Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shrimp Tacos

One of my favorite things to order whenever I go out to a restaurant is fish tacos. Regardless of the type of fish or seafood, I love these little tacos usually because of the slaw that they are served with. I don't know why I was so hesitant to try making them at home but somehow I was intimidated by the slaw component, wrongly assuming that it would be difficult and time consuming to make.

I am so glad that I finally bit the bullet and proved myself wrong! I don't want to over-exaggerate but OMG...these shrimp tacos were fantastic! The slaw turned out to be super easy to make and I let it marinate overnight so that the flavor really sauce really penetrated the cabbage. Also, because I used pre-cooked shrimp the actual assembly of the tacos took no time at all and my brothers and I enjoyed the shrimp tacos within twenty minutes (picture time included). My brother commented that they were especially great for this time of year because the ingredients are so bright and vibrant and match the nice outdoor weather.

I think the best part about these shrimp tacos is that they can be adapted to anyone's preference and made to be as spicy or mild as you like. For example, I used shrimp because I had them on hand but maybe in the future I'll use salmon, tuna, or even mahi mahi (not that I know where to buy the mahi). The slaw too can be made mild or spicy, depending on if you choose to add some hot peppers or chili flakes to the sauce. In addition, the protein can be seasoned with just some salt and pepper or you can kick it up a notch with some cajun spice like I did. Really the possibilities are endless so go nuts!

Shrimp Tacos
Note: Depending on the size of the tortilla used, this recipe will make about 6 medium-sized or 10 small tacos.
  • 2 cups each thinly sliced purple and green cabbage (about 1/2 head each)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or olive oil
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp red chili flakes or 1 hot chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 400 grams (about 30) pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • Tortillas
  1. In a large bowl combine the sliced cabbage, carrot, and red onion.
  2. In a food processor, combine the cilantro, garlic, lime zest and juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, oil, and chili flakes/chile if using. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to evenly coat. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours, though preferably overnight to let the flavors set in.
  4. To prepare the shrimp, heat up a skillet on medium heat and add the shrimp. Let all the excess liquid seep out then drain the water from the skillet and add the Cajun seasoning or simply sprinkle some salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble, place a handful of the cabbage slaw in the center of a tortilla. Add a spoonful of shrimp (about 7 or 8). Bring the tortilla sides up and secure with some toothpicks. 
Note: Some nice garnishes/toppings include sliced avocado, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese.

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