Beer-Battered Shrimp Tacos Recipe

Fried shrimp tacos, as recipe developer Alexander Roberts points out, are a trendy menu item at casual bars and restaurants all over the country. But since they "only require a few ingredients and come together quickly," he says, why not make them at home? The actual cooking time for the beer-battered shrimp is minimal, and the other components in the dish require no cooking at all. This makes for a taco dinner that Roberts calls "super easy."

Despite being so quick and simple to make, these tacos are an attractively colorful and impressive appetizer or entree. Roberts notes that the addition of cabbage is "fresh, bright, and crunchy," while the smooth, creamy sauce makes for a cooling contrast to the perfectly crispy batter-fried shrimp. These tacos make a great meal for anyone who enjoys Tex-Mex food that's not too spicy, but if you would prefer a little heat, you can always add a few dashes of hot sauce or slices of jalapeno.

Gather the ingredients for these beer-battered shrimp tacos

You're going to need shrimp, of course, to make these shrimp tacos, plus beer, flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, and pepper for the batter and oil for frying. The taco sauce is made with cilantro, sour cream, and lime juice, while corn tortillas are used for wrapping. Cabbage and radishes make for fresh, crunchy taco toppers.

Step 1: Make the taco sauce

Add the cilantro leaves, sour cream, lime juice, and water to food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 2: Stir up the batter

Add the beer, flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.

Step 3: Heat the oil

In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 inches vegetable oil to 350 F.

Step 4: Batter-dip the shrimp

Dip the shrimp in the beer batter and shake off any excess.

Step 5: Fry the shrimp

Immediately add the shrimp to the preheated oil, working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, and fry for 4-6 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Step 6: Build the tacos

To assemble the tacos, add several shrimp to each tortilla. Top with cabbage, a few radish slices, and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with cilantro-lime sauce and serve immediately.

How can you serve beer-battered shrimp tacos?

Roberts advises Mexican or Tex-Mex-style side dishes — such as chips and salsa, guacamole, or rice and beans — to go with these tacos. He also suggests that if you want additional toppings besides the creamy cilantro-lime sauce, you could also add some cheese (he favors cotija or queso fresco), grilled corn, and pickled red onions. Red cabbage would also be a nice addition for color, he says.

While the fresh, bright flavors in these shrimp tacos are best suited to summer, Roberts suggests, he notes that the ingredients are all available year-round, making these something you can enjoy in wintertime, too. In fact, this would make a great meal for those midwinter doldrums when you're wishing for a beach escape. Make up a pitcher of lemonade, iced tea, or any other warm weather libation you favor, put on some summertime tunes, and close the blinds so you don't have to look out at all of the snow covering the ground.

How can you switch up the ingredients in beer-battered shrimp tacos?

Roberts assures us that it's OK to make a few tweaks to this recipe without altering the character too much. If you're eating gluten-free, he says a non-wheat flour would be just fine here, while you can also use corn tortillas in place of the flour ones he opts for. If you are vegan, he tells us, "I'd suggest using a veganaise instead or any non-dairy yogurt, sour cream, etcetera." When asked if the batter could be made without beer, he answers, "Absolutely! I would suggest ginger ale or ginger beer for an alcohol-free substitute," something that would give the batter an extra-flavorful twist.

There is even some flexibility with the type of shrimp you use, as Roberts says the "size doesn't matter too much." He does caution against using jumbo ones, though, and also doesn't recommend using pre-cooked shrimp. As he explains, "They will get super rubbery from being cooked twice."

Beer-Battered Shrimp Tacos Recipe
5 from 3 ratings
It's easy to recreate your favorite restaurant's shrimp tacos at home. The protein takes just a few minutes to fry, and then you're ready to assemble!
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
4
servings
shrimp tacos on orange plate
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, as needed for frying
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 8 small tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup radishes, thinly sliced
Directions
  1. ‌Prepare the cilantro-lime sauce: Add the cilantro leaves, sour cream, lime juice, and water to food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Prepare the batter: Add the beer, flour, baking powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  3. In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 inches vegetable oil to 350 F.
  4. Dip the shrimp in the beer batter and shake off any excess.
  5. Immediately add the shrimp to the preheated oil, working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, and fry for 4-6 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. To assemble the tacos, add several shrimp to each tortilla. Top with cabbage, a few radish slices, and cilantro leaves. Drizzle with cilantro-lime sauce and serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 833
Total Fat 56.1 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Trans Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 199.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 51.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Total Sugars 2.4 g
Sodium 785.0 mg
Protein 30.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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