Blackened Shrimp Tacos are ideal for a quick dinner option. Prepared with fresh ingredients and our own Badass Blackened Seasoning fire em’ up and then finish them off with your favorite taco toppings.
How to buy shrimp
- Buy Frozen! Say what? Yep, this is one of those blue moons where I am telling you that frozen is a better option than buying the shrimp stacked up laying in the tray in the seafood section. Even living on the Gulf, we purchase frozen shrimp about 90% of the time.
- When the shrimpers haul huge net fulls of shrimp from the Gulf, they throw those lovely little bites on ice straightaway, freezing them within a short time of being caught. Preserving their freshness, and flavor until they’re ready for the blackened seasoning and cast iron skillet!
- “Fresh” shrimp in the seafood section has likely gone through this process too. Except they have gone through the defrost process, which means their freshness is fading as they sit and wait to be purchased as the hours’ pass.
- Unless you meet the shrimper at the docks, which we can do here in Florida when we find the time! Frozen shrimp are a better and safer bet for purchase.
If shrimp smell funky, such as having an ammonia-like or iodine odor, or feel slimy and/or soft and mushy are bad. Return them to the store ASAP or toss them! You shouldn’t have this issue with frozen shrimp that have been defrosted correctly.
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Chef’s Tip: Brine! It improves the texture and flavor of just about any shrimp. Add 1/2 cup Kosher sea salt (120 grams) and 1/4 cup (60 grams) sugar to 2 cups of rapidly boiling water until dissolved. Pour into a large bowl filled with ice water and add 1 pound of shrimp. Let them soak in the brine, add ice as needed or refrigerate for 2 hours. Rinse and proceed with cooking.
How to Prep Shrimp for Cooking
- Don’t defrost shrimp in the microwave or leave them to sit on the counter! Defrost shrimp overnight in the refrigerator, or remove shrimp from packaging and place in a bowl of cold water. Allowing a stream of cold water to run into the bowl while the excess water goes down the drain. If using the water method, shrimp should defrost in 10-15 minutes.
- Peeling: Remove the shell before cooking if you’re serving in a hot dish such as this one, you can leave the shell on if you‘re grilling or serving shrimp cocktail.
- Deveining: I remember deveining fresh shrimp with my grandfather, it’s something I have always done and will continue to do. Although I know cooks that choose not to. I suggest that it becomes part of your shrimp cleaning ritual. If you’ve never cleaned shrimp, here’s an article from Fine Cooking on how to do so!
- Remember shrimp cook fast! So make sure that the rest of your meal is ready to go, for these tacos have your plates out and toppings ready. The shrimp will cook in about 3 minutes so you can plate and eat!
Chef’s Tip: Shrimp shells are a great addition to a seafood base. After peeling rinse them place in an airtight container and toss into the freezer to make seafood stock at a later date.
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How to Make Blackened Shrimp Tacos
Blackened Shrimp Tacos are ideal for a quick dinner option. Prepared with fresh ingredients and our own Badass Blackened Seasoning finish them off with your favorite taco toppings!
- 1 ½ pounds shrimp, shelled + deveined + rinsed
- 2 Tablespoons Badass Blackened Seasoning, see recipe link above
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 soft flour tortillas, sub desired shell
Combine the deveined shrimp and Badass Blackened Seasoning into a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly, add more or less seasoning as desired.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, once hot add the olive oil and reheat about 30 seconds. Add your shrimp in an even layer and cook 1-2 minutes per side depending on the size of the shrimp.
- Prep time is approximate; if making sauce(s) time is increased.
- Cook and serve immediately.