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Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeño Crema

These Crispy Shrimp Tacos are stuffed with pan-fried panko breaded shrimp, thinly sliced purple cabbage, and avocado slices. Finish them off with a kick by topping them with a creamy spicy Jalapeño Crema.

Fried shrimp taco with red cabbage, avocado, and crema on board with a tray of tacos in the background.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Theses tacos are loaded with crispy pan-fried shrimp
  • The jalapeño crema adds both creaminess and spice. Takes them over the top!
  • They’re surprisingly fast and easy to make. Great weeknight dinner the whole family will love!

Key Ingredients

Shrimp – For these tacos, I chose a large 21/30 shrimp. That means for every pound you can expect to get between 21 and 30 shrimp in the package. They were just the right size to fit 3 shrimp per taco. But, any size shrimp will work so choose the size you like best!

Also, to save time, buy the shrimp that is already peeled and deveined. Then, you just have to remove the tail.

Flour and Seasoning Mixture – Heavily seasoning the flour will give the shrimp a ton of flavor.

Eggs – This is what binds the breadcrumbs to the shrimp.

Panko Bread Crumbs – Panko gives the best crispy crunchy coating on the shrimp.

Oil – Shallow frying means you won’t have to fill a large pot with oil and then dispose of it. Choose a neutral oil like canola or peanut.

Jalapeño Crema – Adds just the right amount of spice and creaminess to the tacos.

Corn Tortillas – I used yellow corn tortillas for the shrimp tacos but white would also be great. Corn tortillas have to be cooked and slightly charring the tortillas makes a difference in how the tacos taste in the end.

Toppings – No good taco would be complete without toppings. For these shrimp tacos, I stayed simple with finely shredded purple cabbage, avocado slices, extra lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. A little bit of sriracha on these is also phenomenal!

Step By Step Instructions

Note: Full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

Step 1:

Make the jalapeno crema first so it has time to chill in the fridge and thicken back up a bit. Simply add the sour cream, deseeded jalapeño, garlic clove, lime juice, and sea salt in a food processor and blend until everything is incorporated. Keep in the fridge until time to serve.

Sour cream, jalapeño, garlic clove, salt, and lime juice in a food processor ready to blend.

Step 2:

In a pan, pour in enough oil so that it is about 1/2 an inch deep. Heat the oil over medium heat.

Step 3:

Prep the shrimp by removing the tail. Then, sandwich the shrimp between paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. This will help the breadcrumbs stick better and also reduce the amount of spattering once they hit the pan, especially if you’re using shrimp that was previously frozen.

Step 4:

In one bowl, mix together the flour and all of the spices. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs. And in another bowl, add the panko bread crumbs.

Step 5:

Toss the shrimp in the seasoned flour then shake off any excess flour.

Shrimp in a seasoned flour mixture.

Step 6:

Dip the shrimp in the eggs to completely coat them.

Floured shrimp sitting in whisked eggs.

Step 7:

Toss in the panko pressing slightly so that they stick to the shrimp. Place them on a plate until ready to fry.

Floured and egged shrimp in panko bread crumbs.

Step 8:

Once all of the shrimp is coated and the oil is hot, work in batches to fry the shrimp. They will fry for about 2 minutes per side and should be golden brown when they come out. Place them on a paper towel-lined plate while you continue with the rest of them.

Breaded shrimp frying in a cast iron pan.

Step 9:

To cook the tortillas, either cook them over a low flame on a gas oven (watch closely!) or heat up a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas until they have brown spots and char marks, about 1 minute per side.

Keep the cooked tortillas in a closed container lined with a damp towel.

Step 10:

Serve the crispy shrimp tacos with the jalapeño crema, thinly sliced purple cabbage, avocado slices, extra lime wedges, chopped cilantro, or any other toppings you like!

Items You May Need

I love this small Kitchenaid food processor for whizzing up dips, sauces, and dressing.

If you need a cast iron pan to cook the corn tortillas, I recommend this Lodge 12-inch pan.

Fried shrimp tacos with purple cabbage and avocado slices lined up in a baking dish with another one laid open next to them.

Tips & Tricks

  • Make the jalapeño crema before everything else so it can set up a bit in the fridge. It will still be on the runny side though because of the lime juice
  • When breading the shrimp, use one hand to do the flour step and the panko step, and the other to do the egg dunk. It will still be a bit messy but this will help limit the mess
  • If you want an extra sauce option, try this Sriracha Aioli

Substitutions & Variations

I like to keep things pretty simple but feel free to load the tacos up with the toppings you like best!

Storage & Reheating

Keep any leftover shrimp and jalapeño crema in airtight containers in the fridge.

To reheat the shrimp, lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F.

Or, if you have an air fryer, it will crisp the shrimp right back up. Just turn to 350 and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

The shrimp and the jalapeño crema should be eaten within 3 to 4 days.

A row of fried shrimp tacos with avocado slices, purple cabbage, and crema.

More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love!

Grilled Haddock with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

BBQ Chicken with Mango Avocado Salsa

Lemon Dill Salmon with Fennel and Potatoes

Baked Honey Sriracha Wings

Crispy Oven Fried Zucchini Chips

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Fried shrimp taco with red cabbage, avocado, and crema on board with a tray of tacos in the background.

Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeño Crema

Alicia S.
Stuffed with pan-fried panko breaded shrimp, thinly sliced purple cabbage, and avocado slices and finished off with creamy spicy jalapeño crema.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Seafood
Servings 4 people


Small Food Processor
12-Inch Cast Iron Pan


Jalapeño Crema

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large jalapeño seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Crispy Shrimp Tacos

  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • neutral oil canola or peanut
  • 10-20 corn tortillas *see note below
  • avocado slices
  • purple cabbage thinly sliced
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro chopped


Jalapeño Crema

  • Add all of the jalapeño crema ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Place in covered bowl chill.

Crispy Shrimp Tacos

  • Pour the oil into a pan until it's about 1/2 inch deep. Heat over medium heat.
  • Remove the tails from the shrimp. Sandwich the shrimp between paper towels and press down to soak up excess moisture.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper, and cayenne. In a second bowl, beat the eggs. Place the panko crumbs into a third bowl.
  • Coat the shrimp in the flour mixture then shake off any excess. Then, dunk in the eggs. Finally, toss in the panko breadcrumbs pressing down so that the crumbs really stick to the shrimp. Place the breaded shrimp on a plate.
  • Once all of the shrimp has been breaded and the oil is hot, begin frying the shrimp in batches. They should fry for about 2 minutes per side. Pull them out when they are golden brown. Place the fried shrimp on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Cook the corn tortillas over a low flame on a gas stove or in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Place the cooked tortillas in a container lined with a damp towel and cover. Serve immediately. *See note below
  • Serve with the jalapeño crema, thinly shredded purple cabbage, avocado slices, cilantro, and lime wedges. A little hot sauce or sriracha also goes great with the tacos.


*Some people like to double up on the corn tortillas per taco, so how many you need will depend on if you want one tortilla per taco or two.


Serving: 2tacosCalories: 743kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 34gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 305mgSodium: 1264mgPotassium: 624mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 756IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 245mgIron: 3mg
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    1. Thanks for the feedback. While I personally think breading the shrimp does make a difference and adds a nice textural element to the recipe, if frying the shrimp isn’t your thing, feel free to skip it. It will still taste great!