Recipe Review

Every Night Is Taco Night with These Spicy Blackened Shrimp Tacos

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My favorite local taco trucks have a huge range of tacos available. I’m making progress on trying all the tacos on the menu eventually, but somehow I always wind up with at least one shrimp taco in my order. Those are my favorites. They’re savory, a little sweet, spicy, crunchy, and so satisfying. And while they might seem difficult, they’re actually very easy to make — even in a tiny apartment kitchen.

These blackened shrimp from Little Spice Jar are combined with smashed avocado and crunchy cabbage dressed in a creamy jalapeño lime crema that’s cool and spicy at the same time, for an easy dinner that looks and tastes like it came from a restaurant. 

Shrimp cook so quickly, there’s no reason to fuss with them much. Just toss them with a mix of seasonings like cumin, smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper. The author adds a little bit of sugar, too, which gives a tiny hint of sweetness and helps bring out all the other flavors. Let the shrimp marinate in the seasonings for a few minutes while you make the slaw and crema.

Combine Greek yogurt with fresh garlic, cilantro or parsley, scallions, lime juice, and jalapeño in a food processor until smooth, then toss it with several cups of shredded cabbage. It tastes like it took a lot of work, but making it is as easy as pushing a button on the food processor. 

Once the slaw and crema are ready, sauté the seasoned shrimp in butter in a hot skillet until they’re blackened on the outside. Use a pan large enough to give all the shrimp room. The author recommends cooking the shrimp in two batches if you don’t have a pan big enough to handle all your shrimp. 

To assemble the tacos, put the smashed or sliced avocado on a warmed tortilla. Top with slaw, then shrimp. Sprinkle them with crumbled cotija cheese and have lime wedges on hand to give them a spritz of fresh lime juice if desired. They’ll look and taste just like they came from your favorite restaurant or taco truck. 

Get the recipe: Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Smashed Avocados and Slaw from Little Spice Jar

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

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