Taco night just got an upgrade, and it’s all thanks to the world’s most popular shellfish — shrimp! Tacos de Camaron features jumbo shrimp dusted in bold Mexican flavor, pan-seared and perfectly cooked in a matter of mere minutes! Then, it’s into a warm corn tortilla, and this masterpiece is topped off with shredded cabbage, a spoonful of Creamy Chipotle Sauce, and a squeeze of lime. Simple ingredients. Big flavors.
This 20-minute Mexican dinner idea is easy enough for a weeknight quick-fix, yet boasts enough flavor (and color) to wow any crowd, making it as perfect for casual family dinners as it is for effortless entertaining!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR TACOS DE CAMARON
Clearly, Tacos de Camaron is all about the crustaceans — perfectly cooked and well seasoned. But, if you want to take your tacos from good to great, you’ll need to keep a few other things in mind:
- The Seasoning
- The Tortillas
- The Garnishes
- The Sauce
By far, the biggest time saver when it comes to making Shrimp Tacos is to purchase shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined for you.
The size of the shellfish matters when it comes to the cook time. You can use extra-large or jumbo shrimp for this recipe. Having a shrimp count is often helpful. The count for this recipe is 16/25, which means you should have anywhere from 16-25 shrimp per pound.
FRESH TIP: If you aren’t making your tacos the same day you purchase your seafood, consider purchasing it frozen. Then, allow the package to thaw in the refrigerator the night before you intend to make the dish. Surprisingly, frozen shrimp is more than likely fresher than the thawed ones behind the seafood counter.
However, if you need your crustaceans in a hurry, purchasing them from the seafood counter is still a great option.
HOW TO PEEL AND DEVEIN SHRIMP
If you’re unable to find it prepped and ready to cook, this is how you peel and devein shrimp:
- To peel it, place the tip of a paring underneath the opening of the shell and carefully, begin cutting upward, splitting the shell and working your way to the back of the shrimp.
- Once the shell is split, peel it away with your hands and discard of it.
- Remove the black vein running down the back center using the tip of your knife. Continue on with this process until all of the shrimp is peeled and deveined.
Tacos de Camaron are seasoned with a punch of flavor thanks to a zesty spice mix. You’ll also want to have chili powder, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper on hand.
WHAT KIND OF TORTILLAS SHOULD I USE?
Traditionally, corn tortillas are used for Tacos de Camaron, and two are used per taco to help make them a bit more sturdy. If you’d prefer to use flour tortillas, feel free to do so.
TOPPINGS: CABBAGE, LIME, AND SAUCE
You’ll want to have a few garnishes for topping things off. Red or green shredded cabbage, lime wedges, and Chipotle-Lime Sauce are all the extras you’ll need.
Most grocers carry bagged, pre-shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix) and this works perfectly for Tacos de Camaron. But, if you’re a DIYer when it comes to shredding cabbage, feel free to grab a head and shred away.
As far as the lime goes, you’ll only need 1 lime wedge per taco. There are 4 wedges per lime, meaning you’ll only need about 2 limes for garnish. If you’re planning to make that zesty Chipotle-Lime Sauce, you’ll want to add 1 more to the grocery list, weighing in at a grand total of 3 limes.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Chipotle-Lime Sauce:
- Lime Juice
- Chipotle Peppers
You’ll find chipotle peppers in a can of “Chipotle in Adobo,” which is typically found in the international aisle of your grocery store alongside other Latin American ingredients. There are usually 5-6 peppers in one can. The more peppers you use, the spicier your sauce will be.
This recipe calls for only one chipotle pepper and has a very mild-to-moderate heat level. If you’d like to up the spice-ante, throw in an extra pepper.
TIMING TIP: If you plan to serve Tacos de Camaron with the Chipotle-Lime Sauce, make the sauce first. Even though the sauce comes together in about 5 minutes (or less if using a mini food processor), shrimp gets cold fast so it’s best to have all other ingredients prepped and ready to go.
HOW TO MAKE SHRIMP TACOS
- Season the Shrimp – First, combine the seasoning in a small bowl and mix to combine. Then, pat each shrimp dry with a paper towel and add them to a large mixing bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss until evenly coated. Add the seasoning mix and stir until evenly coated once more.
- Cook the Shrimp – Add oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and allow it to come to temperature. You can use canola or avocado oil. Then, add one single layer of shrimp, leaving a bit of space in between each one and cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for just under 2 minutes more on the other side. Continue this process as needed, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.
- Assemble the Tacos – Stack two corn tortillas on top of one another, add the shrimp and top with a generous pinch of shredded cabbage, a squeeze of lime juice across the top, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Drizzle with the Chipotle-Lime Sauce, serve and enjoy!
HOW LONG DOES SHRIMP KEEP ONCE COOKED?
Sadly, seafood doesn’t keep quite as long as other proteins like chicken, pork, or beef. If you have leftover shrimp, keep it refrigerated in an airtight container and eat within two days.
OTHER TOPPINGS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
When it comes to topping Tacos de Camaron, you are not limited to the suggestions above. Any of the following toppings would be delicious on Shrimp Tacos!
- Hot Sauce
- Pico de Gallo
- Red or Green Salsa
- Sliced Fresh Jalapeños
- Crumbled Queso Fresco
5 MORE TACO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE!
Tacos de Camaron (i.e., Shrimp Tacos) is quick and easy to make! Featuring flavorful shrimp, corn tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, and a creamy Chipotle Sauce.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 chipotle pepper (from a can of "chipotles in adobo)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound extra-large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-25 count)
- 3 tablespoon canola or avocado oil, separated
- 16 corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded cabbage (optional)
- lime wedges and chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
Add all of the sauce ingredients to a mini food processor and blend until the mixture is homogenous. If you don't have a small processor, dice the cilantro, chipotle pepper, and garlic very fine. Then, add to a bowl with the other sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
Combine all of the dry spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.
Pat each shrimp dry with a paper towel and them to a large mixing bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss until evenly coated. Then, add the seasoning mix and stir until evenly coated once more. Set aside.
Add the remaining oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and allow it to come to temperature. Then, add one single layer of shrimp, leaving a bit of space in between each one.
Cook for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more on the other side. Repeat the cooking process with any remaining shrimp. The shrimp is ready when it is pink and semi-firm to the touch.
Stack two corn tortillas on top of one another, add 3 to 4 shrimp, about a 1/4 cup of shredded cabbage, a squeeze of lime juice across the top, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Drizzle with chipotle sauce or hot sauce (if desired), serve and enjoy!