Tastetrotting: Spanish-Style Shrimp Skewers with Squid and Red Pepper Sofrito

Shrimp Skewers with Squid & Red Pepper Sofrito I know after the onslaught on Monday, you’re probably tired of me talking about San Sebastian. Sorry, Charlie.

When I got home there were a few things that I knew I had to make immediately in order to capture the taste memory. But I’ve only really begun to experiment and let the recipe inspiration run wild. So I decided to create a new column: tastetrotting! You know, like globetrotting…for food. I promise to spread these out over the next few months and get back to feeding you all the important seasonal stuff like Peanut Butter Granola Bars for back-to-school.

Shrimp Brocheta - Inspiration for these Shrimp Skewers

Even though almost everything at the pintxos bars was served either on top of bread or with a side of bread, it was actually a pretty easy place to eat gluten-free. You, er, just remove the bread. I couldn’t get enough of the fresh shrimp and squid, so one of the items I ended up ordering most was brocheta de chipiron or gambas (pictured above alongside a nice solomio…surf and turf is how I roll).

They keep the seasoning and sauces pretty simple in the Basque country. The seafood is so delicate and fresh that they try let the central ingredient shine. But one condiment/sauce I ended up seeing a lot of was a deeply flavorful sofrito of peppers, onions, and garlic.

Shrimp Skewer Recipe Shrimp Skewers Recipe with Squid & Red Pepper Sofrito During my cooking class with San Sebastian Food I watched them make something similar to go on top of this dish. The key to the silky flavors was a massive amount of olive oil. And having grown up in a household where it was acceptable to drown your vegetables in olive oil and eat them with a spoon, I was pretty into it.

Easy Shrimp Skewers Shrimp Skewers with Squid & Red Pepper Sofrito - One of the best recipes for squid

Luckily, I decided to experiment with these shrimp and squid skewers in Martha’s Vineyard, where my mom keeps olive oil on hand by the gallon. The market also just so happened to have some fresh squid that day. In San Sebastian they refer to small baby squid as chipiron and larger squid as calamares. It’s harder to find the smaller ones in the states, so I just made sure to cut mine rather small for my brochetas.

Squid Skewers with Shrimp & Red Pepper Sofrito

During the cooking class, I also learned how to break the squid down and remove their little ink sack. You kind of peel it off like a very delicate moisturizer sample in a magazine insert. I wish I had pictures of it, but unfortunately, being the goof that I am, my hands were covered in black ink. Another interesting thing I learned about the squid is that you have to let them rest for a day or two after catching them, so unlike most seafood, they actually aren’t best to eat straight out of the water. When they’re first caught, they have a lovely rosey-gray hue to their bodies. But after a day or two, once the rigor mortis subsides and the muscles relax, they start to develop that white opacity that we’re used to seeing.

One of the Best Skewer Recipes: Spanish-Style Squid & Shrimp Skewers The pepper sauce is great on any protein. I even used the leftovers from this dish to toss together with some gluten-free pasta and fresh corn. This would also be a great way to serve the shrimp or squid as a main course. Or you could always eat them on a piece of bread, as the Basque do.

Eat up and enjoy these shrimp skewers with squid and red pepper sofrito!



Recipes Shrimp Skewer with Squid & Sofrito

Spanish-Style Shrimp and Squid Skewers with Red Pepper Sofrito

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4

Spanish-Style Shrimp and Squid Skewers with Red Pepper Sofrito


  • Red pepper Sofrito
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 pound calamari, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
  • Twelve 6-inch bamboo skewers


  1. Make the Red Pepper Sofrito
  2. Meanwhile, pat the seafood dry with paper towels and thread the squid onto the skewers, 3 pieces per, and the shrimp 2 or 3 per skewer, depending on the size of your shrimp.
  3. Heat an indoor grill pan or large cast iron skillet until very hot. Season the seafood with salt and grill until nicely charred, opaque, and tender, about 2 minutes per side for the shrimp, 3 minutes per side for the squid. Remove to a platter and drizzle with the red pepper mixture. Serve immediately.

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!


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18 Responses to Tastetrotting: Spanish-Style Shrimp Skewers with Squid and Red Pepper Sofrito

  1. Pingback: A Cheeseburger Bloody Mary? Yep, That’s Right! • Taste With The Eyes • where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook

  2. Pingback: How To Use Bell Peppers Six Ways + 16 Bell Pepper Recipes - Jeanette's Healthy Living

  3. Frankie says:

    Do we sit shiva on the squid for two days? 🙂 This sauce is so perfect for the summer market. Love it?

  4. Frankie says:

    Sorry, that was “Love it!”

  5. Wow these looks delicious! I absolutely love seafood and squid are prawns are high up on my list of favorites! Really nice, simple recipe, I’ll definitely try it out! I did a squid recipe a couple of weeks ago which you might like http://corianderandcumin.com/2013/08/14/garlic-and-chili-squid/ x

  6. Pingback: Grilled Eggplant and Carmen Pepper Pizza - Chez Us

  7. I love reading about your tastetrotting travels! Especially when you bring dishes like this back to us!

  8. Pingback: Sensational Stuffed Peppers | Cooking Bookmarks

  9. I could eat that sofrito all alone. It is usually what I add as a base to most of my homemade sauces anyway. Brilliant idea to add those flavors over some beautiful seafood. Looks like you had a tasty and enlightening time in Basque country.

    • It’s just so yummy. Im not the biggest red pepper eater. But I love it melted away in sauces. I made an amazing pot of mussels using leftover gazpacho last summer that had a similar taste to it.

  10. the entire dish sounds amazing…but you had me at “sofrito”!

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