Today David shares his tortillitas de camarones recipe — one of my all-time favorite tapas in my husband’s hometown, El Puerto de Santa María. My mother-in-law makes these often, and approves of David’s traditional recipe!
When summer shines down on southern Spain, I know it’s time for one of my favorite tapas dishes. Tortillitas de camarones (Andalusian shrimp fritters) are the crispiest, flakiest, and tastiest way to enjoy long weekends at the beach, with a glass of dry manzanilla sherry in hand.
I first tried these tortillitas at Casa Balbino in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This seaside town just south of Seville might not be the birthplace of the dish (that honor goes to Cadiz), but Casa Balbino is widely considered to serve the best fritters in the country!
Read more: Headed to Cadiz? Don’t miss the guide to what to eat in Cadiz, Spain.
The simplicity of the tapa makes it the perfect dish to whip up on summer days when you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen. And the crispiness of the fritter, filled with the sweetness of the shrimp, is sure to instantly transport you to the shores of southern Spain! For the best results, use fresh, raw shrimp* and a good virgin or extra virgin quality olive oil.
*Here in Spain we buy camarones — teeny tiny shrimp that are barely a centimeter long. When we eat them plain or use them for tortillitas, we do not remove the shell/head/tail etc. The tortillita pictured below probably has 20+ individual shrimp or camarones in it! If you can’t find these tiny shrimp, simply use the best quality shrimp available to you. If larger (which they’ll likely be) you should remove the head and shells and cut them into small chunks.
Spanish Shrimp Fritter Recipe (Tortillitas de Camarones)
- 150g fresh camarones (baby shrimp)*.
- ¾ cup flour.
- ¾ cup chickpea flour**.
- 1 cup cold water.
- 1 small spring onion, finely diced.
- Good quality Spanish olive oil.
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, chickpea flour, diced onion, chopped parsley, and a pinch of salt.
- Add the glass of water and mix to form a smooth batter with a runny consistency.
- Add the shrimp, and mix so that all of the shrimp are covered in the batter. Leave the mix to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (this will help you get the mega crispiness in the fritters!).
- In a large, shallow frying pan add olive oil to a depth of about 2 centimeters (just below an inch). Place over a medium-high heat.
- Once the oil heats up, start adding tablespoons of the batter to the frying pan. The batter should expand and crisp up into fritters. Add enough fritters to fill the pan, without them touching each other or the edges of the frying pan.
- Fry until golden brown, turning over halfway through to make crisp on both sides.
- When ready, use tongs to remove the fritters from the pan, allowing excess oil to drip back into the pan. Gently put on a plate covered with paper towels.
- Serve hot, seasoned with more salt.
**If you can't find chickpea flour, you can substitute the same amount of wheat flour. Just add a half teaspoon of turmeric to give the light yellow tinge to the tortillita.
I pair my tortillitas with a glass of crisp manzanilla sherry—what about you? If you have a better pairing idea, let me know in the comments below!