Quick and easy, these grilled shrimp tacos are a lighter alternative to meat filled tacos.
These shrimp tacos come together quickly for an easy weeknight summer dinner on the grill. This tequila lime marinade is made from just a few ingredients and the shrimp don’t take long to soak up the flavor. I like to let peeled shrimp marinate for 30 minutes, any longer in an acidic marinade and it could begin to break down the shrimp and they could become mushy.
In the seafood industry shrimp are sold by their quantity per pound. For example when the recipe calls for 16/20 size shrimp it means that there are 16 to 20 shrimp per pound. Go by the numbers rather than the names like jumbo and colossal because there is no real industry standard for names.
Honey adds a natural sweetness to the marinade that offsets the acidity of the tequila and lime juice. It also caramelizes as the shrimp cook to add a nice crust on the outside of the shrimp as they grill.
Lime juice complements the honey and tequila in the marinade for the shrimp. Garnish the shrimps tacos with a squeeze of lime juice.
Repasado also known as gold tequila is a bit smokier than silver tequila blanco though either will do in this recipe. I prefer to use a middle of the road tequila for cooking since you will get the flavors from whatever you use though I prefer to save the real good stuff for drinking. It also helps to tenderize the shrimp.
A blend of chili powder, garlic powder and cumin is used to spice up the marinade for the shrimp.
Sour cream adds a great texture to this dip as well as a tangy flavor to the creamy hot sauce. The sour cream helps to balance the rich flavors of the mayonnaise.
I prefer to cut the mayonnaise with sour cream when making sauces.
The creamy hot sauce that is spooned over the shrimp tacos is made from a blend of sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce, chili powder and cayenne. Adding a touch of water thins out the sauce so it can easily be added over the top.
I prefer corn tortilla to corn for these tacos though they can easily be substituted with flour based on preference. Before assembling the tacos, either warm them by holding them with tongs over a gas flame for a few seconds to warm and char the edges or in the microwave topped with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.
I like using a combination of finely shredded green and purple cabbage for an aesthetically pleasing base for these shrimp tacos.
When shopping for avocados, look for ones that are firm but “give” slightly when gently squeezed in your hand. You can also remove the top stem, though I prefer to call it a nub, at the top of the avocado – if you remove it and it is green, it’s most likely ready to eat. If it’s brown then it’s probably overripe.
This herb has a complex citrusy flavor that adds both color and flavor as a garnish.
How to make this recipe
Marinate the shrimp. In a medium bowl combine the honey, lime juice, tequila, salt, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Add the shrimp to the marinade then cover and refrigerate.
Cook the shrimp. Preheat grill or griddle pan to high heat. Thread the shrimp onto the soaked skewers. Grill the shrimp until they are just cooked through and pink with grill marks on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from the heat and let them cool. Remove tails if desired and cover to keep warm.
Make the creamy hot sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce, chili powder and cayenne together until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Assemble the shrimp tacos. Warm the tortillas on the grill or griddle. Place a small handful of the red and green cabbage on each tortilla then top each with shrimp, avocado, creamy hot sauce and cilantro, dividing evenly. Serve the tacos with lime wedges on the side.
Tips for This Recipe
Soak the bamboo skewers in water before threading the shrimp on. This helps to keep the wood from burning when they are cooked on the grill.
Don’t marinate shrimp for too long or they will break down too much and become mushy. They only need 15. to 30 minutes to marinate.
The sauce can be made a few days ahead of time and stored, covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
If you don’t have a grill use a grill pan so you still get those char marks. The shrimp can also be cooked off the skewers in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.
Bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes (soaked so they don't burn)
For the marinade:
3tablespoonsfreshly squeezed lime juice
1poundjumbo16/20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
For the creamy hot sauce:
1tablespoonhot sauce(I use Cholula®)
8small corn tortillas
1cupshredded red cabbage
1cupshredded green cabbage
1medium avocado,pit removed, peeled and diced
For the marinade:
In a medium bowl combine the honey, lime juice, tequila, salt, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder. Add the shrimp to the marinade then cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
Preheat grill or griddle pan to high heat. Thread the shrimp onto the soaked skewers. Grill the shrimp until they are just cooked through and pink with grill marks on both sides, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from the heat and let them cool. Remove tails if desired and cover to keep warm.
For the creamy hot sauce:
In a small bowl whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce, chili powder and cayenne together until completely combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Warm the tortillas on the grill or griddle. Place a small handful of the red and green cabbage on each tortilla then top each with shrimp, avocado, creamy hot sauce and cilantro, dividing evenly. Serve the tacos with lime wedges on the side.
DID YOU MAKE THIS?
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These were so delicious! My boyfriend and I both thought that these were the best shrimp tacos we’ve ever had! I loved the marinade so much and the sauce was awesome! We did however add a lot of extra cholula and spices 🙂 thanks for the recipe!!
Yay! So happy to hear it Katrina! Thanks for sharing! Can’t go wrong with additional hot sauce!
This was absolutely amazing. My whole family loved it! Thank you for such an amazing recipe
That makes me so happy!! I am so glad you and your family enjoyed them 🙂