Mexican Recipes

Prawn Tacos (Shrimp)

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This is how I do Prawn Tacos (Shrimp) – marinated in a zingy chipotle lime marinade, seared, then stuffed into soft tortillas with a zesty creamy Taco Slaw, drizzled with my go-to Pink Taco Sauce. Time to up your taco game!

Big platter of Prawn Tacos (Shrimp)

Prawn Tacos

I want to open with a grand statement like “I’m yet to meet a taco that I don’t love”, but then I remember that time we bravely tried offal street tacos in Mexico City (intestines, to be exact) and how it was clear that the part we got were……errr…let’s say from the lower part of the intestines, with a distinct, unpalatable flavour that will never be forgotten…

So I decided to scrap that and just say – PRAWNS! TACOS! MEXICAN FOOD! You cannot go wrong!

(It’s probably not the wisest thing to be talking about intestine tacos when I’m trying to convince you that these prawn tacos are a must try. I do have a tendency to write what pops into my head. I apologise if it’s off-putting! 😂)

Hand holding prawn taco

Skillet filled with freshly cooked prawns for tacos

Marinade for Prawns / Shrimp for tacos

Here’s the marinade I use for the prawns:

Ingredients in marinade for prawn tacos

Chipotle Powder

The power ingredient in this marinade is chipotle which is ground dried jalapeños. It’s smokey and a bit spicy, and can be irritatingly hard to find in Australia (it’s a standard spice in the US and Canada).

It’s sold at Harris Farms (NSW/QLD), speciality stores, online (Amazon – Australia, UK, and for Aussies, my go-to online Mexican place is Firework Foods). But don’t fret if you can’t find it – I have a couple of substitution alternatives in the recipe!

Here are other recipes that use Chipotle powder:

Meanwhile, this is what we’re using it for – a taco marinade that’s a little bit spicy, a little bit earthy, a little bit lime-citrusy, and just all round GOOD!

Marinade for prawn tacos

This is one of my summer taco-bar essentials. Partly because who doesn’t love prawns? And partly because it takes 2 minutes flat to cook!

How to make prawn tacos

Super seedy with a mere 20 minute marinade – even 5 minutes is enough because prawns are actually very delicate and they can’t stand up to long marinading times. In fact, if you leave it in the marinade, the citrus will end up breaking down the flesh too much – essentially a ceviche gone wrong!

PRO TIP: We’re using medium / smallish prawns here, suitable size for tacos. Which means they cook SUPER fast. 60 seconds on each side, max – no more, otherwise they will overcook!

How to make prawn tacos

What to serve with prawn tacos

You can feel free to stuff these tacos with anything (else) you choose. But today, I’m offering up:

  1. Taco Slaw – a terrific tangy-yet-creamy yogurt based slaw which I call my Taco Slaw. It works really well here because it’s floppy and juicy like traditional Coleslaw so it melds together nicely with the soft tortilla and the juicy plump prawns. The tangy fresh flavour is a perfect match with seafood, and I highly recommend it with Fish Tacos too. BONUS: You will consume a lot of veg in one serving because an enormous mound of cabbage wilts down by almost 50%;
  2. Pink Taco Sauce – my favourite quick ‘n easy spicy-yet-creamy sauce I call my Pink Taco Sauce. I use it for all tacos but it’s especially good with fish tacos and prawns/shrimp. It’s made with just Sriracha and sour cream which is all you need because Sriracha is a flavour bomb sauce which bundles together garlic, vinegar, seasonings and chilli all in one; and
  3. Avocado Sauce – this one requires a bit more effort, calling for blitzing. I wouldn’t pull it out for mid-week (unless there’s corresponding munchies involved so it serves a duel purpose), but I do for company!

Tray of Prawn Tacos (Shrimp) - help yourself

Close up side shot of Prawn Tacos (Shrimp)

But then again, the prawns themselves really are the hero here so you could go as simple as shredded iceberg lettuce and some tomato slices aka Old School Beef Tacos style, and it’s still going to be a winner! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Overhead photo of a platter of Prawn Tacos (Shrimp)

Prawn Tacos (Shrimp) – with Chipotle Lime Marinade

4.93 from 14 votes
Servings4 – 5 people
Tap or hover to scale


Recipe video above. Chipotle is the power ingredient here, adding a stack of flavour and a hit of heat to this zesty, earthy, Mexican marinade for prawns. Perfectly paired with a creamy-yet-zingy Slaw with the trademark juiciness and floppiness of traditional Coleslaw, but made lighter with no mayonnaise which is too heavy for prawns. The Pink Taco Sauce is my quick sauce of choice here, but there’s enough juiciness in the Slaw and Tacos that you could forgo it – or just add a dash of your favourite hot sauce, or just a dollop of plain sour cream.

LEMON alternative – use lemon when limes are not in season. Albeit not traditional Mexican, it works perfectly!

SPICE LEVEL: Medium, chipotle is a bit spicy! You can dial it down.


Prawn/shrimp taco marinade:

  • 500g/1 lb medium prawns/shrimp , peeled (frozen thawed, or 1 kg / 2lb unpeeled whole)
  • Zest of 1 lime (or lemon)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (or lemon)
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder (MEDIUM spicy, can reduce to 2 tsp for MILD, Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp coriander/cilantro , finely chopped (sub chives)
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

Taco Slaw:

  • 8 cups green cabbage , finely shredded (about 1/4 head)
  • 1/2 onion , very finely chopped (brown, yellow, white)
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt (like Greek), unsweetened
  • 1/4 coriander/cilantro , finely chopped (sub chives)
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (or lemon)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper


  • 3/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp sriracha , adjust to taste (Note 2)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 – 15 small tortillas (corn or flour), warmed or charred per packet
  • Lime wedges (highly recommended)
  • Coriander/cilantro , roughly chopped


  • Mix Marinade ingredients in a bowl, then toss the prawns in the marinade.
  • Set aside for just 20 minutes – no longer. Even 5 minutes is enough.
  • Warm a serving bowl using any method (microwave 1 minute, hot water then dry).
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add half the prawns and cook each side for 60 seconds (or on a BBQ on high heat, suggest double skewer for easy rotation).
  • Transfer to warmed bowl, loosely cover with foil. Cook the remaining prawns.
  • Serve with Slaw, Pink Taco Sauce, warmed tortillas and lime wedges.


  • Place all ingredients in a very large bowl then toss well (I use my hands!).
  • Set aside for at least 1 hour until the cabbage becomes wilted and floppy. Keeps for 3 days!


  • Mix ingredients and adjust Sriracha to your taste. Mix well – sour cream becomes looser the more you mix it.

Recipe Notes:

1. Chipotle powder – can still be irritatingly difficult to find in Australia! Not sold in all major supermarkets (yet) but you can find it in fruit & veg stores (eg Harris Farms), delis and gourmet/speciality stores (e.g. Thomas Dux). It does not cost much more than ordinary spices.

It can be ordered online from Firework Foods (Aus only).

If you can’t track it down, sub with either of these:

  • 1/2 tbsp each SMOKED paprika, cumin and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper; OR
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle in Adobo sauce (sold at Woolies, Coles, excellent Mexican power ingredient)

2. Sriracha – Asian chilli sauce that’s very common nowadays (sold alongside chilli sauces and in Asian section). Great “cheat” ingredient to quickly add flavour into things as it’s made with more than just chilli. To reduce spiciness of sauce, sub with some (or all) ketchup instead.

3. Nutrition per serving (3 tacos per serving, 4 servings in total). It’s higher than reality because it assumes all the Pink Sauce is consumed (probably won’t be, but don’t want to run out) and doesn’t factor in all the yogurt that gets pooled in the bottom of the bowl. Nutrition has been adjusted to factor in that all the oil in the marinade doesn’t end up in the finished dish.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 622cal (31%)Carbohydrates: 63g (21%)Protein: 12g (24%)Fat: 37g (57%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Cholesterol: 28mg (9%)Sodium: 1745mg (76%)Potassium: 666mg (19%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 13g (14%)Vitamin A: 1123IU (22%)Vitamin C: 80mg (97%)Calcium: 275mg (28%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

Life of Dozer

He pretty much snoozed through all the banging and drilling as the tradies bashed their way around the house. Hence his name – Dozer.

It wasn’t until the nail gun started that he finally woke up, yawning and wondering what all the kerfuffle was about.

Dozer sleeping through tradies hammering away

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