shrimp tacos

Shrimp tacos with wasabi sour cream and cotija cheese. Mmmm.

Everyone should be able to make one good dish without having to open a cookbook. I mean, everyone can follow a recipe, in theory (except when you forget to buy certain ingredients, in which case you should just make sure you live really, really close to a grocery store … not that this had anything to do with why we chose our house. Not at all!), but to be able to create a meal just using your brain? That’s a skill.

I have a few things I can make from memory, but one of the biggest hits would have to be seafood tacos. And honestly, every time someone compliments me on them, I kind of laugh because, dude, it’s just so easy. But apparently impressive, and definitely delicious. So, I thought I’d share.

There are a couple of variations I use. First, you can use fish (I use tilapia or another mild, white, flaky fish) or shrimp. I bake fish and saute shrimp, but you can go with your preference. Then, you can go with a true Mexican vibe, or you can get a little funky and bring some Eastern flair into it (inspired by Giada’s recipe). Below, you’ll find the Mexican version for fish and Eastern version for shrimp. Of course, you can mix and match, and it’s super easy to tailor to your own likes and dislikes. If you have a great suggestion, be sure to let me know!

Mexican Fish Taco Ingredients

For two people (like, people who eat), you’ll need:

1 large or 2 small tilapia fillets

Marinade (I like Lawry’s Baja Chipotle)

4-6 taco-size tortillas (works with crunchy taco shells, too), or just a couple of really big, burrito-size tortillas

Sour cream

Fresh lime (1 should do it)

Cilantro (fresh is great, but I get mine in a tube)

Cotija cheese


Chipotle hot sauce

Fresh tomato

Crunchy shredded lettuce or cabbage

Optional: Yellow rice, either to put in the tacos or as a side dish

Marinate fish for 30-60 minutes and pre-heat oven to 400. Bake fish for 10 minutes or so — it’s ready when it pulls apart easily at the thickest part.

If making rice, make sure to get it started first (it takes longer than the fish).

Bake crunchy shells as directed, or, for soft shells, wrap in tinfoil and pop in oven for 2-3 minutes to heat and soften.

Mix juice from 1/2 lime (or to taste) with sour cream and cilantro (again, to taste). Spread on shells.

Add fish, rice, tomato, guac, lettuce, cheese, and hot sauce.

Eastern Flair Shrimp Tacos

1/2 to 3/4 lb shrimp (I buy peeled and deveined, because, EWWW, and also, I’m LAZY)

A bit of olive oil (enough to saute easily) or a ginger- or teriyaki-based marinade (I stick with olive oil)

4-6 taco-size tortillas

Salt, pepper

Fresh lime

Sour cream


Lettuce or cabbage

Sliced avocado

Sliced tomato

Crumbly, white cheese (I’ve used queso fresco, cotija and goat cheese and loved them all equally)

Heat oil or marinade in wok or pan. Add shrimp and saute, adding a little salt and pepper if desired. Shrimp is done when it turns pink. Do not overcook! Depending on size of pan and number of shrimp, should be around 4-6 minutes. You’ll need to remove tails — I do this while they’re cooking, just pulling them out one at a time, so I can serve them nice and hot, but you can do it after they’re all done if you want.

Wrap soft tortillas in tinfoil and pop in oven (or toaster oven) for 2-3 minutes to heat and soften.

Mix wasabi and sour cream to taste (you can use wasabi powder, but I found this wasabi mustard and totally love it).

Add shrimp, avocado, tomato, lettuce, cheese and wasabi sour cream to tortilla. Squeeze a slice of lime over the top.