Shrimp Tacos

The impetus for these tacos was pretty simple: although it’s been dreary, dreary winter in New York for months now, the last few days have been glorious. Like, leave-your-coat-at-home-and-run-though-the-streets-with-your-arms-in-the-air glorious.

So when it came time to make dinner, I wanted to build upon the theme. I don’t have a hammock in my living room (not yet, at least), but I figured this was the next best thing. Well, this and the Coronas I served them with. Feel free to pretend you are grilling the shrimp on an actual barbeque, instead of on the little grill pan you bought from Ikea.

Conveniently, the recipe utilizes (but amps up) a bunch of ingredients I bet you already have lurking in your fridge door. It also comes together pretty fast.

A note about the shrimp: For the love of all things good and holy, please, please, please try to find wild shrimp if you can. It is not an impossible task; just ask your fishmonger, or the fish guy at the supermarket. It really, really makes a difference. I will not get into a big preachy diatribe just now, but suffice it to say that shrimp farms are not particularly happy, clean or ecologically sound places.

Also, the shrimp you need for this recipe should be raw! They should be blue/gray, not pink! You can ask the fishmonger to clean them for you though; it will make your life that much easier.

Serves 2 hungry people


  • 1 14.5-ounce can of good quality black beans
  • 4 cloves of garlic, divided
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • sea salt
  • ¼-½ cup of sour cream, depending on your affinity for sour cream
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced
  •  juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of ¼ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (use your favorite)
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil (or whatever oil you have)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 4-6 radishes
  • about 3 cups of arugula
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 1 pound of wild, jumbo shrimp, shells removed and deveined
  • 4-6 small flour tortillas


Prepare the beans: Rinse the beans, and then empty them into a medium saucepan or a small Dutch oven. Add ½ cup of water. Roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic; it’s no beauty contest, you just want to extract the flavor. To remove the thyme leaves, simply pinch each sprig with two fingers and pull downward; the leaves will come right off. Cover the pan and cook the beans over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Add salt, to taste.

Black beans

Prepare the sour cream: Put the desired amount of sour cream into a bowl. Zest ½ the lime straight into the bowl, and then add your minced chives. I like to cover the bowl with plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, just so the flavors start to come together.

Sour cream

Prepare the marinade: Mince the remaining two cloves of garlic. In a large bowl, add: the lemon juice and zest, the cayenne pepper, a crack of black pepper, the garlic, the hot sauce and the avocado oil. Whisk it all together with a fork, and then add a healthy pinch of sea salt. Set the bowl aside.



Prepare the guacamole: Cut the avocado in half. To remove the pit, stab it pretty forcefully (be careful!) with a sharp knife; twist and pull. Score each half of the avocado, and then squeeze out the pieces into a medium bowl. Dice the tomato, and add that to the bowl too. Mix in the juice of ½ the lime, and then add salt and pepper, to taste.


Diced avocado

Diced vegetables

Guacamole base

Prepare the side salad: Wash and thinly slice the radishes. Set aside, along with the arugula. In a medium bowl, make the vinaigrette. Mix the vegetables with the dressing just before serving.

Side salad

Prepare the shrimp: Marinate the shrimp for up to 10 minutes. (Any more and your shrimp will turn into ceviche.) In the meantime, preheat the grill pan over medium heat.

Marinated shrimp

Grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes on each side; you want them to be just cooked through, and not at all tough.

Grilled shrimp

At the last minute, throw the tortillas into the toaster oven for a quick spell, so they puff up a bit. Pile everything on top of the tortillas and serve alongside the salad.

Shrimp taco and salad

Shrimp taco



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