Earlier this year, my friends and I visited a seafood taco truck in Los Angeles. This truck, Mariscos Jalisco, is especially famous for its fried crispy shrimp tacos smothered in homemade salsa. I never had a taco like this before and they were absolutely amazing. Inspired by my visit, I decided to make my own version at home. Are these shrimp tacos the same as Mariscos Jaliscos? No, but I promise you, they are also incredibly delicious!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Usually, shrimp tacos have fried battered shrimp wrapped in a corn tortilla. This crispy shrimp taco is different in that the entire taco is pan-fried. The actual taco is actually very easy to prepare; it’s the toppings that take more work. If you want to save some time, make the tomatillo salsa the day before.
To make the salsa, start by roasting the tomatillos and red onion. You want the vegetables to be slightly charred and softened. While they’re cooking in the oven, rehydrate the chili de arbol in hot water. Two chilis delivered just enough heat for me but you can always add more if you’re feeling brave.
Drain the water from the chilis and blend all of the ingredients for the salsa together until smooth. The salsa will be a little tart but this will help cut the heaviness of the tacos.
Prepare the remaining toppings including the chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, shredded cabbage, and crumbled cotija.
Now let’s make the shrimp. Season the seafood with chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Saute the shrimp, chop them into small chunks and lay them on half of a corn tortilla with shredded Mexican cheese. You want to use corn tortillas and not flour tortillas because flour tortillas just won’t get that same crispiness.
Fold the top of the tortilla over and cook them in a pan with oil until crispy on both sides. We’re not deep frying the tacos but there should be enough oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Cook the remaining tacos, adding more oil as needed. Once the crispy shrimp tacos are golden brown on both sides, drain them on paper towels to remove the excess oil.
Top the tacos with tomatillo salsa, avocado, tomatoes, cabbage, cilantro, and cotija. Give them a give squeeze of lime and take one giant bite. I wasn’t quite sure how good these tacos would be but let me tell you, they were beyond words. So far I have tried these tacos with fish, shrimp, and chicken, all delivering. Delicious.
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.