Shrimp Tacos

These fried shrimp tacos are a treat - crispy, juicy, delicious! All the flavors complement each other well and are very straightforward to make. You won’t be disappointed in indulging in these tacos!

Four shrimp soft shell tacos served on a plate with fried shrimp in the background and ice tea.

Shrimp coated in panko breadcrumbs

The pan-fried shrimp are coated in flour, egg, and, most importantly, panko bread crumbs, Japanese-style crumbs. They are made from white bread without crust, resulting in a light, airy crumb. The advantage of these Japanese bread crumbs is that they tend to absorb less oil and remain crispy for longer, which makes them perfect for our shrimp tacos - we want our shrimp to be as crispy as possible, so the panko bread crumbs are a must in this recipe.

We usually use a cast-iron skillet to fry the shrimp, but you can also use a deep fryer or a pan; just make sure you have enough oil to submerge the shrimp completely.

We use a cooking thermometer to check that the temperature of the oil has reached 285°F-300°F before adding the shrimp to the pan. If you don’t have one, test whether the oil has reached temperature by sprinkling a couple of drops of water into the pan. If the oil has reached a high temperature, it should sizzle and spit a little bit, which means it’s ready to use for frying. You must closely monitor the shrimp to check whether you need to adjust the oil temperature.


The fresh slaw is a great contrast to the crispy shrimp. We use a mixture of red and white cabbage to make our slaw vibrant - the slaw is also incredibly easy to make and only takes a few ingredients: cabbage, garlic, salt, cilantro, and mayonnaise. The result is a fresh, flavorful, crunchy slaw that is a perfect addition to our tacos.


This sauce is our go-to spicy mayonnaise - a mixture of mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, garlic powder, and a little lime juice for that extra tang. We have become accustomed to putting this sauce on everything we can get away with.

Hard shell tacos with coleslaw, topped with golden shrimp and served with salsa and limes.

Shrimp tacos variations

After making this recipe so many times, we’ve found different ways to customize it to add a little twist;

  • Classic Mexican style: Grilled or sautéed shrimp seasoned with traditional Mexican spices like cumin, chili powder, and garlic, served in corn tortillas with fresh cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Spicy chipotle: Shrimp marinated in a spicy chipotle sauce, cooked until tender, and served with a cooling avocado and sour cream sauce, topped with red cabbage slaw for crunch.
  • Mango salsa: Shrimp paired with a sweet and tangy mango salsa, including diced mango, red bell pepper, jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro, served in soft flour tortillas.
  • Garlic lime: Shrimp sautéed with garlic and lime juice for a zesty flavor, served in tacos with a creamy cilantro sauce and shredded lettuce or cabbage.
  • Baja-style: Beer-battered and fried shrimp served in a soft tortilla with a creamy white sauce, shredded cabbage, and a splash of hot sauce for a traditional Baja California taste.
  • Asian fusion: Shrimp cooked with Asian-inspired flavors like soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil, topped with a slaw made from cabbage, carrots, and a rice vinegar dressing wrapped in a soft tortilla.
  • BBQ shrimp: Grilled shrimp coated in barbecue sauce, served with coleslaw, and topped with crispy fried onions, offering a Southern twist on the classic taco.
  • Cajun: Shrimp seasoned with Cajun spices, sautéed with bell peppers and onions, served in tortillas with a remoulade sauce or a simple mayo-based sauce with Cajun seasonings.
  • Tropical coconut: Coconut-battered and fried shrimp served in tacos with pineapple salsa and a drizzle of a sweet and spicy sauce, bringing a tropical flair to the dish.

Your side or mine?

Here are some fantastic side dishes perfect for dinner parties and ideal for sharing:

  • Mexican rice: A flavorful side with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and Mexican spices.
  • Black beans: Seasoned with cumin, garlic, and chili, they offer a hearty complement.
  • Cilantro lime rice: Zesty and fresh, it pairs well with the sweetness of shrimp.
  • Corn on the cob: Can be seasoned or served Mexican street-style with lime, mayo, and chili powder.
  • Guacamole: Creamy and refreshing, made with avocados, lime, and cilantro.
  • Fresh salsa or pico de gallo: Adds a juicy and slightly acidic component.
  • Coleslaw: Tangy and crunchy, especially with a vinaigrette base.
  • Grilled vegetables: Bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and asparagus add a smoky flavor.
  • Mexican street corn salad: Creamy, cheesy, with a hint of chili and lime.
  • Refried beans: Creamy and comforting, a filling side option.
  • Chips and salsa or queso: A casual addition for a more relaxed meal.
  • Jicama salad: Crunchy and refreshing with jicama, cucumber, lime juice, and chili powder.

Taco Tuesdays

Looking for more recipes for the weekly taco night? Try our mouth-watering Lamb Tacos recipe with ground lamb meat and refreshing tzatziki sauce!

Can I store the shrimp tacos?

The slaw and sauce last around 3-5 days in the fridge if stored separately in an airtight container. We recommend making the shrimp fresh when you’re about to make the dish since they’re fried.

What can I serve with fried shrimp tacos?

A lovely, fresh green salad would go great on the side of these tacos to balance out the meal.

Shrimp Tacos

These fried shrimp tacos are a treat - crispy, juicy, delicious! All the flavors complement each other so well, and they are very straightforward to make. You won’t be disappointed in indulging in these tacos!



15 mins

15 mins

30 mins

495 kcal

A trio of Shrimp Tacos, with the shrimp cooked to a golden hue and nestled in soft tortillas; they are topped with a slaw of purple cabbage and garnished with fresh cilantro, adding a crunch and freshness to the dish.


  • 6.5 ounces peeled shrimp

  • 1 cup flour

  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs

  • Frying oil (as needed)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 taco shells

  • 4 ounces finely shredded white cabbage

  • 4 ounces finely shredded red cabbage

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 handful of roughly chopped cilantro

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoons sriracha hot chili sauce

  • ½ teaspoon lime juice


  1. To prepare the slaw, mix all the slaw ingredients thoroughly and let it sit in the fridge.

  2. To prepare the sauce, mix all the sauce ingredients thoroughly and let it sit in the fridge.

  3. To fry the shrimp, prepare three bowls: In the first bowl, mix 1 cup flour and 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper. In the second bowl, beat the egg thoroughly and then mix in the 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce if desired. In the third bowl, add the half cup of panko bread crumbs. To prepare the shrimp for frying, dip the shrimp into the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, and then finally dip the shrimp into the panko bread crumbs.

  4. Add the cooking oil to a pan or a cast-iron skillet and heat until the temperature of the oil reaches 285°F-300°F. Add the shrimp to the oil and cook until the bread crumbs turn golden brown. Turn the shrimps over once while frying - the total cook time should be roughly 3 minutes.

  5. Once a batch of shrimp is ready, remove it from the pan, place it on a plate lined with a kitchen towel and lightly salt the shrimp.

  6. Serve the fried prawns on top of the slaw over a fresh tortilla. Top with the delicious sauce prepared earlier and the chopped cilantro.


  1. Calories 495 kcal | 
  2. Carbohydrate Content 49.2 g | 
  3. Cholesterol Content 132.2 mg | 
  4. Fat Content 25.2 g | 
  5. Fiber Content 4.3 g | 
  6. Protein Content 18.6 g | 
  7. Serving Size 1 portion | 
  8. Sodium Content 913.3 mg | 
  9. Sugar Content 3.5 g | 

About the author

Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.

Headshot of the author, Emma Donin