Panko-breaded shrimp are pan-fried until golden brown & crispy and served in warm tortillas with crunchy shredded cabbage, diced avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro and a homemade, healthy chipotle lime crema sauce for a quick, delicious crispy shrimp taco dinner.
Can we all just agree that tacos are one of life’s greatest pleasures?! They are just so delicious and so fun. Steak, veggie, chicken, fish… I’m not picky, but these Crispy Shrimp Tacos are unreal!
The meal comes together super quickly and are a great family meal because everyone can choose their toppings to their desire. Taco bar?! Yes. Please.
Prepping the Shrimp
The star of the show in this Crispy Shrimp Tacos is obviously the deliciously breaded and pan-fried shrimp. To start, it’s important to be using shrimp that either come peeled (shell & tail off) and deveined, or do it yourself. It can be a little bit time-consuming, so I prefer to purchase them shelled and deveined.
The ones I typically use are the wild-caught Argentinian shrimp from Trader Joe’s.
You can either thaw them in the fridge, but if you forget (like I almost always do), just go ahead and pop them in a colander and run them under cold water for 5-10 minutes. They should thaw and be ready to cook. Just make sure to be moving them around so that the water is hitting all of them.
After they are thawed, place the shrimp on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel. You want them to have as little surface moisture as possible so that they get nice and brown.
How to bread & fry the shrimp
A step that will make the process of breading the shrimp much easier is to set up your dredging station. I like to have my egg whites in a small bowl, and then spread the panko bread crumbs out on one half of the plate and the flour on the other half. I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All-Purpose flour and it worked great!
To make sure the shrimp get some seasoning, add 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp black pepper to the panko and use a fork to mix.
First, dip the shrimp in the flour, completely coating it and gently shaking off any excess. Then, dip the shrimp in the egg whites and then coat it in the panko, again gently shaking off an excess (they actually will fry better if you shake off excess breading!). Place the shrimp on a clean plate and repeat until all of the shrimp are breaded.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes to allow it to really get hot. Then, pour in a thin layer of oil. I like to use avocado oil because it has a higher smoking temperature and doesn’t burn as easily as olive oil. Depending on the size of your skillet, the amount will vary, but you want to see a visible layer of oil.
Allow the oil to heat for another 30 seconds-1 minute until it is very hot.
Using tongs, place the shrimp in the skillet, being sure to not overcrowd, and cook for about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Depending on how many shrimp you have/the size of the skillet, you may need to do multiple batches. Just be sure to keep enough oil in the skillet.
making the healthy Chipotle Lime Crema
The chipotle lime crema for these tacos is extremely easy and consists of: plain Greek yogurt, the juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp chipotle powder (or your favorite hot sauce) and a pinch of salt. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, taste, and adjust seasonings to your preference.
Toppings for the crispy shrimp tacos
The other ingredients that I like to serve with the Crispy Shrimp Tacos are shredded cabbage, diced avocado, cilantro, thinly sliced radishes and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema
- 1 lb thawed, peeled & deveined shrimp
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- Shredded Cabbage
- Thaw shrimp either in the fridge or in a colander under cold running water. Place shrimp on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Set up the dredging station by cracking egg whites into a bowl, spreading the all-purpose flour on one side of a plate and the panko on the other side.
- Season the panko with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper.
- Coat the shrimp first in the flour, shake of excess, dip in the egg white and then coat in panko, shaking off excess. Place on a clean plate.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add a thin layer of avocado oil (you want there to be a layer of oil for the shrimp to fry in) and allow to heat for another 30 seconds.
- Place shrimp in the skillet, being sure to not overcrowd (you may need to do multiple batches) and fry on each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- To make the Chipotle Lime Crema: in a bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, juice of 1 lime, 1 tsp chipotle powder (or use hot sauce of your choice) and a pinch of salt.
- Assemble tacos with warmed tortillas, cabbage, avocado, crispy shrimp, chipotle lime crema, thinly sliced radishes & cilantro.