Crevettes pil-pil: peeled praws fried in olive oil

Crevettes pil-pil could easily be inherited tapas from the Spanish invasion in the early 19th century. It can be found in a few coastal cities, moslty in the Northern side of Morocco.

I grew up enjoying this starter and we even make a version with eggs: “crevettes aux oeufs”

This is again a quick and easy to make started which requires fresh prawns (ideally, small to medium size) and a good olive oil. The rest is as simple as garlic and chili. That’s about it!

Crevettes pil pil served in a terracotta dish
Crevettes pil pil. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Having said that, if you don’t want to bother peeling prawns/crevettes off, I suggest yuou add some chopped parsley or coriander and serve them just like this:

Moroccan creveittes served with chopped herbs for garnish
Moroccan creveittes served with chopped herbs for garnish. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Serves 2
Prep: 1 min – Cooking : 2 min

  • 500 g of fresh prawns, small to medium size, peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced or chopped
  • 1 tbsp of parley, very finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small dried red chili, discard the seeds for less heat
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil


The result of this recipe is a hot tender prawn which is very pleasant to eat. It’s important you don’t over-fry it as this would ruin the texture. Basically, the moment we add the prawns to the hot oil, we just knock off the heat.


Fresh Moroccan "crevettes" or prawns in their shell sold in the Moroccan market
Fresh Moroccan “crevettes” or prawns in their shell sold in the Moroccan market. Credit @Nada Kiffa

In a terracotta or any other pan, slightly heat the oil, add the garlic and chilli. Fry for a few seconds.

Add the prawns, salt, parsley. Knock off the heat and stir the ingredients to make sure the prawns fry in a minute from all sides.

Serve warm as a starter along with bread.

Author: Nada

Nada Kiffa is an Expert in Moroccan cooking and her recipes are coming from a lineage of Moroccan home and professional cooks. Cooking classes and posted articles are inspired by her family life in Morocco and elsewhere. You will learn what makes a dish Moroccan before learning how to execute it. You will also learn how to work around recipes and cut corners without missing on the flavour.

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