Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Whenever I see beautiful, fresh shrimp in the grocery store, I get inspired to make something. Today, that happened to be blackened shrimp tacos. Flavored with paprika, cayenne, garlic, and dried herbs, these shrimp are very tasty.

Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Please don’t buy precooked shrimp, because I think they need to rename those to pre-overcooked shrimp. Think about it. You can’t blacken already cooked shrimp without overcooking them. No one wants rubbery shrimp tacos. If you buy shrimp that aren’t peeled or deveined, you can usually save a little money too!

Peeling and deveining shrimp isn’t hard, it’s just a little tedious. Just follow these two steps:

  1. Peel off the shell. Starting with underside of the shrimp, pull the shell outwards and around the shrimp, working towards the tail. You can leave the tail on or pull it off.
  2. Devein. Lay the shrimp flat on your cutting board and make a shallow incision with a paring knife to expose the digestive tract along the back of the shrimp. Either pull the tract out with your fingers or place the paring knife under the middle of the digestive tract and twirl it around the tip. With this trick, you avoid having to get your fingers too dirty.

Blackened Shrimp Tacos
Cook time
Total time
For the Blackened Shrimp:
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • dash of dried herbs
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
For the Chipotle Sour Cream:
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
Additional Ingredients:
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • guacamole*
  • greens (cabbage or lettuce)
  1. Mix the paprika, garlic powder, herbs, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the shrimp and coat evenly.
  2. Either on a grill or skillet, cook the shrimp until done. Set shrimp aside.
  3. Heat the tortillas in the hot skillet. Cook for about 15 seconds on one side, then flip. Place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm.
For the Chipotle Sour Cream:
  1. Pull a few of the chipotle peppers from the can (I use La Costeña). Mince the peppers with a sharp knife or place in a blender. Add a teaspoon of the peppers and the lime juice to the sour cream. Then add a teaspoon of the adobo sauce still remaining in the can. Mix well and taste. Add more peppers or adobo sauce until the sauce has reached your desired spiciness. I feel that the peppers can vary a bit in heat, so I always adjust the amount I add.
  2. Assemble the tacos and enjoy!
No tortilla warmer? No problem! Just cover the warm tortillas with a clean and slightly damp dish cloth.

*guacamole was made with avocados, tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, and serrano peppers for heat.