Blackened shrimp tacos are one of my wife’s favorite meals, especially on a hot summer day. The big flavor of the blackened shrimp is offset by the bright citrus and creaminess of the avocado mango salsa. A little Mexican sour cream on top brings it all together.
It’s the perfect meal for hanging out around the lake with an ice chest full of beer.
To blacken your shrimp, you’ll coat them with melted butter, sprinkle with the blackening spice, get your cast iron pan screaming hot, then throw them in the pan.
When they first hit the pan, the butter will instantly billow smoke. Be careful, it could even momentarily ignite.
I generally open up a door and turn a fan on high to blow the smoke out of the house. A residential vent-hood fan just won’t cut it.
If I’m cooking a lot of blackened shrimp or fish, I usually grab my propane burner and head outside. That saves the dog and me the agony of the fire alarms going off.
Avocado Mango Salsa
If you haven’t worked with habanero peppers before, they’re hot. It’s a good idea to wear some latex gloves when handling them. You don’t want to get the juice on your fingers, then rub your eyes later.
With that being said, don’t be afraid of them. If you cut out the seed pod and the white veins on the inside, they can be downright mild. When I cooked the recipe for the website, I cut too much out, and my salsa ended up being too mild.
Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Mango Salsa
- 1 large mango - cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large avocado - cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 red onion - finely diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro - minced
- 1 habanero pepper - stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 lb. jumbo shrimp - peeled and de-veined
- 2 sticks butter - room temperature (leave it out overnight)
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp. granulated garlic
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
- 8 white corn tortillas - toated on a comal
- 2 cups purple cabbage - shaved very thin
- Mexican sour cream
- 1 large lime - cut into wedges
- Chop all of your ingredients, then gently mix everything together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Blackened Shrimp Tacos
- Toast your corn tortillas on a hot comal and place in a tortilla warmer.
- Heat a large cast-iron pan on high until it's screaming hot.
- In a large bowl mix the melted butter and shrimp together until the shrimp are thoroughly coated. Spread the shrimp out on a cookie sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix together your spices. Sprinkle both sides of the shrimp.
- Using a large metal spatula, scoop half the shrimp into the hot pan (being careful not to get splattered or burned). Cook for 1 minute, then flip and cook for an additional minute. Remove to a plate. Cook the other half of the shrimp.
- To serve, add your shrimp to a tortilla, a little bit of shredded cabbage, top with avocado-mango salsa, and add a touch of sour cream. Place a couple of lime wedges on each plate for squeezing over the tacos.
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