Two taco recipes in the same week?! This must be heaven or close to it! My love for tacos is really on display this week for Cinco de Mayo. These spicy shrimp tacos with avocado crema are going to be your new favorite tacos to make!
Shrimp are such a fun seafood to work with, because they are the perfect blank canvas to infuse flavor into. I wanted to have a spicy/smokey taste to these shrimp so I utilized: dark chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, and garlic. Then followed up with a nice base of avocado oil, lime juice, and some kosher salt.
When buying shrimp, I usually go for the peeled and deveined variety. Cleaning shrimp is kind of tedious if you are short on time. If you do want to clean them remember to remove the vein down the back of the shrimp. I also remove the tails before marinating, so it is less messy than doing it later and rubbing all the flavor off with your fingers.
I remove the tail by pinching the shell all the way at the back. This will allow the tail to free itself and you won’t lose any delicious meat.
Whisk all the marinade ingredients together, place the shrimp in the marinade, and stir until all the shrimps are coated. You can marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to a few hours, shrimp take on flavor pretty quickly.
Next up is the crema! These shrimp are great on their own, but I’ve always been partial to a little sauce on my shrimp tacos. This creamy sauce lends a little heat itself from the jalapeño, but its the perfect contrast to the spices used on the shrimp.
I used avocado, cilantro (perfect time to use some stems!), garlic, lime juice, deseeded jalapeño, avocado oil, and a touch of water for consistency. You can use sour cream for the creamy factor, but I chose to use greek yogurt as a healthier alternative.
I blended all the ingredients and did a few tastings before proceeding. You don’t want it too thick or too thin, so I added 1 tbsp of water and tested it, then added one more before reaching the consistency I wanted. It may taste a bit spicy on it’s own, but it will all mellow out when it’s all put together.
Now for a quick slaw. Using a purple cabbage and a green cabbage, I sliced them on my mandoline (here is my be careful note). If you do not have a mandoline, a knife will do the trick just try to be consistent with your size of cuts.
I added a few spoons of the avocado crema to the slaw and tossed it until evenly coated. You will be using the rest of the avocado crema to drizzle on top of the tacos!
Next is cooking the shrimp. You can either grill them or cook them in a cast iron. I have done them both ways! If you are going to grill them, skewer them on either soaked bamboo sticks or using metal skewers.
Shrimp cook fast! As they start to cook they are going to begin to coil up. If you are cooking them on the stovetop (depending on the size of the shrimp), they will cook in about 5-7 minutes. I flip them to get a nice char/color on each side. If you are grilling the shrimp, same time frame around 5-7 minutes and flip them midway through.
Time to assemble! I used flour tortillas (toasted them in the oven), then I spread the slaw, added a few shrimp, drizzled the avocado crema, then topped with some fresh cilantro and served with lime wedges!
The flavors of the grilled shrimp paired with the creamy avocado crema are a match made for your cinco de mayo or any day of the week!
Things you’ll need: 2 small bowls for marinating/slaw, food processor for crema, mandoline for slaw (optional), cast iron (optional), skewers for grilling (optional), citrus squeeze, tongs for flipping shrimp/tossing slaw.
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These Spicy Shrimp Tacos are marinated in delicious spices and sit on top of a homemade slaw with an avocado crema perfect for taco tuesday or any day of the week!
- 1lb shrimp, uncooked, peeled, deveined, tails removed
- 1 tsp dark chili powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic minced, (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 cup shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 8–10 small flour or corn tortillas, lightly toasted
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- 1 medium avocado, seed removed and flesh scooped out
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp avocado oil
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- In a small bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients: 3 tbsp avocado oil, lime juice, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Add in prepped shrimp, stir to coat all the shrimp with marinade. Place in refrigerator and marinate for minimum 30 minutes.
- While the shrimp is marinating, in a food processor add the avocado crema ingredients: avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, yogurt, olive oil, water and kosher salt. Pulse until all the ingredients are smooth. If the consistency is too thick, add another tbsp of water. Set aside.
- Using a mandoline or knife, shred the cabbages. Place in a small bowl, add a few spoons of the crema and toss to combine. Save the rest of the crema to drizzle over the tacos at the end.
- You can either cook the shrimp in a cast iron skillet or grill them.
- Grill method: Skewer the shrimp on either soaked bamboo or metal skewers. Preheat the grill. Over medium direct heat, cook the shrimp for 5-7 minutes, flipping them midway through. You want the outside slightly charred and pink, with the inside white.
- Cast iron method: In a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium/high heat, give each shrimp a good shake (to get rid of some excess marinade) and add it to the pan. Cook the shrimp for 5-7 minutes flipping halfway through. You are looking for the same preparedness as above.
- Assemble the tacos: Place the tortilla down, add a few spoons of the cabbage slaw, add a few shrimps, drizzle avocado crema over the top, garnish with fresh cilantro, serve with lime wedges!
- Category: Tacos
- Method: Cast iron/grill
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: shrimp tacos, avocado crema, shrimp marinade, cabbage slaw