Gamba Roja from Denia

Seawater boiled gambas at El Farallo
Seawater boiled gambas at El Farallo

Scientifically known as aristeus antennatus, gamba roja species lives in the Mediterranean sea and East Atlantic Ocean, but it’s gambas rojas from Denia town that are most famous among the gastronomy lovers. What makes the gamba roja from Denia so special? To tell you the truth, gamba roja from Denia is not really caught in Denia, but off the coasts of Ibiza. The fishing boats leave from Denia though and are known to take special care of these fascinating creatures from the sea 500-800 meters deep.

We should also credit 3 Michelin star chef from Denia Quique Dacosta for making them so famous. According to Quique, the best way to cook these shrimps is in seawater, a method that preserves the extraordinary sweet taste and plumpness of these crustaceans. The other chef in Denia that is known for being one the few restaurateurs to buy the gambas rojas directly from the auction is El Farallo’s owner Javier Alguacil. So if I had to recommend two places in Denia, would be definitely Quique Dacosta for 3 Michelin star experience and El Farallo for more casual meal.

Quique Dacosta: Urbanización El Poblet, Calle Rascassa, 1, 03700 Dénia, Alicante, Spain;tel. +34 965 78 41 79

El Farallo: Carrer del Fénix, 10, 03700 Dénia, Alicante, Spain; tel. +34 966 43 06 52

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It's at 5-6 pm that fishing boats come back to the port of Denia. They usually stay in the sea for around 11-12 hours shift.
It’s at 5-6 pm that fishing boats come back to the port of Denia. They usually stay in the sea for around 11-12 hour shift.
Once all the catch is moved on the shore, it's sold at the very modern and automated auction of the Confraria de Pescadors of Denia.
Once all the catch is moved to the shore, it’s sold at the very modern and automated auction of the Confraria de Pescadors of Denia.
Gambas rojas are sorted out according to their sizes, "number 1" being the largest. (pictured)
Gambas rojas are sorted out according to their sizes, “number 1” being the largest. (pictured)
Chef Quique Dacosta has created dozens of recipes with gamba roja over his career. This one with kimchi sauce and aioli is one of his latest.
Chef Quique Dacosta has created dozens of recipes with gamba roja over his career. This one with kimchi sauce and aioli is one of his latest.
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