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Elevate your taco game with these mouthwatering Baja Shrimp Tacos. The shrimp are fried to crispy perfection, perfectly seasoned with a blend of spices that bring the right amount of heat and flavor. Topped with a vibrant slaw and a flavorful sauce, these tacos are a refreshing and satisfying summer dinner option.

Tortillas filled with fried shrimp, creamy slaw, and topped with fish taco sauce.

What is Baja Shrimp?

While we’re big fans of Tex-Mex recipes here, I also have a fondness for Baja-style Mexican food. Baja style refers to the cooking style in Baja California. Mexican-style cooking with a focus on fresh seafood, thanks to its location on the coast.

Our favorite style of Baja shrimp tacos involves fried shrimp nestled onto some fresh, crisp cabbage and topped with fresh pico de gallo and creamy crumbled cotija cheese.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients needed for Baja shrimp tacos laid out on the counter for prep.
  • Shrimp: any size of raw shrimp will work for this recipe. Our preference is to use medium or large. To save time, grab shrimp that has been peeled and deveined
  • Cornstarch: this helps keep our fried shrimp nice and crispy. 
  • Beer Batter Ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, chili powder, and beer. Use a light beer with a mild flavoring so it’s not overwhelming. To help keep our batter nice and crisp, ensure you are using a cold beer straight from the fridge! If you need an alternative to beer, you can use non-flavored sparkling water.
  • Taco Slaw Ingredients: Start with some fresh shredded cabbage to make our fish taco slaw. You can use bagged or pre-shredded cabbage or slice your own (here’s how to cut your cabbage!). Other ingredients include a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream (you can sub greek yogurt if needed), vinegar, lime juice, salt, sugar (or honey) and cilantro.
  • Sauces: top with some homemade Fish taco sauce and pico de gallo or your favorite sauce or salsa.

How to Make Baja Shrimp Tacos

Beer poured into a bowl of dry ingredients to create beer batter.
Beer Batter mixed together in a bowl.

The Beer Batter

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients for the beer batter in a wide bowl.
  2. Pour the beer into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. Don’t over-mix, we want to keep the bubbles inside of the batter as much as possible.

Cold Beer

Using a nice cold beer in the batter helps create a crispier fried shrimp! The shock of adding cold battered shrimp into the hot oil, creates a nice airy fried batter.

Shrimp being dipped into a bowl of cornstarch and then into a bowl of beer batter.
Fried shrimp on a wire rack placed on a baking sheet.

Frying the Shrimp

  1. Dip the shrimp into the cornstarch first, shaking off any excess. Then dip the shrimp into the batter, coating it in a nice thick, even layer.
  2. Carefully place the shrimp into a pot filled with hot oil. The oil should be approximately 375 degrees F. Since we’re doing a shallow fry (which allows us to use less oil), it’s a bit harder to check the temperature. You will notice that the oil has a shimmering appearance when it’s hot enough.
  3. Remove the cooked shrimp from the oil and place on a baking sheet lined with a wire baking rack. Continue cooking in batches until all the shrimp is cooked.

Toppings

Bowl with homemade fish taco sauce.
White bowl filled with pico de Gallo and a tortilla chip dipped in showing the juices.
Round of queso fresco on a plate with slices cut off and crumbles.

What to Serve with Shrimp Tacos

  • Cilantro Lime Rice: fresh and tangy this cilantro lime rice is a light flavor that pairs well with seafood.
  • Homemade Guacamole: The avocado shines in this easy to make guacamole. Perfect for dipping or to put on tacos.
  • Refried Black Beans: creamy and packed with nutrients, these refried black beans are a great side option to serve with shrimp tacos.
  • Roasted Mexican Vegetables: a variety of vegetables roasted with a homemade fajita seasoning.
  • Elotes: grilled corn on the cob with a creamy dressing, crumbled cheese, cilantro and a sprinkle of Chili lime seasoning.

Storage Information 

  • Refrigerating: Store leftover shrimp in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: fried shrimp can be frozen, after allowing the shrimp to cool, place in a freezer safe storage container or bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw by removing to the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheating: the best way to reheat the fried shrimp is to heat a skillet, sprayed with avocado oil, over medium heat. Cook until the shrimp is heated and crisped back up.
Corn tortillas loaded up with crispy slaw, fried shrimp and drizzled with fish taco sauce.

More Taco Recipes

Baja Fried Shrimp Tacos

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Serene
Elevate your taco game with these mouthwatering Baja Shrimp Tacos. The shrimp are fried to crispy perfection, perfectly seasoned with a blend of spices that bring the right amount of heat and flavor. Topped with a vibrant slaw and a flavorful sauce, these tacos are a refreshing and satisfying summer dinner option.
Tortillas filled with fried shrimp, creamy slaw, and topped with fish taco sauce.

Ingredients  

  • 1 pound large shrimp raw, deveined and peeled with tails removed
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

Crispy Shrimp Batter

Taco Slaw

  • 8 ounces coleslaw mix or fresh cabbage
  • ¼ cup cilantro diced
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar can sub with honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon lime juice

Tacos

Instructions 

  • Prepare a large baking sheet with a wire rack on top and set aside.
  • Heat the oil: pour approximately 1/2 an inch of oil into a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Heat over high heat, oil will be approximately 375 degrees F. Since it’s shallow it’s hard to take the temperature, but the oil will appear to shimmer when it’s hot enough. 
  • Prepare the batter: add the cornstarch to a small bowl. In a medium size bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt and chili powder. Pour in the cold beer and stir until just combined.
  • Pat the shrimp dry and dip into the cornstarch shaking off the excess. 
  • Working in batches, dip the shrimp into the batter, scraping off the extra. 
  • Carefully lower the shrimp into the hot oil and let fry for approximately 2 minutes, then turn and continue frying the other side an additional 1-2 minutes 
  • Remove the shrimp from the oil and place on the wire rack. 
  • Continue working until all the shrimp is fried. 
  • Assemble the tacos: heat the corn tortillas on the stovetop until lightly charred on the edges or just until warm and pliable. 
  • Layer the tortillas with coleslaw or cabbage, fried shrimp, pico de Gallo, crumbled queso fresco, and a drizzle of fish taco sauce. 

Notes

  • Refrigerating: Store leftover shrimp in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: fried shrimp can be frozen, after allowing the shrimp to cool, place in a freezer safe storage container or bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw by removing to the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheating: the best way to reheat the fried shrimp is to heat a skillet, sprayed with avocado oil, over medium heat. Cook until the shrimp is heated and crisped back up.

Nutrition

Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 1205mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 352IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Photography by the talented ModernFarmhouseEats.com


Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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