Shrimp Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Sauce

This is a nice recipe that can be used as either an appetizer or entrée. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and you can substitute the tortilla with other flat breads, such as pita or Naan. The sauce is what really takes this dish to a gourmet level. In addition, the avocado slices along with the red onion and cilantro garnish dress up the simple dish with a gourmet elegance.

As far as the extensive array of spices, I would recommend sticking with the recipe the first time before deciding, as is always your option, to add personal flare. You may also find that the sautéed shrimp with the recommended spices can also be used in other entrée combinations, such as with grits and broccoli.


  • Sautéed Shrimp
    • 2 lbs large frozen peeled and deveined shrimp – thawed
    • 1.5 tsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp fresh garlic – minced
    • 0.5 tsp paprika
    • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
    • 0.5 tsp onion powder
    • 0.5 tsp Kosher salt
    • 0.5 tsp black pepper – ground
    • 0.25 tsp ground coriander
    • 0.25 tsp grated orange zest – Valencia oranges are good
    • 2 TBL olive oil – or as needed
  • Lime-Cilantro Sauce
    • 2 TBL sour cream
    • 1 lime – zested and juiced
    • 1 tsp fresh cilantro – chopped
    • 0.25 tsp garlic powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste – pinch of each
  • Garnish
    • 2 avocados – thinly sliced
    • 1 red onion – finely diced
    • 0.5 cup fresh cilantro – chopped
    • 2 limes – cut into wedges (8 per lime)
    • 1 jalapeno pepper – diced (optional)
  • Base – 20 (6 inch) corn or flour tortillas – or other flat bread


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Soak shrimp in cold water to defrost
  3. Make sauce:
    1. Whisk together sour cream, zest and juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp cilantro, garlic powder, and 1 pinch each of salt and black pepper.
    2. Cover with film and refrigerate.
  4. Warm tortillas: either warm a griddle or frying pan on low heat. Once warm, heat tortillas one each side 1-2 mins, then place in a covered container to keep warm. While doing this, cook the shrimp.
  5. Sauté shrimp:
    1. Remove shells from shrimp, rinse, drain, and place on paper towels to dry. Pat dry tops with a paper towel
    2. In a small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic, paprika, cumin, onion powder, 0.5 tsp salt, 0.5 tsp black pepper, coriander, and orange zest. Mix well.
    3. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over Med-high heat.
    4. As pan heats, pour spice mix into a plastic bag, add shrimp and shake to coat shrimp with spices.
    5. Sauté shrimp until bright pink on the outside and the meat is opaque, ~ 4 – 5 mins on each side.
  6. Assemble tacos:
    1. Spread 1 tsp or sauce across each tortilla.
    2. Add 3-4 shrimp, 2 slices of avocado, some red onion, and jalapeno.
    3. Sprinkle cilantro top. Arrange all components in a elegant presentation.
    4. Either squirt lime juice over shrimp or serve with lime wedges for your guests to squeeze on top.
    5. Serve left over sauce in a bowl for guests to add more.
    6. For informal family settings, you can put all the taco components in separate bowls and let your guest build their own tacos.