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It's Taco Time

July 01, 1998|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Shrimp tacos are perfect for hot summer days when you're not in the mood for serious cooking. They taste light and fresh, yet are filling without being heavy.

Buy the freshest shrimp possible. Asian markets are good sources for fresh and relatively inexpensive seafood.

It takes only 2 or 3 minutes to cook shrimp over a hot fire; don't overcook them or they'll be tough.

I like to use small the mini-tortillas, but they're small enough that you'll want to use two tortillas per taco. Fold them while they're hot and then fill.

Add a crispy salad and slices of ice-cold watermelon to complete this easy hot-weather menu.



1 tomato, cored and chopped

2 tablespoons minced red onion

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 small serrano chile, thinly sliced

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup water



1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

Nonstick garlic cooking spray


12 (4-inch) corn tortillas

Bottled hot green chile sauce, optional

Lime wedges

SALS Combine tomato, onion, cilantro, chile, lime juice and water. Season with salt to taste. Cover and let stand about 30 minutes for flavors to blend.


Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Spray 1 side with garlic-flavored cooking spray and season with salt to taste. Place shrimp sprayed-side down on hot grill pan or on grill over hot coals, and cook until bottom side turns pink, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Spray uncooked side with garlic-flavored cooking spray and season with salt to taste. Turn and grill until shrimp are pink and firm to the touch, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat and coarsely chop.

Heat each tortilla over gas burner or on grill top until hot and edges begin to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn and heat second side until edges begin to brown, about 30 seconds.

Stack 2 tortillas, slightly overlapping, and fold. Fill with chopped shrimp and use slotted spoon to top with Fresh Salsa. Sprinkle with bottled green chile salsa, if desired. Squeeze on lime juice. Repeat with remaining tortillas, shrimp and salsa.

6 tacos. Each taco:

108 calories; 198 mg sodium; 46 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 1.22 grams fiber.

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