Ensenada Style Shrimp Tacos

By Chef Abigail Velasco

Take a trip south of the other border, down to the Baja Peninsula…

30 min cook time

Serves 2

Why we like it

Tacos are a beloved and versatile dish in Mexico, but the choice of protein, its preparation, and toppings vary greatly by region.

Carne Asada tacos rule the North, Al Pastor owns Central Mexico, and Barbacoa dominates the South.

Ensenada, also known as the 'Cinderella of the Pacific,' is located along the coast of the Baja Peninsula and is a renowned source for fresh fish and seafood.

Taco Night is about to get a lot tastier with fried shrimp, topped with a crisp cabbage slaw, a simple guacamole, and a creamy, smoky aioli on a toasted corn tortilla!


2 servings

Preparation Notes


  • To fry the shrimp, metal skewers are ready to use, but wooden skewers should be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes in advance to prevent any burning during cooking.
  • For an added flair, if you can find mini dehydrated tapioca pearls, they will create a wonderfully crunchy and bubbly crust to the shrimp when fried!
  • Feel free to top these tacos with your preferred garnishes, such as sliced jalapeño, and/or your favourite hot sauce!

Making the recipe

  1. Step 1

    Simple Slaw

    • Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core.
    • Place the flat side down onto a cutting board. Cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices, then transfer to a bowl.
    • Remove the cilantro leaves from their stems. Roll into a bundle, roughly chop, and add to the cabbage.
    • Toss with lime juice, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
    Next step
  2. Step 2

    Prep The Shrimp

    • Make sure to clean and devein the shrimp!
    • To keep each shrimp straight after frying, score crisscross marks along the top and single score marks along the bottom.
    • Thread the skewer through the length of each shrimp from tail to head.
    • Lightly season each shrimp with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.
    Next step
  3. Step 3

    Dredge The Shrimp

    • Assemble a dredging station with a dish of cornstarch and a dish of egg whites.
    • Securely hold the end of each skewer and dip the top of each shrimp into the cornstarch, then into the egg whites.
    • If using dehydrated tapioca pearls or another flour, dip the shrimp.
    • Set each skewer aside on a clean plate dredged side up.
    Next step
  4. Step 4

    Fry The Shrimp

    • Heat a small pot filled with canola oil over high heat until it reaches about 350°F/175°C.
    • Working in small batches, carefully submerge each skewer in the oil and until fry until golden and crispy, between 30-45 seconds.
    • Drain each cooked skewer on a plate lined with paper towel as you cook the remaining skewers.
    Next step
  5. Step 5

    Assemble The Taco

    • Heat a frying pan over medium, then dry fry the tortillas until lightly golden, about 30 seconds each side.
    • Smear each tortilla with a dollop of guacamole, add some slaw down the middle, the shrimp (minus the skewer), a generous topping of PYRO Chipotle Aioli, and ¡Salud!