Shrimp and nopal tacos: Tacos de camaron y nopalitos

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

The chunky salsa recipe that goes with these tacos makes more than necessary for the tacos, and is a delicious dip for totopos (fried tortilla triangles). I get asked for the recipe every time I serve it. Fresh nopales are abundant in the Bajío and are used to “extend” soups, stews, and taco fillings.


For the salsa:

  • 12 husked tomatillos
  • ½ white onion, cut into in 2-3 chunks
  • 6 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2-3 serrano chiles, stems removed (also remove seeds for less “heat” if desired)
  • 2 firm-ripe avocados, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • fresh lime juice to taste
  • salt to taste

For the tacos:

  • ½ pound small to medium shrimp, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cooked nopalitos (nopales cut into small squares or strips)
  • salt to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas, about 6-7 inches in diameter

For the salsa: Roast the tomatillos, onion, garlic and serranos on a comal or griddle until charred all over, turning to char evenly. Peel the garlic. Puree until broken down, but still chunky. Add the avocados and cilantro and puree until just incorporated. The salsa should remain somewhat chunky. Taste and add lime juice and salt.

Mix the shrimp with the adobo sauce. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink. Stir in the nopalitos and heat through. Add salt to taste.

Heat the tortillas until pliable and fill with the shrimp and nopales. Spread some of the salsa over the filling and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings of 2 tacos each.

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Published or Updated on: May 9, 2009 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2009
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