This recipe is a bit of a bastardization of a food that I already associate more with California than I do with Mexico. Instead of using a flaky fried fish, as you would in a Baja-style fish taco, I substituted in golden fried shrimp, battered in a dark beer batter that puffs up super light and crispy, almost like a tempura. Topped with a quick cabbage and cilantro slaw, a squeeze of lime, and topped with our spin on a lightly spicy tartar sauce, these tacos are enough to mentally transport you to warmer climates.
Crispy Fried Shrimp Tacos with Ancho Chile Tartar Sauce
Makes 6 to 8 tacos
- 1 cup dark beer
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound 26/30 count shrimp, shelled and de-veined
- Peanut oil (for frying)
- 1 small red cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
- Juice from two limes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
- 1 dried ancho chile, whole
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup pickle relish
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 6-8 corn tortillas
- Lime wedges
Whisk beer, flour, and salt in a medium bowl until well blended. In a deep frying pan, heat oil to 360 degrees. Dip each shrimp in batter, and drain excess. Drop gently into hot oil in batches, and cook until golden brown. Transfer cooked shrimp to drain on paper towels.
In a separate bowl, toss cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, vegetable oil, and jalapeno until evenly coated, and set aside.
In a small saucepan, cover dried ancho chile in water, and bring to a simmer over high heat. After water simmers, remove from heat and let soak for 15 minutes. Carefully remove pepper from water, break off stem, and discard. Add to bowl of a food processor with mayonnaise, pickle relish, and onion, and blend until smooth.
To assemble each taco, stack two warm tortillas, and top with three or four pieces of shrimp. Top with a spoonful of slaw, and serve with ancho tartar sauce on the side, with plenty of lime wedges to squeeze over the top.