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Shrimp in a Cava Bath

(Prawns marinated with Sparkling Wine)

Written By: Byron | November 18, 2023
Shrimp skewers on a plate.

Shrimp and Cava are a beautiful match, so much so this shrimp in a Cava bath recipe is an absolute winner come time for a celebration. This dish will take your tastebuds to paradise. Giving the shrimp (prawns) a little bath in Cava for just 30 minutes does something magical. The shrimp end up even sweeter than usual and with the paprika added, you have something extra special to serve guests or enjoy all for yourself. 

You need to use raw shrimp for this recipe and Cava (or dry sparkling wine if you can’t source Cava). Cava has four main Designation of Origin areas, but the overwhelming majority is produced in Catalonia. It’s more similar to Champagne than Prosecco since it’s less fruity and usually drier.

We originally played around with this recipe when we had some Cava open already and fresh shrimp in the fridge. Marinating meat in some alcohol often produces an incredible result so we hoped this might do the same for shrimp — and it did. It’s a flavor sensation and the perfect party food or appetizer.

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Serving:

Tapas for 4-8

Ready in:

40 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Good as is

Shrimp are laid out beside some paprika, parsley, and a glass of Cava.

How to Make Shrimp in a Cava Bath

Ingredients

(4-8 tapas portions)

  • 20 oz / 550 grams of fresh (uncooked) shrimp
  • 1 cup of Cava or dry sparkling wine (white)
  • ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • Salt
  • Splash of olive oil (for pan frying)
  • Parsley (optional for garnish)

Equipment needed

  • Flat dish with sides around 2 inches (5cm)
  • Skillet/fry pan
  • Tongs

Method

  1. Peel and devein your shrimp and add them to your flat dish.
  2. Pour Cava over the top of the shrimp so they’re just covered.
  3. Add ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika and a pinch of salt and let marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat some olive oil in your skillet/pan on a high heat. 
  5. Use tongs to remove your shrimp from their Cava bath, shaking off excess liquid and adding them to the skillet. 
  6. Fry for around 2 minutes on each side until they’ve turned a pinkish color and are cooked through.
  7. Remove from the skillet when ready and place them on a serving plate. Enjoy!

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

How to Serve Shrimp Soaked in a Cava Bath

These are great on their own, no bread is needed since it’s not a saucy dish. Just place them all on a serving plate with some toothpicks and they’re good to go. If you’re serving them as an appetizer, you can serve them on individual plates. 

If you’re serving them with other tapas dishes or nibbles at a party or gathering, then you might like the following easy recipes that are great for sharing:

What is Cava?

Cava is a sparkling wine that got its name from the underground stores where it was kept. Like other sparkling wine, Cava goes through a second round of fermentation, whereas other wines don’t. It’s left to mature in the bottle for 9 months to 36+ months. The longer this second fermentation period, the stronger the flavors become. 

Cava can be either white or rosé and is given a classification both by aging time, and by sugar content. 

Types of Cava – Aging time classification

  • Cava (9 months)
  • Cava Reserva (18 months)
  • Cava Gran Reserva (30 months)
  • Cava de Paraje Calificado (36 months)

Types of Cava – According to sugar levels

  • Cava Brut Nature – The driest with 3 grams of natural sugar per liter. 
  • Cava Extra Brut – Up to 6 grams per liter
  • Cava Brut – Up to 12 grams per liter
  • Cava Extra Seco – From 12 to 17 grams per liter
  • Cava seco – 17 to 32 grams per liter
  • Cava Semi Seco – 32 to 50 grams of sugar per liter
  • Cava Dulce – 50+ grams of sugar per liter

For this recipe, we used a Cava brut, which pairs well with seafood without being overly sweet.

The Best Shrimp and Cava to Use (and Substitutions)

We use large-sized shrimp (around 2 inch/5 cm) that are fresh and raw. Don’t use pre-cooked shrimp because they will become too dry. You could use any size shrimp from medium up though, just cook for a bit longer if they’re extra big (like colossal size), or until cooked through. Check out this shrimp size chart

You may not be able to find Cava easily, depending on where you live. That’s not a problem, just choose a dry white or semi-dry sparkling wine

We’ve tried this recipe out with and without chopped parsley sprinkled over the top. It looks great with the added splash of color and also tastes good but is also yummy without. We wouldn’t add much more than the few ingredients we used since you’re really relying on the sweetness of the shrimp and the way the Cava makes them even more tender and juicy. 

Will we be trying out new flavor combinations with Cava? Yes, absolutely! Watch this space…

Some cooked shrimp on skewers sit beside two glasses of Cava.

Nutritional Facts

Servings: 6

Amount per serving

 

Calories

165

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 6.2g

8%

Saturated Fat 1.1g

6%

Cholesterol 193mg

64%

Sodium 418mg

18%

Total Carbohydrate 1.9g

1%

Dietary Fiber 0g

0%

Total Sugars 0.2g

 

Protein 20.9g

 

Vitamin D 0mcg

0%

Calcium 85mg

7%

Iron 0mg

2%

Potassium 175mg

4%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Some cooked shrimp on skewers sit beside two glasses of Cava.

Shrimp in Cava Bath (Prawns marinated with Sparkling Wine)

Byron
Shrimp and Cava are a beautiful match, so much so this shrimp in Cava bath recipe is an absolute winner come time for a celebration. This dish will take your tastebuds to paradise. Giving the shrimp (prawns) a little bath in Cava for just 30 minutes does something magical. The shrimp end up even sweeter than usual and with the paprika added, you have something extra special to serve guests or enjoy all for yourself.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
marinate time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, canape, party food, seafood, Snack, tapas
Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, Mediterranean, Spain
Servings 8 tapas servings
Calories 165 kcal

Equipment

  • Flat dish with sides around 2 inches (5cm)
  • Skillet/fry pan
  • Tongs

Ingredients

  • 20 oz / 550 grams of fresh uncooked shrimp
  • 1 cup of Cava or dry sparkling wine white
  • ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • Salt
  • Splash of olive oil for pan frying
  • Parsley optional for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Peel and devein your shrimp and add them to your flat dish.
    20 oz / 550 grams of fresh
  • Pour Cava over the top of the shrimp so they’re just covered.
    1 cup of Cava or dry sparkling wine
  • Add ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika and a pinch of salt and let marinate for 30 minutes.
    ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika, Salt
  • Heat some olive oil in your skillet/pan on a high heat. Use tongs to remove your shrimp from their Cava bath, shaking off excess liquid and adding them to the skillet.
    Splash of olive oil
  • Fry for around 2 minutes on each side until they’ve turned a pinkish color and are cooked through.
  • Remove from the skillet when ready and place them on a serving plate. Enjoy!
    Parsley

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 50gCalories: 165kcalCarbohydrates: 1.9gProtein: 20.9gFat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 418mgPotassium: 175mgSugar: 0.2gCalcium: 85mg
Keyword 1 hours recipe, Cava, Easy tapas, prawns, shrimp, Spanish tapas, Sparkling wine
Some cooked shrimp on skewers sit beside two glasses of Cava.

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