If you’re looking for a casual meal with plump marinated shrimp, crispy shells, slaw, creamy avocados and a bit of heat, check out these grilled shrimp tacos with spicy coconut lime chili sauce.
Super messy to eat, but worth it! With a few shortcuts, they are ready in 30 minutes including marinating time.
The flavors and textures create the perfect symphony. Sweetness from maple syrup and sweet chili sauce; heat from both the sweet and garlic chili sauce, tartness from the lime, creaminess from the coconut milk and avocado, and crunch from the shrimp, coleslaw and taco shells.
I serve two to three tacos per person and figure about 1/4 pound shrimp per person. Tacos are typically an informal casual meal and grilled shrimp tacos are no different. I like to set out the components family-style and let the eaters build their own tacos.
Here are three ways to serve them:
- in hard taco shells (as pictured);
- deconstructed to avoid the messy eating – pile on the coleslaw, shrimp, avocado and sauce, then crush the taco shell on top; or
- in a soft corn tortilla warmed on the grill.
Tailor To Your Taste
Use any of these variations and substitutions you like.
- Add guacamole to the tacos instead of diced avocado
- Try chopped ripe mango as a topping.
- Use sriracha and minced garlic (or garlic powder) instead of bottled garlic chili sauce
- Add a couple of teaspoons fish sauce to the shrimp marinade for more depth
- Make your own citrus/lime coleslaw or try our Grilled Cabbage slaw recipe
- Substitute soft corn tortillas for the hard taco shells
- Make a vegetarian version with tofu, grilled zucchini or mushrooms instead of shrimp. Marinate and grill the same way.
- Use a prepared coleslaw, preferably with vinaigrette (not mayonnaise) dressing
- Buy pre-peeled and deveined shrimp
- Buy ready made Guacamole
- All the components of the grilled shrimp tacos can be prepared ahead (shrimp, coleslaw, avocado, sauce/marinade). The shrimp can be served room temperature or warmed, if preferred, 20-30 seconds in the microwave (be careful not to overcook or they will turn rubbery).
Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Coconut Chili Sauce
- 1 1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 8 hard taco shells
- 3 cup coleslaw, preferably with vinaigrette dressing
- 1 avocado, peeled and diced (sprinkle with lime juice to avoid browning
- salt, to taste
- chopped cilantro or parsley, and fresh lime juice for garnish (optional)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp garlic chili sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce (to be added later)
- Oil and preheat grill to medium high, about 400F. If using wooden skewers, soak them for 20 minutes.
- MARINATE SHRIMP: Add all marinade ingredients to a ziploc bag. Massage to combine well. Pat shrimp dry then add to bag. Massage to distribute sauce evenly. Marinate 15-20 minutes (but not more than 30).
- GRILL SHRIMP: Thread shrimp on skewers. Place remaining marinade in small saucepan. Lightly salt shrimp, then spray with oil to prevent sticking. Grill shrimp a total of 3-4 minutes (depending on size), turning half way through. Do not overcook. Remove shrimp from skewer to a plate.
- MAKE SAUCE: Heat remaining marinade in saucepan to medium. Cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened. Add 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce. Taste and add more to taste and to level of heat/spiciness desired. Transfer to small bowl.
- ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Set out coleslaw, taco shells, shrimp, avocado and sauce. Assemble tacos or let eaters assemble their own. In each shell, add some coleslaw, 3-4 shrimp, some diced avocado and a bit more coleslaw. Drizzle on some sauce. Top with chopped cilantro or parsley and a squeeze of lime juice if using.
A few other shrimp recipes you might like:
This recipe has been tweaked from 2018.