baja shrimp tacos

6 tacos    |   
Prep Time:
15 minutes + 15 minutes to 1 hour standing time    |   
Cook Time:
2 to 3 minutes

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baja fish tacos

Cinco de Mayo’s coming up and Eye on the Bay asked me to make some Mexican food with host, Liam Mayclem. Since he’s Irish and I’m a gringa, I decided to do something with a California touch. As in Baja California. As in fish tacos—except those are made with fried fish, and I don’t like to fry fish at home. So I cook shrimp in a grill pan or frying pan on the stove instead and stuff them into soft tortillas with cabbage and the mysterious creamy salsa that always goes on Baja tacos. Guess what? The secret ingredient is mayo. It gives new meaning to Cinco de Mayo.


4 cups shredded green cabbage (about 1/2 head)
3 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
1 juicy lime
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 pickled jalapeños, with juice from jar
kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
1 tablespoon canola oil

6 corn tortillas, warmed (see note)
diced avocado (optional)
Salsa of choice, such as tomatillo or mango


Put cabbage and green onions in a medium bowl. Squeeze juice from half the lime into a small bowl. With a fork, whisk mayonnaise and mustard into lime juice. Mince pickled jalapeños and add to mixture along with 2 tablespoons of juice from jalapeño jar and stir well. Pour mixture over cabbage and toss well. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes or refrigerate up to 1 hour, covered. Stir again before serving, seasoning to taste with salt.

Mix ancho powder, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, juice from remaining half lime, and oil; mix to coat shrimp well. Let stand at room temperature for up to 15 minutes.

Brush a grill pan lightly with oil and place over medium-high heat. Put shrimp and any accumlated juices in pan and cook, turning as needed, until pink and slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. (If you don’t have a grill pan, cook shrimp and juices in a large frying pan.) Spoon shrimp into warm tortillas, top with cabbage mixture and garnish with avocado, if desired, and salsa. Serve extra cabbage mixture alongside as a salad.

note: you can warm corn tortillas a few ways: wrapped in foil in the oven, stacked and microwaved for about a minute (separate with paper towels to soak up the steam), or best of all, flipped once or twice over a gas burner until just starting to char.