I’m curious… What are your thoughts on tacos? Like ’em? Love ’em? Want some more of ’em? Yeah, me too!! So glad we’re on the same page. These are definitely a go to in my house. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired (doesn’t happen a ton, but on occasion!), I ask my husband, Tom, “what should we have for dinner?” and it’s usually always Shrimp Tacos or Spicy Chicken Rigatoni… I can play around with Shrimp Tacos a little bit more because they are so versatile and fresh and hard to mess up! Shrimp is a great protein to add to your tacos because they have a pretty mild flavor on their own which makes it easy for you to add whatever flavors you want to infuse them with. Mexican & Asian inspired tacos are definitely my favorite when it comes to a good shrimp taco! So guess what I did? I blended the two together, because why not! Trust me, it works! Here are my Mexicasian fusion: Spicy Shrimp Tacos.
There are a few steps to this recipe, so I thought it might be easier to break up the ingredients and directions for each component. We are going to be marinading the shrimp, dredging and frying the shrimp, making some coleslaw, making a quick sauce, and assembling our tacos. So here we go!
1.5 lbs. fresh shrimp (you can get de-veined and peeled shrimp or do it yourself)
2 glugs (approx. 2 tbsp) tequila (I like Hornitos, but anything will do- leave out if making for kids)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 jalapeño, finely minced (leave out seeds if you want it to be less spicy)
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Directions To Marinade Shrimp:
Peel and de-vein shrimp if not already done
Now we are going to butterfly the shrimp for maximum marinade absorption and crispiness when frying!
To butterfly the shrimp: Hold the shrimp carefully in your hand or put flat on a surface. With a small pairing knife, run your knife down the center of the back of the shrimp where the vein was, being careful not to cut all the way through the shrimp. That’s it! easy peasy.
Combine all ingredients into a big zip lock bag or bowl
Mix so all ingredients are incorporated and shrimp are all covered with marinade
Let the shrimp sit in refrigerator for about 30 minutes
Fried Shrimp Dredging Ingredients:
1/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs (for gluten free, use plain gluten free panko)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Directions to Dredge:
Set up Dredging Station:
In one shallow plate or bowl, put in corn starch
In a bowl, crack both eggs in. Pick out any shells! Add in Milk and whisk together egg and milk
In another shallow plate or bowl, put in your panko, salt & pepper and garlic powder
Get the shrimp out of the refrigerator and take the shrimp out of marinade and place on paper towel and pat dry
First, place the shrimp the in the corn starch one at a time, coating completely, and patting off excess corn starch. This is what is going to make the egg adhere nicely to the shrimp
Second, dunk the shrimp in the egg mixture so completely wet. This is what will make our panko mixture stick! I find it easiest to hold the tail of the shrimp for this part
Thirdly, place shrimp into panko mixture, coating completely and patting panko gently into all nooks and crannies of the shrimp.
Then onto a parchment lined sheet pan while you finish coating the rest of your shrimp!
To Fry up the Shrimp:
Place oil in a pan (with high sides). Add in enough neutral oil (canola is good for this as a neutral oil with high burn temp.) to come about 3/4″ up the sides.
Turn the stove top on medium high heat and let it get hot enough. Wait to add shrimp until your sure oil is hot enough…To test, put a sprinkle of panko in and if it sizzles up, you’re ready to start frying!
Place coated shrimp into the pan carefully using tongs (or if you’re like me, your hands). Make sure not to overcrowd pan, you may need to work in batches. I like my shrimp to have at least an inch between one another to ensure I’m not overcrowding
The shrimp will fry for a couple minutes (about 2 minutes) on the first side until golden brown, then flip over and give it another minute or so, just until golden brown. The shrimp will be cooked through by the time they get golden on each side
Take out of pan with slotted spoon or tongs and place on cooling wrack so they stay crispy
1/2 head cabbage- thinly sliced
2 carrots-shredded with box grater
1 bunch (about 3 tbsp. chopped) cilantro
1/2 jalapeño, finely minced, seeds removed to make less spicy
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 of a lime, juiced
4 dashes sesame oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds
In a large bowl, whisk together your: mayo, sour cream, sesame oil, lime, celery seed, garlic powder, salt, pepper, sesame seeds
Next, add in your: shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and jalapeño Using tongs, mix together until all your cabbage, carrots, cilantro and jalapeño are evenly mixed together and it is all coated with your yummy slaw dressing!
Set your slaw a side for a bit to let those coleslaw flavors marry together
Chipotle Crema Ingredients:
2 chipotles in adobo, with about 1 tbsp of the adobo sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
Chipotle Crema Directions:
Place all ingredients in blender (I use my ninja) until all ingredients blended together and smooth!
Taste it, if it’s too spicy for you, add in extra sour cream until it’s to your liking.
Now that we have prepped all our Taco Components, lets assemble:
I used flour tortillas in this recipe, but corn is great to make it gluten free! I first like to wrap my tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat in microwave for 1 minute to warm them up and make them easier to manipulate
Lay the tortilla down
Place 2-3 fried shrimp onto your tortilla
Put a heaping spoonful of slaw onto your shrimp
Drizzle a little chipotle crema onto your taco
Crumble some queso fresco over your shrimp, as much or little as you’d like!
Then, top with a few whole cilantro leaves and a few more sesame seeds if desired!
From my happy and healthy belly to yours!