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Baja Shrimp Tacos

Baja Shrimp Tacos

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  • 1/2 Cup mayonnaise
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo, stemmed
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/4 Pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 4 pickled jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Cup store-bought pesto
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Lime wedges, for serving


In a food processor, blend the mayonnaise with the chipotle, 1 tablespoon of buttermilk, and the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.

In a large salad bowl, add the shredded cabbage and carrots. Season with white vinegar, salt and pepper and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Put the panko in another bowl. Coat each shrimp with the panko and fry in batches until golden, about 2 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.

Spoon some of the cabbage into the center of each tortilla and top with 2 fried shrimp. Drizzle with the chipotle mayonnaise, pesto, and sprinkle with some of the pickled jalapeños, red onion, cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds.

Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving2269

Folate equivalent (total)183µg46%

Riboflavin (B2)0.4mg26.1%

5 minute Baja Shrimp Tacos Recipe

From Mexican Monday to Taco Tuesday, we love a good taco around here! This recipe for baja shrimp tacos has just enough heat to make these amazing but not so much that the kids can’t enjoy them.

They have the perfect blend of spices and seriously take just minutes to prepare. Enjoy these during busy weeknights and eliminate the stress of dinner time.

We would rather eat out because we want to and not because we forgot to plan for dinner. This is one of those meals that can easily be prepared even when you are running from work to school and endless activities.

How to Make Baja Shrimp Tacos

  1. The spices and olive oil are mixed with the shrimp and then you let it sit for 20 minutes. This just helps get the seasoning into the shrimp and give them more flavor. If you are in a hurry, you can skip this and they will still be delicious.
  2. While the shrimp marinate mix together the sour cream, mayo, and other sauce ingredients. They just get stirred together and then stored in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Next make the coleslaw for the tacos. The mayo, lime juice and cilantro are mixed together and then tossed with coleslaw mix. Once it is well blended it is placed in the fridge until it is time to eat.
  4. Once the shrimp are ready, you just saute them in a large skillet for a few minutes on each side until they are cooked through.
  5. Now you can assemble your tacos! Top flour tortillas with some of the slaw, the shrimp, sliced avocados and then drizzle on the sauce!

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Photo of Shrimp and Mahi Mahi Fish Taco – Baja Fresh is by Jason Lam and is used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) License. Thank you, Jason. Great Picture. Photos may be “representative” of the recipe and not the actual finished dish. All photo licenses listed were correct at the time of the posting of the page. Additional Information Courtesy of Wikipedia and is used by permission.

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Baja Style Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

Servings 8 tacos, 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons lowfat yogurt
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ chipotle pepper en adobo, minced into a puree*
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 limes, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ medium green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • Large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas


Recipe Notes

Chipotle peppers en adobo are sold in small cans in the Mexican food section of most supermarkets. One-half of a minced chipotle pepper measures about half of a tablespoon.

This recipe was developed for the National Fisheries Institute.

Baja Shrimp Tacos


Fresh tacos like these will soon become a staple. They are quick to make, colorful and have a unique twist with the inclusion of coconut oil. The fruit salsa highlights the tropical flavors of the coconut-fried shrimp perfectly.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes



24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup buttermilk
LouAna® 100% Pure Coconut Oil, for frying
4 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled
8 corn or flour tortilla, warmed

Chipotle Lime Crema:
1/2 cup crema Mexicana or mayo
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped
2 tablespoons buttermilk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fruit Salsa:
1 1/2 cups strawberries, finely diced
1 cup mango, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper


To make the crema, mix together the crema Mexicana (or mayo), chipotle chilies, lime juice, buttermilk and a pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the fruit salsa, add the strawberries, mango, jalapeno, lime juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Toss well, cover and place in the fridge until ready to use (no longer than 12 hours, it is best fresh as possible).

To make the shrimp, add the panko breadcrumbs, flour, shredded sweetened coconut and a pinch of cayenne to a medium size bowl. Add the shrimp to another bowl and pour the buttermilk over the shrimp. Toss well.

Place a large heavy bottomed, high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add enough LouAna® 100% Pure Coconut Oil so that it comes about inch up the sides of the skillet.

Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Take a piece of shrimp and dredge it through the breadcrumb mixture pressing gently to adhere and place the shrimp on a plate. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Once the oil is hot (make sure it is not too hot or the shrimp will burn), add the shrimp in batches and fry 1 to 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

To assemble the tacos, place a few pieces of shrimp inside a warm tortilla. Top with fruit salsa and a drizzle of chipotle crema. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese.

Baja Shrimp Tacos Recipe photo credit: Tieghan Gerard

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos

Originating in Baja California, fish and shrimp tacos have become popular pretty much anywhere seafood is available. These in particular have quickly become a fan favorite. The combination of avocado slaw, marinated shrimp, and garlic-lime mayo makes for a seriously delicious taco. Serve 'em up with a margarita and extra hot sauce on the side.

I don't like cilantro! What can I use instead?

Pretty much any fresh herb will do the trick! The closest you'll get is basil&mdashit's got an aromatic, summery flavor that pairs beautifully with shrimp. Chives, flat leaf parsley, or green onions are other solid options.

Can I use flour tortillas instead?

Absolutely! We like toasting our tortillas (corn or flour) over the open flame on our stove. The char gives them a little smoky flavor, warms them up, and makes them more pliable. You can also heat your tortillas in a hot cast iron skillet.

What kind of hot sauce should I use?

Whatever you prefer! In the test kitchen, we like Cholula or Tapatio, but Tabasco or even Sriracha would be delicious!

Oops! I bought shrimp with the shells and tails on. What should I do?

Since these shrimp are going in a taco, it's really best that they're totally free of shells. Do not fear! Removing the shell and tail from shrimp is actually super easy. To do it, place your thumbs on the underside of the shrimp (where the legs are) and pull shell away from the body. The tail can also be pulled off, but do it gently to preserve as much meat as possible. Next comes the vein. *Technically* you can eat the vein, but it can make things a little gritty so we prefer to remove it. Using a paring knife, make a thin incision next to the vein, then use the tip of your knife to remove it.

Can I marinate the shrimp over night?

We wouldn't recommend it. Since there's lime juice in the marinade, the acid could actually "cook" the shrimp. (This is the concept behind ceviche!) Over-marinated shrimp can become rubbery and unpleasant, so try to stick to 20 minutes.

Made this recipe? Tell us how you feel (and give us a star rating!) below!

Editor's Note: This introduction to this recipe was updated on March 31, 2021 to include more information about the dish.

Baja Shrimp Taco + Chipotle Crema

I have to say, I’m really excited for this post! First, this is likely to be the last post I have using my current blog format. As we speak (write?) the Whole Smiths is undergoing a major overhaul. I’m working to bring you more functionality and a better design. You’ll be able to see so much more when you visit my site and be able to find me recipes much easier. I cannot wait for you to see it! Word on the street (aka my web designer) says it should be ready to go by Thanksgiving, so fingers crossed. Second, hello… TACOS! Everyone loves tacos. Everyone.

And the final reason I’m so excited for this post is that I feel this recipe really encompasses everything that the wWhole Smiths is all about. Clean, easy and delicious food that doesn’t make you think “healthy” when you’re eating it. It’s adaptable for different food preferences and tastes without changing your entire meal to suit everyone. Husband wants a tortilla for his taco, great. Give him a tortilla. The kids just want it in a bowl? Give ’em a bowl.

On to the recipe! Like I mentioned, there are some alternatives that you can use in this recipe. I personally choose to avoid all grains in my diet but I understand that not everyone follows that, so you have the option of using a (gluten free) organic corn tortilla or butter lettuce to wrap it. You’ll also find some options in the chipotle crema sauce. You can use either your own homemade mayo, that you can find HERE (trust me, it’s sooooo easy and so good) or if you prefer, you can opt to use a paleo mayo such as Sir Kensington’s. Just note, if you choose to use a store bought mayonnaise, you will probably want to thin out the crema sauce with a bit of coconut milk. The consistency should be thinner than a mayo but thicker than a dressing. And finally, I don’t know about you, but I like spicy! I know my kids aren’t crazy about it though, so I can’t go all out with the heat. Depending on your level tolerance and the members in your family, feel free to add more chipotles to the mayo. Or add just one and scrape out all of the seeds for a more mild version. Personally I added one whole chipotle with the seeds and a second with out.

If you’re looking to make this Whole30 compliant, use a lettuce wrap and leave out the honey.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Sriracha Sauce & Cilantro Lime Slaw

Spicy pan grilled shrimp tacos loaded with a zest honey cilantro lime slaw and topped with a creamy sriracha sauce. These tacos are spicy, sweet, zesty and bursting with flavor! Shrimp tacos have become a weeknight favorite. They&rsquore super quick and easy to make, present very well and will make you look like a pro!

This recipe is inspired by my popular spicy shrimp and avocado salsa tacos. Instead of an avocado salad, we&rsquore switching things up by using a honey cilantro lime slaw and topping the tacos off with a creamy sriracha sauce. The spice from the shrimp paired with the crunch and sweet hint of honey from the slaw and the creamy sriracha sauce will make your mouth sing. The combo is a perfect combo of sweet, zesty, crunchy, spicy and creamy!! I had 3 tacos shooting this recipe and had to hold myself back from eating more! It all starts with fresh OR frozen shrimp. Lately, we&rsquove been using frozen shrimp a lot because it&rsquos so handy and makes a great quick meal. If you are using frozen shrimp, run it through cold water for a few seconds to defrost it. You will need to devein the shrimp and remove the shell and tails if they have not been removed.

Next, place the shrimp in a large bowl or ziplock bag and combine with the spices below and oil of choice. There is no marinating needed for this recipe but you can place the shrimp in the fridge for up to 2 days if you&rsquod like. The longer the shrimp sit in the spices the better. When you are ready to cook, simply place add the shrimp to a super hot grill pan and cook for just 1-2 minutes per side. If the shrimp begin to stick to the pan or if you&rsquore not using a non-stick pan, add a teaspoon of oil to the pan.
Now all that&rsquos left is to combine all the ingredients for the slaw and make the creamy sriracha sauce. The slaw can be made ahead of time and is good for up to 24 hours in the fridge.

For the sriracha sauce, you can use ranch, sour-cream or greek yogurt. We honestly like the ranch flavor best but a combo of ranch and sour-cream or yogurt is also delicious.

Crispy Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Radishes


  • 1 Lime
  • 3 Radishes
  • 2 Scallions
  • 10 Ounces Shrimp
  • 4 Ounces Shredded Red Cabbage
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons Sour Cream
  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Wash and dry all produce. Cut lime into wedges. Halve radishes, then slice into thin half-moons. Trim, then thinly slice scallions, keeping greens and whites separate. Rinse shrimp under cool running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Toss cabbage and scallion whites in a medium bowl with a squeeze of lime, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat a ¼-inch layer of oil in a large pan over high heat (use a nonstick pan if you have one). Meanwhile, place shrimp, cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder in another medium bowl (we’ll use more chipotle in step 5). Season with salt and pepper. Toss until shrimp are thoroughly coated.
  4. Add shrimp to pan in a single layer and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, a squeeze of lime, and a pinch of chipotle powder (use more to taste). Season with salt and pepper. Add enough water to create a drizzly consistency (about 1 Tablespoon). Wrap tortillas in a lightly dampened paper towel and microwave until warm and soft, about 30 seconds.
  6. Divide slaw, shrimp, and radishes between tortillas. Drizzle with crema, sprinkle with scallion greens, and serve with any remaining lime wedges for squeezing over.

Get all these pre-measured ingredients delivered straight to your doorstep by ordering this stunner of a shrimp tacos recipe off the menu.

Then, turn to your attention to dessert. Specifically these lemon avocado tartlets. Or this tiramisu. Or both.