Shrimp Tacos

Dating back to 18th century Mexico, tacos were originally the food for workers in the silver mines. Since then, tacos have been an pivotal part of Mexican culture and arguably the single most important culinary creation. Tacos are loved across the world and have constantly been evolving. They can be filled with meat, seafood and vegetables. A traditional taco has three main components: the tortilla, the filling and the salsa. I decided to make a camaron verde taco which literally translates to a green shrimp taco. I make an unorthodox marinade with many foriegn ingredients, such as soy and fish sauce. These are not traditional but I believe that they add a tremendous depth of flavor. I promise you that these will be one of the best shrimps you have had. A make an acidic salsa verde and top with pickled onions to balance the dish. 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • For the marinade:
    • 3 tbs fish sauce
    • 1 tb soy sauce
    • 3 tb brown sugar
    • 2-3 jalapenos
    • 3-4 cloves garlic
    • 1 bunch of cilantro
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • Salt and pepper
    • Juice and zest of 2 limes
    • 2 tbs olive oil
  • For the salsa
    • 5-6 tomatillos, halved
    • 1 bunch green onions
    • 5 cloves garlic
    • 2  jalapenos
    • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
    • ¼ cup orange juice
    • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tb oil
  • For the pickled onions:
    • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
    • ¾ cup water
    • ⅓ cup vinegar
    • 2-3 tbs sugar
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 8-12 tortillas, corn or flour
  • 3 tbs oil
  • Lime wedges and cilantro to serve

Procedure:

  • For the pickled onions:
    • Mix the water, salt and pepper, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl
    • Add the sliced onions to simmering water for 10-15 seconds
    • Drain and add to a jar
    • Cover with the pickling solution and chill in the fridge
  • For the salsa:
    • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Add the spring onions, tomatillos, and jalapenos to a steel pan and coat with the oil
    • Roast for 15-25 minutes or until the skins are brown and the tomatillos are soft
    • Allow to cool
    • Blend the mixture with the garlic cloves, vinegar, lemon juice and orange juice
      • Add water as needed to get desired consistency
  • For the shrimp:
    • In a blender combine all the ingredients for the marinade and blend until smooth
    • Add to your shimp and marinade for at least an hour
    • Preheat a large pan on high heat and add oil
    • Drain the excess marinade and cook the shrimp in batches
      • The shrimp will cook very fast, about 1-2 minutes on each side
  • To assemble
    • Heat up the tortillas either in a pan or in the oven wrapped in foil
    • Once the tortillas are warm, add the shrimp and top with the salsa verde and pickled onions
    • Serve with lime and cilantro

Chef’s note:

  • Both corn and flour tortillas work amazing in this recipe. The flour tortilla will be softer and more chewy than the corn tortilla. However, I feel that the corn tortilla brings an authentic taste and the texture pairs perfectly with the shrimp.
  • Even though the pickled onions will taste amazing after one hour, I recommend letting them pickle overnight. Allowing the onion to pickle overnight will change the color and add a much better flavor.
  • Both the salsa verde and pickled onions will store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks after use. Store in an airtight container
  • When making the salsa verde, you will get an even better flavor if you char the vegetables over an open fire or on your gas top itself. The char will add an underlying smoky flavor that will complement the acidity of the lime.

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