Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine

Baja Fried-Shrimp Tacos

  • TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

For his taco truck, chef Michael Rypka created a menu of amped-up street food that utilizes his deep fryer: fried avocado tacos, fried chicken tacos and Baja fried-shrimp tacos filled with crispy jumbo shrimp and warm cabbage slaw dressed with a tangy chipotle sauce.

  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1 chipotle in adobo, stemmed
  3. 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  4. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. 1/2 small green cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
  7. 2 large carrots, shredded
  8. Vegetable oil, for frying
  9. 24 large shrimp (about 1 1/4 pounds), shelled and deveined
  10. 2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  11. 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  12. 4 pickled jalapeños, thinly sliced
  13. 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  14. 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  15. 2 1/2 ounces queso fresco or mild feta, crumbled ( 1/2 cup)
  16. Lime wedges, for serving
  1. In a mini food processor, blend the mayonnaise with the chipotle and 1 tablespoon of the buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  2. Heat a large skillet until very hot. Add the butter, cabbage and carrots and cook over high heat until the cabbage is browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 2 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°. In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Put the panko in another bowl. Coat each shrimp with the panko and fry in batches until golden, about 2 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Spoon some of the cabbage into the center of each tortilla and top with 2 fried shrimp. Drizzle with the chipotle mayonnaise and sprinkle with some of the pickled jalapeños, red onion, cilantro and queso fresco. Serve with lime wedges.