also use shelled prawns, although the traditional recipe presentation keeps the tail as a kind of a natural holder. It is also possible to buy half-shelled frozen prawns which must be thawed before frying.



Place the frozen prawns in a sturdy plastic bag and submerge them in some cold water. They will be thawed in about 15 minutes. Prawns are lucky enough that their consistency does not change too much even with rapid thawing, which is otherwise never recommended.



The batter should not be too runny. We prefer a thicker consistency rather than the other way around. The prawns will also add some more moisture to the batter. Deep fry only for a very short time.



Small prawns are often fried whole and unpeeled. The recipes then differ in the method and composition of the wrapping. The easiest method is to coat the prawns only in some flour. The next variant is coating in eggs and flour. Our favourite is coating in a slightly fermented batter, to which we sometimes add crushed garlic, saffron and flat-leaved parsley for colour.


gambas a la gabardina

The ingredients for the gambas a la gabardina


Serves 2

Preparation: 20 MINUTES

Cooking: 8 MINUTES


200 g fresh prawns

1 egg

50 ml of beer

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaved parsley

4 tablespoons plain flour

Olive oil



Alioli - garlic mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 crushed clove of garlic

a few drops of lemon juice



  1. Peel the prawns. Separate the head, remove the carapace and leave only the tail. With larger prawns also remove the guts - gently cut the body and pull out the guts. It is also possible to use the toothpick trick - pick up and remove the guts without cutting.
  2. Beat one egg with 50 ml of beer and a teaspoon of salt in a mug.
  3. We pour the mixture into a bowl. Add the chopped parsley and gradually mix in the flour, spoon by spoon using a whisk. The resulting consistency should be quite thick, resembling stirred yogurt. Set aside for 20 min and start preparing the alioli garlic mayonnaise.
  4. ALIOLI RECIPE - Carefully separate the yolk from the egg white, and put it in a small round bowl, which must be at room temperature. Pierce the egg yolk and whisk it very gently. A common mistake is that many cooks think they have to beat the yolk with a fork fiercely. Meanwhile, mayonnaise is made just as well by slow, long-winded mixing. Add about a 1-2cm drop of oil and slowly mix it into the yolk by picking up and turning the yolk with the tip of a fork until it is completely combined with the oil. Then add another drop and mix it all into the oil again. Continue until the mayonnaise thickens so that it no longer drips from your fork. It takes about 10 minutes. Be careful never to add too much oil, because the oil will separate from the yolk and you won't be able to combine it again with any beating. At the end, add some salt, add a few drops of lemon and crushed garlic.  Leave on the side. Now you can go back to frying the prawns.
  5. In a deep, not too large pan, heat a 1 cm layer of oil over high heat.
  6. Coat the prawns in the prepared batter, holding them by the tail, place on a plate, then deep-fry in oil on both sides. Don't over fry the prawns!
  7. Rest the fried prawns on a paper towel to get rid off the excess oil.
  8. Serve hot with some lemon wedges and alioli - garlic mayonnaise.


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