Garlic Shrimp | Camarones al Ajillo | Ecuadorian Cuisine

Last Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a cookbook for traditional Ecuadorian cuisine and even better it was in English so I didn’t have to use my husband or Google Translate to explain to me the ingredients and the instructions. My sister-in-law is living in Ecuador where their family lived for a number of years as kids and which I have been able to visit twice. The first trip I took to Ecuador with my husband I was not adventurous at all about trying new things, especially when the menu was in Spanish and I had never tried some of these foods before. However, I tried to do my best to try out different items to experience their cuisine. I even tried a dish called seco de chivo which contained goat, although at the time I thought I was eating beef. It wasn’t until several weeks later that my husband finally told me that he tricked me into trying goat! I have to admit it was really good but at the time I probably would not have even tried it if I had known what it was. One of my favorite dishes was pork with llapingachos (similar to a potato pancake)…this was another dish I was a little apprehensive about because it was served at a roadside stand that had the meat hanging on lines, like you would hang clothes to dry. Although, I thought it would be weird, it was actually so good that after 7 years from that first visit to Ecuador, I’m still craving that meal and would give anything to have it again.

During this holiday season, my sister-in-law, who is newly engaged {CONGRATULATIONS!!!}, stayed down in Ecuador with her fiance which made Christmas in New Jersey with the rest of my in-laws incomplete. So in this time of missing Stefy and thinking about her life and the delicious food down in Ecuador, my husband and I decided to make a meal out of that cookbook she gave me. The ingredients were simple to find at an international food market near our home. The recipe below is by far my second favorite recipe from my two trips to Ecuador. I think I ordered this dish at least 5 times during our last trip alone! After exploring the international food market and the cookbook, we have  several more dishes on our to do list that are my husband’s favorites. If you’d like to try an Ecuadorian dish to taste the different flavors, ingredients, and cuisine try this dish below and check back for others to try in the future.

Garlic Shrimp over Rice | Camarones al ajillo


  • Deep skillet pan
  • 6 ramekins (optional – I used to hold each ingredient as I chopped or minced them up to keep them separate until I was ready to use them)
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Latex gloves (optional – I used to protect myself from the chilli peppers)
  • Spatula

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 8 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped white onions, approximately half a medium onion
  • 4 tablespoons of garlic, minced or pushed through a press, approximately 6-8 decent sized cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of chilli peppers, chopped and without seeds
  • 8 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper


  • Heat olive oil in a deep skillet pan, add onion, garlic, and bay leaves. Fry ingredients just until garlic is about to brown.
  • Add shrimp, salt, pepper, and white wine. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp is a rosy color.
  • Place mixture on top of rice and sprinkle with parsley.
  • Serve immediately and ENJOY! | DISFRUTEN!