Salt-Grilled Shrimp (Gambas a la Plancha)

AmberAppetizer, Dairy-Free, Main, Paleo FriendlyLeave a Comment

5 from 1 vote

Salt-Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce

Bart van Olphen, one of my friends from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, shared this traditional cooking method he learned in Madrid and I absolutely love it. The salt distributes heat evenly and crisps the shell. All of the juices and flavors stay in the shrimp, so it’s tender and perfectly cooked. It also goes well with my Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce. I use this sauce dip for veggies and meats, but the combo of the shrimp and sauce is my absolute favorite! You can make the dip ahead of time and salt-grill the shrimp once your guests arrive. They will be so impressed!
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 appetizer servings
Author Amber Kelley


  • Salt
  • 1 pound/455 g large unpeeled shrimp or prawns
  • Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce recipe follows


  1. Heat a plancha, cast-iron grill, or skillet over high heat.
  2. Pour lots of salt onto the plancha/grill/skillet. You want to create about a 1/2-inch/1.5 cm- thick “bed” for your shrimp.
  3. Continue to heat the salt. Listen closely: if you hear mild popping sounds from the salt, you know it’s hot enough.
  4. Place the shrimp on the salt, making sure not to crowd them. Gently press them into the salt with your fingers or tongs.
  5. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the bottom half of the shrimp turns color, indicating the bottom half is cooked (time depends on the size of your shrimp).
  6. Flip over, and cook the other side for 3 to 4 minutes more.
  7. Flake any dark salt crusts off the shrimp and transfer to a plate. Let everything cool slightly.
  8. Serve with the Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce (recipe follows), and let guests peel the shrimp themselves.


1 from 2 votes

Lemon Basil Dipping Sauce

Author Amber Kelley


  • 1 cup/225 g mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup/10 to 20 g fresh basil leaves chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine the mayonnaise, basil, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides and process one last time.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Bart is an expert on seafood, and he shared with me this traditional cooking method he learned in Madrid. All of the juices and flavors stay in the shrimp, and so it’s tender and perfectly cooked! It goes so well with my Lemon-Basil Dipping Sauce!


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