Down Where It’s Better: Shrimp Tacos

You’ve probably had a fish taco at least once in your life, but what about a shrimp taco? Seafood has always been a light and refreshing alternative to traditional meat, rice, and beans fare. Bite-sized with a firm crunch, shrimp make a great pairing with crisp vegetables either cooked plain or grilled with spices. Below is a great recipe from Food Network Kitchen for shrimp with a chipotle heat and a cooling avocado salsa verde, usable either on the stovetop or grill.

Shrimp Tacos, Ixtapa Mexican Grill and Cantina, MAPicking the Perfect Shrimp

For this recipe, you’ll want twenty medium-sized shrimp. As sizes are generally unregulated, look to get about a pound. Frozen or fresh is up to you, though unless you know for a fact that your local seafood counter sells shrimp that have been brought directly from the seas, you’ll want to go with frozen. It’s the same as the defrosted “fresh” shrimp behind the counter, but without the unthawing. To unthaw at home, place the shrimp in your fridge a day in advance, or place in a colander with cool running water.

Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde


Avocado Salsa:
1 small onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, quartered, seeds optional
1 garlic clove, smashed
4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
8 corn tortillas
8 sprigs cilantro for garnish
2 limes, cut into wedges

Put the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.

Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Spoon sauce on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and a sprig of cilantro. Serve 2 tacos per person, with a lime wedge on the side.

Great for summer grilling or some heat for a chilly night, these tacos take less than an hour to make from start to finish, with only ten minutes of cooking time. Looking for some other recipe ideas? How about some Bacon Shrimp Tacos from our menu? Ixtapa Mexican Grill and Cantina restaurants are located throughout the Massachusetts area with authentic Mexican food that pairs fantastic flavors with fun variations, and we’d love for you to come by for shrimp or any of the other great items on our menu.