Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Tex-Mex Grilled Shrimp Tacos

Highly seasoned grilled shrimp served on grilled fresh corn tortillas with salsa fresca, onion, cilantro and fresh lime.

Tex-Mex Grilled Shrimp Tacos

I love any kind of Mexican or Tex-Mex food, though outside of the usual standards of tacos, burritos and quesadillas - we pretty much go out more often than making it at home. The main reason is I have an adventurous palate and almost never order the same thing.

The Cajun, well he's the total opposite and almost never steers away from the crunchy beef tacos. It's kinda funny really, because he'll study the menu for awhile, but then when the server arrives, it's always crunchy tacos!

One of my favorites at the local Mexican restaurant we go to most are their shrimp tacos. Made with grilled shrimp on corn tortillas, topped with lots of onion and cilantro and served with fresh salsa and lime wedges. They also offer them on flour tortillas with the classic lettuce, tomatoes and cheese toppings for those who prefer a more traditional American version.

About that cilantro thing.

Yep. I was one of those folks who tasted what seemed like soap whenever I ate cilantro and I pretty much avoided it for most of my life.

But, as with brussels sprouts, one of the other few foods I just don't care for, I persisted in trying it here and there. I just kept using it and you know what? My taste buds adapted and now it doesn't remind me of soap at all and I love it!

Very strange, I know, but I guess taste buds can change over time too. I mean when I saw my adult son eating hummus for the first time, I was floored. Never would I ever have thought him to be a hummus person! 

As to these tacos, I set out to make them as close to that restaurant's classic version as I could and I think I came pretty close. I hope you enjoy giving them a try too.

Here's how to make them, and as always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.

I'm using some wild caught fresh Gulf shrimp, about 51/70 count, peeled and deveined.

For seasonings, I'm using salt and pepper, paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powder, dried thyme and oregano.

Mix together and add to shrimp.

Toss with shrimp to coat well. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

For the salsa fresca, aka pico de gallo, I'm using chopped tomato, green onion, minced garlic, pickled jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Chop up everything.

Combine in a bowl.

Toss well.

Set aside and let the flavors all meld together.

Prepare the tortillas and then the shrimp. I highly recommend the EVO sprayer for both. I use these sprayers when I air fry - they are the best and I went through several different ones before these, trust me - but I also use these when I'm prepping my grill, non-stick skillets or my grill pans, to spray on my baked potatoes, or just when I need a little spritz of oil.

Since it's just for the two of us, I'm using my Ninja Foodie countertop grill to char the tortillas, but you can certainly fire up your big outdoor grill too. A large skillet will work or just char them over an open flame if you're lucky enough to have a gas stove. Just warm the tortillas using your favorite method. I wanted the char from the grill on mine. Spray both sides of tortillas with cooking oil and preheat grill on high. I set the time to 15 minutes.

Grill tortillas about 30 to 45 seconds on the first side, or until it begins to char; turn and grill other side 10 to 15 seconds, remove and set aside. Keep warm as you repeat batches.

Add the seasoned shrimp to grill in one layer and cooking in batches if necessary, grill for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size shrimp you're using and whether you're using an open flame or indoor grill, turning or tossing halfway. If you're doing this on an open grill, you'll want to use a grill basket or thread the shrimp on skewers so they don't fall through the grates.

Transfer to a plate or platter as you cook them.

I am dressing these as they are traditionally at my favorite Mexican restaurant, with onion, cilantro and salsa fresca, however you can certainly dress them with the classic taco dressing of lettuce, tomato and cheese and chip salsa. 

Spoon the pico salsa into a warmed tortilla.

Top with shrimp.

Add onions.

Add cilantro.

Serve with wedges of lime.

Unable to see the printable below on your device? Click or tap here.

Posted by on May 3, 2022
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