Shrimp Tacos

how to make shrimp tacos video – scroll down for recipe

DOODS. Seriously. I’d been thinking about making shrimp tacos on the show for a while but of course, you know, I wanted to do something awesome, something spicy, something different, something … SO RAVEN. Oh god, that was a terrible joke.

Anyway, I’d been thinkin’ and thinkin’ and had some thoughts and stuff. But then I went to bed and had this KRAZY dream that we were shooting the show on the side of the highway and there was a live studio audience (except we weren’t in a studio of course, because we were on the frontage road) made up of a bunch of people I know and they kept messing with my stuff and it was making me so mad. And I had to walk all the way home to change my shirt and then I had to go get some more shrimp because this jerk I hadn’t even seen in years showed up and burned all of them.

But even though the dream was an annoying piece-a-shit-dream, the recipe it left me thinking of the next morning was a complete revelation in the field of shrimp tacos and well, just shrimp dishes the world over. I’m pretty sure.

These are saucy and spicy and would be just as good, if not better, served over rice or with some crusty bread to soak up the goodness made from habanero pepper, orange juice and tequila. I just happen to love the hell outta tacos, so that’s what I did with them.

For another oceanic tortilla filling, try these amazing fish tacos, too!

shrimp tacos recipe


Shrimp Tacos

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 1/2 pound (31-40count) shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced seeded habanero (or less)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion (about 3 large)
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • Topping:
  • diced radish, cucumber, avocado, onion, cilantro


  1. Pat the shrimp dry with a towel and toss with the spices and salt and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil over high heat in a heavy skillet until smoking.
  3. Lay the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet and do not disturb for 60-90 seconds, or until the bottoms are well browned and the shrimp can be easily moved.
  4. Turn gently.
  5. Add garlic and habanero and juices and shake the pan to distribute.
  6. Add green onion and tequila.
  7. Stir and cook another 30 seconds or so until the shrimp are just cooked and the sauce is slightly thickened.
  8. Serve right away.


This will easily serve two as a main course, but I think would also make a good tapas-type appetizer on toothpicks or bruschetta toasts.

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  1. Mother Effingby on June 27, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Ah. That looks so refreshing! A cucumber salsa would be good in that, too.

    • Hilah on June 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Mmm, yes! I think we’ll be eating a lot of this meal in our house this summer.
      In fact, I bet these would also be delicious cooled and wrapped up in some rice paper wraps with cucumber, raw jalapeno, lettuce, and dipped in some kind of coconut chutney, too.
      Oh the places we’ll go… 🙂

  2. Diane on June 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Dear sweet jebus, these sound good! I’m cooking ’em before the week is out.

    • Hilah on June 28, 2012 at 8:54 am

      Dude, Diane. They are amazing. Best ever!!!

  3. Albert on June 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Hi hilah!!! I was wondering if you could make “discada” ? It’s this Mexican dish that has chopped up meat tomatoes onions chorizo and bacon!!! And who doesn’t like bacon???? Please let me know 🙂 thanks!

    • Hilah on June 28, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Hi Albert!
      I’ve never made that or heard of it before now but it sounds delicious!

  4. Lisa D. on June 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Hilah
    This sounds so scrum-diddley! YES! Tonights dinner forsure!!
    Just love the idea of the diced radish, cucumber, avocado, onion, cilantro for the topping & maybe an extra dab of some hot-sauce. Mmmm YUM! must serve your rice recipe with it.. thanks much!♥♥

    • Hilah on July 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Lisa D!
      I hope the tacos turned out great! Next time, I’m making rice with mine, too.

  5. C.J. on July 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Looks mother-flippin’ delicious!

    • Hilah on July 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

      They are, they are! Thanks, C.J.!

  6. Mitchster on February 13, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Just made and ate these for the second time. They are sooo good! If you’re thinking about making these, stop thinking and get thee to the store and then the stove. They’re really easy to make and deelicious. This recipe is supposed to serve two but it’s all gone and I’m the only one here.


    • Hilah on February 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      You are welcome, Mitchster! Super stoked to hear you liked them as much as we do. 🙂

  7. Jodi on May 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    So we made these last night for dinner. Skipped the radishes and added avocado. Tried wrapping them in big lettuce leaves (fewer carbs – thinking it would be kinda like you’d add shredded lettuce to a tortilla but then forgot the tortilla? Or, not really.). Because these are so runny, I would ~not~ recommend eating these wrapped in big lettuce leaves. BUT the taste was fanTASTIC! Great recipe and thanks for sharing!

    • Hilah on May 6, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Jodi!
      I’m happy you enjoyed the flavor of the shrimp tacos, even if the lettuce wrap didn’t work out quite right. 😉 Thanks for the feedback!

  8. Julie Burton on April 6, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Im making these Saturday night but will use those Stand and stuff tacos, never used them before, hope it works.

    • Hilah on April 6, 2016 at 7:44 am

      Hey Julie!
      Unless you have some hard-core crispy shell lovers in your house, I think shrimp tacos work best in soft corn of soft flour tortillas. My suggestion, but they’ll be good either way I’m sure.

  9. Sarah on April 12, 2016 at 7:35 am

    This was delicious!! Made it as tacos and thickened the sauce to put on them. Making it again this week over polenta and possibly doubling the sauce, it’s so good 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hilah on April 12, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Yay! Thanks for writing, Sarah. Putting the shrimp over polenta sounds like a delicious idea!

  10. Bridget on May 21, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Hi Hilah!
    I made these today for a dinner party…. actually my first time cooking shrimp. Came out great! I should have cooked the tequila off for an extra few seconds though. Also, this made a lot of sauce. Not a bad thing, but looked like a lot more than on your dish.
    Thanks so much for being a great teacher!

    • Hilah on May 23, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Bridget!
      So happy you enjoyed these tacos! This does make a bit of sauce, which I like because I usually serve with some rice on the side and it’s so good on the rice 🙂 You can cut the OJ down a little next time if you want less sauciness. Also be sure to just cook the shrimp for only about two minutes. Cooking longer makes them release more of their liquid which can affect the sauce, and if you cook much longer than a couple minutes the shrimp will be a little chewy, too.

  11. Carolyn Sill on February 12, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I always seem to overcook shrimp because I can’t tell when they are cooked through. I guess I’m fearful of undercooked seafood. Any hints or tricks on how to know when they are done but not overcooked?

    • Hilah on February 13, 2018 at 9:36 am

      Hey Carolyn!
      When shrimp are cooked they turn pink and go opaque. It really just takes about 1-2 minutes on each side to cook them through, depending on the size. Remember residual heat continues to cook food even after it’s been pulled off the heat, too. So I pull them off a few seconds before I think they might all be done and let them hang out in the pan for another minute or two before serving.

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