Most people know what tacos are nowadays. However, one taco variation often forgotten is tacos de camarones, aka shrimp tacos.
Originating in Baja California, Mexico, shrimp tacos are a take on the more well-known fish taco. Shrimp tacos tend to be served with the same toppings and side dishes as the more popular fish taco. But of course, instead of fish, fried and grilled shrimp is used instead.
Like all tacos, shrimp tacos can be an enjoyable meal by themselves. But if you are trying to feed more than a couple of people, you will want to bulk your plates out with some tasty side dishes.
4 Dishes to Serve with Shrimp Tacos
Just because shrimp tacos are a kind of taco does not mean that they will pair well with every side dish you would usually find accompanying tacos.
Shrimp is naturally buttery with a typical seafood saltiness that is uniquely followed by a hint of sweetness.
Finding a side dish that can pair well with such a combination of flavours and other taco accompaniments is challenging. But do not worry; we have pulled together 4 of the best dishes to serve with shrimp tacos:
1) Pico De Gallo
One of the more common toppings for shrimp tacos is Pico de Gallo, which is just as much a Mexican classic as tacos themselves.
Pico de Gallo is a tomato-based chunky dip comprised of onion, tomatoes, coriander, jalapeno, and lime juice – the result: a citrusy, fresh, yet heated condiment.
Citrus is an automatic winner for most seafood dishes, but the acidity of the tomatoes only helps to increase the impact of that citrus taste. Then the jalapeno heat better rounds out the overall flavour of the taco.
You can either serve the Pico de Gallo as its own side dish or use it as a topping for the shrimp tacos. Either way, it is the perfect dish to serve for any Mexican-themed dinner.
2) Mexican Street Corn or Elote
Corn and shrimp are two foods that naturally work well together with little effort. The salty sweetness of the shrimp itself and the even more buttery sweet corn go hand in hand.
But to give the corn that Mexican twist that will make it a better fit for shrimp tacos, serve Mexican street corn.
Mexican street corn (also known as elote) is even easier to make than shrimp tacos as it requires many of the same ingredients, which helps the two dishes work together.
There is the tanginess of the sour cream as well as the sweetness of the cheese and mayo. Of course, there is a little heat too, with a little chilli powder.
Elote should definitely be your go-to dish if you are grilling your shrimp for your shrimp tacos, as the corn will need to be grilled too. This will help the corn develop its sweetness and make it a better pairing for the tacos.
3) Mexican Rice
Rice is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to bulk out any dish, with most cultures having their own version of rice that best pairs with their cuisine. In the case of Mexican shrimp tacos, Mexican rice is the best rice to serve.
It is made using what are considered Mexican staples – from jalapeno peppers to cilantro to red bell peppers. The result is a noticeably sweet rice dish that is underpinned by a homely earthiness in the form of hot pepper and herbs.
Though flavourful, Mexican rice will not overpower the taste of your shrimp tacos, but rather complement them.
As such, you can serve as much or as little of the rice as you like with the tacos. The more rice you serve, the more filling your meal will be and the fewer tacos you will have to make.
Don’t worry if you’re making too much Mexican rice to use with your shrimp tacos. Mexican rice is the ideal side dish for a range of Mexican dishes, so there are plenty of ways for you to explore more Mexican cuisine to use up the rice.
4) Jicama Slaw
If you are going to indulge in a Mexican feast, go all the way and have every dish you serve be rooted in Mexican cuisine.
Take coleslaw, for example. No shrimp taco is complete without a slightly bitter, very crunchy slaw. But instead of sticking with your standard cabbage slaw, swap out the cabbage for jicama to make jicama slaw.
Many people will not have heard of jicama if the most interaction they have had with Mexican food is a poorly wrapped chicken burrito from Taco Bell.
However, jicama is a root vegetable native to Mexico, so it is often used in or alongside Mexican dishes.
Jicama is comparable to a sour apple in both its taste and texture. It does not have a lot of natural sweetness like most root vegetables tend to have, leaning towards bitterness instead.
Though with a few squirts of lime juice, jicama can be the ideal balancing accompaniment for your sweeter-leaning shrimp tacos.
Depending on where you are in the world and the budget that you tend to have for your weekly groceries, you may not be able to find an accessible supplier of jicama.
In that case, you can serve a regular red cabbage or white cabbage coleslaw with your shrimp tacos.
Shrimp Taco Accompaniments FAQs
Do you still have questions about what to serve alongside shrimp tacos? Then these FAQs might help you out:
If the shrimp are spicy, you’ll want a creamy, cooling sauce with a sour cream base for your tacos. If the shrimp are refreshing, then a spicy chilli sauce would work better.
You may find that the butteriness of shrimp and the creaminess of guacamole do not work in harmony. Instead, a looser but more acidic sauce tends to work better.
Where we obtain our information and verify the facts in this article:
Acacia may be a freelance writer by day, but they are a food fanatic by night. They are always trying out new recipes or finding different ways to elevate classical dishes. But their biggest culinary aim is to educate others on the basics of the kitchen so that they too can enjoy delicious food.