Chili Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Lime Slaw



I know that you like tacos, because I’ve never met a person who doesn’t. Their bite-size, customizable portions and endless mutability moves them right to the top of our family dinner favorites. Vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike have options, and everyone gets to build their own. All I do is cook meat, tofu, or beans for the base of the taco, then open some jars of salsa, guacamole, sour cream, pickled jalapeños, and everyone gets to create their perfect bite. It’s a foolproof way to get the people you’re feeding to enjoy what’s in front of them, and still take credit for “making dinner”.

I went through a long, delicious, chipotle taco phase, preferring ground turkey coated in a thick, spicy, tomato-based sauce. Now I crave lighter, colorful fish tacos- shrimp flecked with chili flakes and scallops bathed in fresh lime. Topped with shredded cabbage in a mayo and vinegar-based dressing, a fish taco provides the ultimate juxtaposition of creamy and crunchy, meaty and mineral, all cuddled in a soft, toasted tortilla.

The best part is that a taco isn’t really a meal, so your dinner will have the informality of grabbing a bite to eat while sitting on a sunny stoop somewhere, with a best friend. Folding the taco into your mouth, it’s juices drip down your forearm, and you enjoy the delicious mess like a giddy toddler with spaghetti sauce on her face. A taco requires that you eat with your hands no matter what age you are, with your elbows most certainly on the table.


Chili Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Lime Slaw

Serves: 4-6

Time: 10 minutes prep, 10 minutes cook

What you need:

For the Creamy Lime Slaw:

  • zest and juice of one lime, about a 1/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pre-made coleslaw mix (12 oz bag)

For the Chili Shrimp:

  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 lb raw shrimp
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sliced avocado, chopped cilantro (or parsley), and sriracha, optional for serving

What you do:

-Make the slaw first, the flavors only get better if it sits for a bit. Whisk together the lime zest and juice, mayo, agave, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a measuring cup. Whisk until a smooth dressing is formed. Stick your pinky in to taste. What do you think? Adjust seasoning to your liking.

-If you have a gas burner, heat your tortillas over the open flame until charred in spots on both sides. If not, heating them in a low oven usually works. Either way, you’ll want to get them a little toasty. Keep warm in tin foil while you make the shrimp.

-Heat butter and olive oil together on skillet over medium-low. Once the butter starts sizzling and foaming a bit (about 3 minutes), add the shrimp. Toss around, then add all of your spices, toss again. Do that fun chef-y thing where you jerk the skillet out then quickly back toward you, sending the shrimp somersaulting through the melted chili-butter. Or, get all the shrimp evenly coated in the spices in your preferred method. Cook over medium low for 3-5 minutes or until your shrimp are opaque in the middle.

-Make your tacos: pile a bit of slaw onto one side of the taco, a bit of shrimp in the middle, and a bit of avocado on the other side. Sprinkle cilantro on top then drizzle everything lightly with sriracha (or heavily if you like to sweat during dinner).

-Enjoy, then be sure to get seconds and thirds.

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