Spain, with approximately 8,000 kilometres of coastline, offers almost unlimited possibilities in terms of gastronomy related to fish and seafood.
This influence of the sea on Spanish culture is well reflected in the large number of tapas that revolve around the hundreds of seafood products that can be found in the fish markets of the Iberian Peninsula.
If you want to know some of the best-known tapas with fish, keep reading this post.
5 ideas for tapas with fish
1. Gambas al pil pil
This is one of the tastiest fish tapas you can order in a Spanish bar. Gambas al pil pil are peeled prawns prepared with olive oil, garlic and chilli that are usually served in a very hot earthenware dish. If you prepare them or order them on your next visit to Spain, don't forget to accompany them with a good white bread to dip "sopas" in.
To learn how to prepare them, visit our blog Gambas al Pil Pil recipe.
2. Pintxo of anchovies and Padrón peppers
This tapa is a home-grown pintxo that you probably won't find in your visits to your favourite tapas bar. It is very simple but made with excellent quality ingredients: Cantabrian anchovies, Iberian ham and Padrón peppers.
Learn how to prepare this pintxo in our Anchovy, Padrón Pepper and Ham Pintxo recipe.
3. Seafood paella
There are probably few dishes better known outside Spain than seafood paella. Although it is a dish that is usually eaten as a main course at gatherings of friends or family meals, it is also very typical to find it as a tapa served in small plates or casseroles. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a properly prepared seafood paella.
4. Boquerones en vinagre
I love fried and canned anchovies, but in my humble opinion, this is the best way to eat them. Instead of preserving them in salt, as is done with anchovies, or cooking them in olive oil, as is done with canned sardines, they are cured in vinegar, along with olive oil, garlic and parsley, which gives them a powerful flavour that balances the taste of the fish. For even more enjoyment, accompany the anchovies with chips, white bread and a cold beer.
5. Fried squid with aioli
This is a classic tapa to enjoy on the beach, ideally with fresh Mediterranean squid. Although they are also very tasty if you prepare them at home with frozen squid. The squid rings should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. For this it is important to fry them for just the right amount of time in very hot oil. I recommend serving the fried squid with a few slices of lemon and a jar of good aioli.