I went to San Diego and came back with fish taco fever. Seriously.
Aside from the perfect climate and beautiful ocean views, San Diego also has an awesome food and cocktail scene. Patty and I went on a family trip to visit her sister and on the last night, I only wanted fish tacos.
We found this local taco joint down the street from our Airbnb that had the best spicy shrimp tacos I’ve ever had. One variation was fried, but you could also get a chipotle blend of seasonings or basic blackened shrimp tacos. I went with the chipotle seasoned and they were phenomenal.
Sweet and Smokey Rub
The secret is in the shrimp seasoning. Dry rubbed shrimp sautéed in a medley of spices until golden brown. The paprika, chili powder, and cumin give these shrimp tacos a nice smokey and mildly spicy punch, balanced with a little brown sugar and fresh lime juice.
Simple Shrimp Tacos Sauce
I’m a firm believer that all fish tacos need some sort of sauce addition. Something creamy to pull everything together. Sort of like a dressing to the perfect salad that just so happens to be wrapped in a corn tortilla.
For this recipe, I went with a really lite sour cream-based sauce made with fresh lime, garlic, chili powder salt, and pepper. It’s the perfect shrimp taco sauce and the subtle drizzle of flavor you need.
My perfect fish taco always consists of shredded cabbage, cilantro, avocado, and lime juice. Sometimes I’ll have fresh jalapeno or chopped mango, but I always start with those four staples.
They’re the perfect complementary ingredients to fresh seafood. Oh and the drink pairing to enjoy with these spicy shrimp tacos? A hazy, citrusy New England style IPA of course. My mouth is watering.
A simple spicy shrimp taco served in corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and creamy lime sauce.
- 1/2–1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 package 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1 bag shredded cabbage
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Extra lime wedges for serving
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
Creamy lime sauce
- 3 tablespoons lite sour cream
- 1/2 lime, juice squeezed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch, chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare all your shrimp taco toppings and set aside. Mix the creamy lime sauce in a small bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Remove the tails from the shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a medium bowl and squeeze juice from half a lime over the shrimp. Add the seasoning mix and toss until shrimp are fully coated.
- Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet. Once melted, add the remaining 1/2 clove of minced garlic and simmer for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and no longer transparent.
- Warm the tortillas for 10-15 seconds in the microwave and assemble your shrimp tacos with your desired toppings. Sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, cilantro and creamy lime sauce. Serve with extra lime wedges.
Keywords: spicy shrimp tacos, shrimp taco sauce