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Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

There are a few things you don’t realize you’re giving up when you leave LA. You know you’ll miss the weather, the sunny winter days spent sunbathing on the beach, the fact that every band always has a tour stop in your town, and the unlimited Girls Night Out options.

Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Cipotle Lime Crema4

But no one tells you you’re giving up tacos as you know them. And Horchata, for that matter. The brilliance of living in a town so chocked full of authentic Mexican food is really manifested in two ways: toppings and tortillas.

Whether it’s a taco truck (the real kind), taqueria, or a backyard party thrown by the family of the girl you work with, real tacos come on homemade corn tortillas. No self-respecting Mexican grandma would have it any other way (think of asking an Italian grandmother to serve her pasta with Prego).

Homemade corn tortillas are a thing of beauty, soft, warm, and so easy to make. Once you start making them from scratch, you’ll have drunk the Kool-aid too, there is no going back.

Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Cipotle Lime CremaWhich brings us to taco toppings: no one outside the USA puts iceberg lettuce and shredded cheese on their tacos. It’s not a hamburger, it’s a taco. If you like them that way, you should do it. It’s a Tex-Mex part of our National culinary identity, but it’s not authentic. In LA, you get onions and cilantro and the option to add a few dashes of hot sauce if you choose.

Crema is a Mexican staple, but not as often used on tacos. It’s more of a mole or enchilada accessory. But in LA we have these surfers who open taco restaurants after surfing their way up the West Coast of South and Central America. They make fish tacos and serve them with a creamy sauce. Which may not be completely authentic, but it’s still very LA.

So, what I’m trying to tell you is that these tacos are equal parts authentic and hypocritical. Which, let’s be honest, that’s pretty LA.

Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Cipotle Lime Crema2

Beer Battered Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Lime Crema

Servings 4 servings


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • pinch cayenne
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 lb raw shrimp deveined, shell and tail removed
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo minced (plus additional to taste)
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 12 beer tortillas


  • In a large bowl stir together the flour, cayenne, garlic powder and salt.
  • Add the egg and the beer, stir with a fork until well combined.
  • Add about 2 inches of oil to a skillet over medium high heat (ideally you want to oil to stay around 350 degrees).
  • A few at a time, dip the shrimp into the batter, let the excess batter slide off, then add to the oil. Allow the shrimp to cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and add to a stack of paper towels.
  • In a small bowl stir together the crema, chipotle chili and lime juice.
  • Add the shrimp to the tortillas, top with diced onions, cilantro and chipotle crema.

My recipe for beer corn tortillas.

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Rebekah {aCricketSang} March 21, 2014 um 5:09 am

I’m not a huge fan of seafood, but the lime crema looks like something I might have to incorporate into some other recipes!


Maura March 21, 2014 um 8:19 am

Oh my goodness these look delicious. I’m going to CA for the first time this year and I have to admit, I’m mostly looking forward to trying the tacos I’ve heard so much about.


Kristin C March 21, 2014 um 8:40 am

Seattle transplant from CA here. Can’t really help you with the fish tacos. BUT…El Quetzal in Beacon Hill has delicious Horchata, and good Mexican food. My favorite in the area is Senor Moose in Ballard.


Jackie March 21, 2014 um 8:45 am

Thank you! I’ll definitely seek those out. The seafood is amazing here, but I have yet to find great Mexican food. But nowhere is perfect 😉


SIlvatone March 21, 2014 um 12:35 pm

I’m an LA transplant as well and really miss those So. Cal tacos! If you ever find a place that measures up please let us know.


Johnny December 30, 2014 um 9:18 am

I moved to Birch Bay from L.A. One thing I fail to understand is why restaurants up here insist on using flour tortillas for tacos. Back home, the only place that used flour tortillas for soft tacos was Taco Bell. I’ve been caught out a couple of times. I used to work near Mama’s in Belltown, and even there I got flour tortillas with my fish tacos. I may have to bring my own corn tortillas when we eat out. Or better yet, just make Mexican food at home.

And why can’t anyone make good chiles relleno? If we want good ones, I have to make them.


Diana August 25, 2017 um 3:22 pm

In sonora, Mexico we use homade flour tortillas for our tacos not corn. They have be homemade though not the white powdery ones they sell at the store.
They’re amazing


Sarah @ Sarah Cooks the Books March 21, 2014 um 9:05 am

These hypocritical tacos look amazing! :0)

I recently moved from NC to CA, and I’ve been AMAZED at h ow amazing tacos here are.


Eileen March 21, 2014 um 11:36 am

Leaving tacos behind was one of the worst things about moving from the SF bay to NYC a few years ago. Fortunately, we are back! But in the meantime we got really good at making our own tacos at home. These sound amazing, especially with some home-pickled red onions. NOM.


Tieghan March 21, 2014 um 8:48 pm

I was only in LA for 3 months, but In those 3 months I had the BEST tacos ever!

These look simply amazing. Must make, must eat! 🙂


Maria G. March 22, 2014 um 1:33 pm

Battered shrimp is an amazing dish. Tacos with shrimps are really delicious. The flavor is very tender and exquisite. Once I have tried the similar dish and I liked it a lot.


Paula – bell’alimento March 22, 2014 um 9:41 pm

Oh me oh my must have stat with extra chipotle lime crema please!


Megan {Country Cleaver} March 23, 2014 um 9:11 am

I approve whole heartedly of your taco toppings GF!! And I need to have a boat load of these beauties! For real. And an unholy amount of crema on top. It is my life blood.


addie | culicurious March 26, 2014 um 7:59 am

I love this idea and I love shrimp tacos. 🙂 Heck, I love ANY taco – from the wee American cheese/iceberg thing you mentioned to the real deal from Mexico – and everything in between. I’ll take ’em all!!


Kim Porter March 30, 2014 um 8:05 pm

We moved up to WA from SoCal almost two years ago and have been on the hunt for some good Mexican food since we got here. There are a few places that are decent, but we have yet to find comparable tacos. I saw your post for these a few days ago and made them tonight. I added a pinch of cotija cheese and a little habanero salsa, and my husband swears these are the best tacos he’s had since we’ve moved. Thank you!!!


Jackie March 30, 2014 um 8:12 pm

That’s great! I love cotija, in the summer I put it on grilled watermelon


Mary April 4, 2014 um 6:33 pm

Looks wonderful! What kind of oil do you use? Do you use peanut or just go with some vegetable oil?


Jackie April 4, 2014 um 8:05 pm

Peanut oil is great for frying. I used canola oil because I had it on hand.


lululetti July 16, 2014 um 11:44 am

Hello from your biggest fan in Brazil? Maybe? lol 😀

One more adaptation from your recipes (in Portuguese) for the Brazilian beer lovers:

Thanks for another wonderful recipe.. This is absolutely delicious! 😀


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