Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Avocado Cream

Remember winter? On this sunny, second day of spring down in South Carolina, as I trade in my boots for Birkenstocks, I already feel like it’s shrinking away in the rearview mirror. Also helping things along are these decidedly warm-weather tacos we ate for dinner last night, which made excellent use of the otherworldly shrimp down here. As always, the goal with shrimp this fresh (or any fish, or any in-season anything) is to keep things simple, which you should feel free to interpret as be as lazy as possible. I wasn’t planning on the spicy avocado cream until the last minute when I spied a charred poblano-serrano sauce on Marcela Valladolid’s instagram (she’s an excellent follow, btw) and started scavenging the kitchen looking for anything to achieve that color. Success.

Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage and Spicy Avocado Cream
We served with rice.

kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds shrimp, shelled and rinsed
8 small tortillas (we used 6-inch corn tortillas, but flour would be fine, too)
1 cup cabbage (any kind: savoy, green, red), shredded
spicy avocado cream (below)
toppings: minced red onion, cilantro (didn’t have, wished I did), freshly ground black pepper

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes (exactly) at a rolling boil, drain and run under cold water. Chop roughly.

Prep tortillas: Either grill for a few minutes or, using tongs, flip a few times on a stovetop gas burner, about 1 minute total for each.

Divide shrimp and cabbage between your tortillas. Drizzle with a few dollops of avocado cream, top with desired toppings, and serve.

Spicy Avocado Cream
Makes 1 cup
Use leftover for dip with chips or on sandwiches.

Puree all of the following in a blender until smooth, adding water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency. (It should resemble sour cream, but slightly more liquidy.)

1 ripe avocado
1 small jalapeño (seeded and de-pithed as desired for heat; I included one strip of pith with seeds)
1 tablespoon mayo
1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
juice from 1 juicy lime
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine, white wine, or distilled)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 scallions (roughly chopped)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
some meaningful grinds of black pepper

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Divide shrimp and cabbage between your tortillas. Drizzle with a few dollops of avocado cream, top with desired toppings, and serve.