Chili-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Slaw

Cook, Dinner, Healthy Eating, Mains, Recipes

Most shrimp from the seafood counter of a grocery store have been frozen at some point, so consider buying a bag of frozen shrimp from the freezer aisle; it’s not only more economical, but also more convenient. You can use the amount you need and keep the rest frozen for another easy weeknight dinner. The cilantro slaw is a great way to work more vegetables into your meal, and, because cabbage is so dense, it can be dressed well ahead of time and still hold its crunch.


Chili-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Slaw




For the pico de gallo:

  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb./500 g), finely chopped and seeded
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the cilantro slaw:

  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup (3 oz./90 g) shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup (3 oz./90 g) shredded red cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, shredded (about 3/4 cup/4 oz./125 g)
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) chopped fresh cilantro

For the tacos:

  • 1 lb. (500 g) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas, warmed



1. To make the pico de gallo, in a nonreactive bowl, stir together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Let the salsa stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


2. To make the cilantro slaw, in a large bowl, stir the mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic and jalapeño and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cabbages, carrot and cilantro and toss until well coated with the dressing. Let the slaw stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then stir again,


3. To assemble the tacos, in a bowl, toss the shrimp with the canola oil, chili powder and salt. Set aside.


4. Warm a grill pan or a nonstick fry pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the shrimp and grill or sear, turning once, until bright pink and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.


5. To assemble, fill the tortillas with the shrimp, dividing them evenly. Pile a few big pinches or a scoop of the creamy cilantro slaw on each and serve immediately, passing the pico de gallo at the table. Serves 4.





For this and more ideas for tacos you’ll want to serve every night of the week, check out our new Taco Night, by Kate McMillan.







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Chili-Rubbed Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Slaw
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