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Garlicky Shrimp-Cilantro Tacos (Tacos de Camarones al Mojo de Ajo)

Photo: James Carrier; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total time 35 mins
Yield Makes 16 tacos; 8 servings
Sweet onions and shrimp meet the gentle heat of garlic and chiles. Prep and Cook Time: about 35 minutes. Notes: Vegetables can be cooked up to 2 hours ahead, then reheated. Serrano chiles can be very hot, so add to taste. To heat tortillas, wrap in a kitchen towel and microwave until warm and soft, about 60 seconds.


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced (see Notes)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds shrimp (21 to 25 per lb.), peeled, deveined, and halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • 32 corn tortillas, warmed (5 to 6 in.; see Notes)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Nutrition Information

  • calories 243
  • caloriesfromfat 32 %
  • protein 15 g
  • fat 8.5 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • carbohydrate 28 g
  • fiber 3.1 g
  • sodium 197 mg
  • cholesterol 95 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add onions and chiles and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Pour vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

  2. Melt butter in same frying pan over medium-high heat, add garlic, and stir until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add half of shrimp to pan. Stir often until shrimp are bright pink and no longer wet-looking in thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes; transfer shrimp to bowl with reserved vegetables. Add remaining shrimp to pan and cook as above, then return cooked shrimp and vegetables to pan and stir everything together until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cilantro and salt to taste.

  3. Serve shrimp in a large bowl with tortillas (use 2 tortillas, stacked, per taco), accompanied by lime wedges to squeeze over top.

  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per taco.

Doña Tomàs: Discovering Authentic Mexican Cooking; Doña Tomàs, Oakland, California