A light and cool shrimp taco dish with a smokey sauce…
Grilled shrimp tacos are definitely on my list of favorite things to make. They are great party fare; light but filling and fun to eat. The recipe below makes use of a chipotle sour cream sauce that is always a winner for its cool smoky flavor.
Side note. Grilled shrimp tacos not for you? Check out Cooking.com’s recipe of the day.
The portion below is good for 2-3 people depending on how you ration your shrimp. To scale it up, just add more shrimp.
Finally, before we get to the fun part… a quick note on the shrimp I used. I much prefer cooking shrimp shell on and dealing with the additional cleanup steps because the taste really is that much better. These guys were actually cooked fully intact (head on) and then shelled before making it into the taco. If you haven’t done this before please give it a try. On the flip side, if you’re cooking for a group and not a fast sheller… save it for when you have some practice.
- 1 red onion
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 head green cabbage (napa here)
- 3-4 limes
- sour cream
- queso fresco
- fresh tortillas
- 6 raw shrimp
- chipotle powder
Prep definitely goes far whenever making tacos, but it’s especially important for shrimp because they have such a small window of being perfectly cooked. Prepare all the ingredients in advance; shred the cabbage, thinly slice the red onion and avocado (make sure to squeeze a lime over the avocado to prevent browning,) half the remaining limes, and crumb or grate the queso fresco. It’s worth making an assembly line or bar with these ingredients. Mix – to taste – chipotle powder and sour cream for color and smokiness. I always let this sit for a while so that the taste is more consistent throughout.
When you have your taco ingredients together, you’ll want to conduct necessary prep on the shrimp. For me this was splitting and deveining them using kitchen shears. I tossed them in olive oil and threw them on the grill for about 2 minutes on each side. It’s my experience that most people overcook shrimp. Invest some time in perfecting the art of shrimp grilling and it will definitely pay off.
Now you’re ready for assembly. I don’t think there’s much science to the taco assembly here. I went with an avocado base on an oven-warmed fresh tortilla, then cabbage and red onion, then the shrimp chipotle sour cream, and then topped off the shrimp taco with queso fresco and a light squeeze of lime.
I found Central Market’s Hatch Chile tortilla chips to be a solid pairing here. A lightly flavored tortilla chip is the way to go unless you’re going to make a salsa to go with the dish…
On the drink side of things, given the flavors involved, go with a wheat or mexican beer; they’ll work well with the citrus and the shrimp. If you’re a wine lover a sweet white will go quite nicely.
Good luck and as always, let me know what you think.