Shrimp Tacos

Summary: These tacos are exactly what I think of when considering "the best shrimp tacos ever." They are spicy, sweet, savory...utterly delicious in every bite, in every way. I cook the shrimp in a cast iron skillet so that I can also reduce the marinade in that, but you could also grill the shrimp and reduce the sauce in a separate pot on the stove.

Yield: serves 2-4


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1 orange)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced/pressed (this is about 4 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon minced habanero pepper (wear plastic gloves when seeding and slicing the pepper!)
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 of an avocado
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • peeled and julienned jicama


In a small skillet set over medium heat, lightly toast the coriander and cumin seeds until they're fragrant and darkening in color, taking good care not to burn them. Using a spice grinder, grind them into a medium-large mixing bowl. Add to the ground spices, the orange and lime juices, olive oil, salt, garlic, habanero and honey. Whisk well to combine.

Add the shrimp and red onion to the marinade, and let sit while you prepare the avocado-cilantro creme.

In a small (mini) food processor, put the crème fraîche, cilantro, avocado, lemon juice and salt. Process until you have a smooth puree. It will be a lovely color of green. Transfer to a small serving bowl and garnish with any extra cilantro leaves.

Julienne any amount of jicama you want and toss with a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of salt. Set aside.

Set a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot, pour in the shrimp and all the marinade. Stir frequently as the shrimp cook; you want them to cook evenly until just done. After 3-4 minutes, the shrimp should be a beautiful, bright orange and curled in as if they want to form circles. Using a slotted spoon, remove them to a serving bowl. Continue to cook the marinade until it is reduced into a nice sauce, roughly 5 minutes more. When that's done, spoon or pour it gently over the shrimp. Garnish with cilantro.

In the meantime, begin toasting the corn tortillas, one at a time, in a skillet over medium heat. Don't let them get crispy; you just want them warm and pliable.

Thinly slice the remaining avocado (the leftover 1/4 you have from making the creme) and serve everything at once: the warm tortillas, the avo-cilantro creme, the shrimp and the jicama. Make tacos and enjoy!