Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lima Crema
Happy National Taco Day! Did you know that last year, Americans ate over 4.5 billion tacos? That’s A LOT of tacos. And why not? Who doesn’t love a small tortilla shell, crispy or not, corn or flour, filled to the over-flowing brim with spicy fillings and fixings? Judging by the number 4.5 billion, the answer to that question is, “no one”.
This Taco Tuesday, trade in the traditional ground beef and shredded cheese taco for a healthier and slightly more sophisticated (don’t yell at me, beef lovers), alternative. Fresh cilantro, minced red onion, and creamy avocado are a winning combo in these fun tacos.I have a few rules when it comes to tacos:
- The tortilla must not fall apart.
- There must be something spicy.
- There must be something crunchy.
- There must be something creamy.
Here’s the thing. Tacos are not burritos. In the grand scheme of things, you can’t take a bite and hope that you reach the good stuff in the middle before you finish your salsa. There are only so many bites you can take from a taco before you nip your own fingers. So they have to get it right with every bite.
That means that every bite has to pack flavor, spice, texture, color…And every bite has to make it to your mouth without the bottom following out of your transportation device. Ever wonder why the best taco joints (the ones that pack in those fillings) serve each taco with 2 tortillas? Now, don’t quote me here but I’m guessing that at least part of the reason is so that it doesn’t fall apart midway from your plate to your mouth.
For an extra crunch, I sprinkled toasted pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, over each taco. Catch the recipe here.
*Note: if you are a crispy taco shell kind of person, go ahead and grab them. But I do recommend trying small, corn tortillas first. They don’t crumble as easily, the texture and flavor is on point and they aren’t fried.
- 6 small corn tortillas (12, if they are very thin)
- 6-8 ounces large shrimp, raw, peeled, deviened
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red onion, very small dice
- 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced into rings
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (see recipe link in article)
- 1/3 cup plain, Greek yogurt
- 2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges
- 1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat half of the olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the hot oil (the oil should sizzle when the shrimp hits. If not, wait until the oil is hot enough). Saute until pink on 1 side, about 2 minutes. Flip and finish cooking another 1-2 minutes. *You may want to do this in a couple of batches so the shrimp do not steam.
- In a small bowl, combine yogurt, lime juice and half of the cilantro. Mix well. Add a pinch of salt (to taste) and smoked paprika. Stir until combined and then chill until you're ready for it.
- To build your tacos, first wrap your tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in the oven. Warm tortillas are less likely to break.
- Divide the shrimp between the tortillas. Drizzle with crema.
- Top with a sprinkle of red onion, jalapeno, pepitas and cilantro.
- Serve with a lime wedge on the side!