notes from the mexican kitchen

Taco Tuesday: Speedy, Special Shrimp Tacos with Green Chile Adobo

TacoTuesdayLogo_blueWe’re all looking for speedy ways to get weeknight dinner on the table, and for me these skillet shrimp tacos hit the trifecta: Fast, easy and so incredibly tasty. (Btw, they’re also special enough to serve to company!)

The secret weapon? Green chile adobo. Make this herby, spicy seasoning sauce now (it comes together in minutes) and you’ll have it ready for all of those we-need-dinner-NOW situations to come.

Blending the adobo really the biggest step for this recipe. Once that’s made, you’ll add some defrosted shrimp to a skillet with sliced onions sautéed in oil, then hitting the pan with dollops of adobo. 

Mix it all together, scoop into a warm tortilla, sprinkle on some crumbled queso fresco and dinner is served.

Servings: 4


  • For the Green Chile Adobo
  • 1/2head garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
  • 4 to 5fresh serrano chiles, stems removed
  • 1 large bunch cilantro (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped (about 2 cups loosely packed)
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley (thick bottom stems cut off), roughly chopped (about 2 cups loosely packed)
  • 1cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • For the tacos
  • 1pound shrimp, peeled, and, if you like, deveined
  • Salt
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil, bacon drippings or freshly rendered pork lard
  • 1medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or queso añejo or other fresh or aged garnishing cheese like fresh farmers' cheese, dry goat cheese, Romano or Parmesan


For the Green Chile Adobo: In a large (10-inch) skillet set over medium heat, lay in the garlic and chiles and roast, turning regularly, until soft and browned in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 for the garlic. When the chiles and garlic have cooled, slip the skins off the garlic, roughly chop everything (no need to remove the chile seeds) and scoop it into a blender or food processor.

Add the cilantro, parsley, olive oil and salt and process it all, stopping to scrape in the sides if necessary, until it's nearly smooth and looks like a pesto. Scoop out 1/3 cup of the adobo, combine it with 2 tablespoons of water and set it aside. Cover the remaining adobo and keep it in the refrigerator for another use.

For the shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and season with a generous sprinkling of salt.

In a very large (12-inch) skillet set over medium-high, heat the oil (or one of its stand-ins). Lay in the shrimp in a single layer and strew the onion onto the open spots. As the shrimp sears, nestle in the onion slices, turning them as they brown. When the shrimp are browned one on side, about 2 to 3 minutes, turn them over, brown the other side, about 2 to 3 minutes more.

Spoon in the adobo and mix together, scoop into warm tortillas and top with queso fresco.


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