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Shrimp Tacos with Watermelon Radish-Jicama Slaw and Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

These easy (and delicious!) shrimp tacos feature pan-seared shrimp tossed with lots of chili, cumin, and garlic powder, a simple winter slaw made with watermelon radishes and jicama, and a quick cilantro-yogurt blender sauce. 

See note below for tips on buying the best shrimp.

Recipe Type: Dinner
Keyword: shrimp tacos
Makes: 4 servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, cored and cut into thin ribbons
  • 3 - 4 watermelon radishes (or any largish-radish), scrubbed and julienned
  • 1 large jicama, peeled and shredded or julienned
  • 3 green onions julienned
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime), plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 pounds shrimp, deveined, peeled, and tail-off (*see note)
  • 4 teaspoons high-quality chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic granules, or powdered garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Grapeseed or other neutral oil for searing
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and all
  • 3 green onions, roots trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used non-fat yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
To Assemble
  1. The night before or at least 3 hours ahead of time, make the quick-pickled onions (pickled onion recipe here) and slaw. In a large bowl, toss to combine cabbage, radishes, jicama, and green onions. Sprinkle with sea salt and lime juice; use your hands to smush and toss the slaw until the ingredients start to release their juices. Taste, and add additional salt or lime juice as needed. Cover and set in the fridge until needed. Just before serving, toss slaw, taste, and add more sea salt to taste.
  2. To make the tacos, toss shrimp with chili powder, cumin, garlic, and sea salt in a large bowl.
  3. To make the sauce, in a blender or food processor, pulse to combine all sauce ingredients. Add more sea salt or lime to taste. Scrape into a jar and set in fridge while you cook the shrimp.
  4. Set a deep oven-proof dish in the oven and turn heat to 200 degrees F.
  5. Heat a large cast iron or other skillet over medium/medium-high heat (you want the skillet as hot as it can go without the oil smoking; note that as you cook, the skillet will get hotter so edge heat lower if needed.) Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot skillet, and then about 1/4 or 1/5 of the shrimp. When shrimp are nicely seared, after 1 - 2 minutes, carefully flip each shrimp and cook 1 - 2 minutes more, or until shrimp have curled, turned pink, and are cooked through. Keep cooked shrimp in the warm dish in the oven. Continue for remaining batches of shrimp.
  6. While you cook shrimp, set up another skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add just a few drops of oil to the skillet, and then warm tortillas, 2 - 3 at time. Wrap cooked tortillas in a towel in a shallow dish.
  7. To assemble tacos, layer slaw, warm shrimp, pickled onions, sliced jalapeños, and cilantro in a warm tortilla and drizzle generously with cilantro-yogurt sauce, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*Because of questionable labor and farming practices abroad, I prefer to buy wild shrimp from the US. It can be hard to find US shrimp that are peeled with tail removed, so I often end up peeling them myself. For this recipe, I was able to source popcorn-sized peeled shrimp and went with that. Use whatever shrimp best suits your needs. I also recommend buying frozen shrimp, since it's often fresher than "fresh" shrimp. To thaw, set frozen shrimp in a large bowl and immerse in cold water. After 10 minutes, strain and refill with cold water, and wait another 10 minutes. When shrimp are thawed, drain shrimp completely.