Sizzling Shrimp Gambas

One thing I miss about the Philippines are those beach outings where the highlight was not so much swimming in the ocean or laying in the sand, but the picnic food consisting of barbecued meats, boiled shrimp, and grilled seafood served over steamed rice, laid out over fresh  banana leaves. No utensils needed! With water surrounding all four sides of the islands, no one needs to wonder about the abundance of seafood not the least among them is shrimp. Shrimp gambas is one of the common tapas of Spain, but it is also a popular appetizer in the Philippines. It is common to find shrimp gambas on the menu of many Philippine restaurants, and the sizzling version is definitely a favorite.


1 lb medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off

1/2 medium-sized red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 stem green onion, chopped

1 medium-sized  lemon, juiced

One 8 oz can tomato sauce

1 green chilli pepper, chopped

2 tbsps red chilli sauce

2 tbsps olive oil

1 small shallot, peeled and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Place shrimp in a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.  In a large wok, heat olive oil in medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until golden brown. Add shallots, green chilli, green onions and red bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add shrimp and continue cooking until they turn pink. Pour in tomato sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add chilli sauce and stir mixture for about a minute. Remove from heat and set aside.  Heat sizzling platter in the oven.  When ready to serve, transfer the shrimp mixture into the sizzling platter.  If desired, pour in a tbsp of melted butter for that extra sizzle.


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