Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

4 Jun

Now that the weather has warmed up, I need to try and think of recipes that don’t use the oven.  Preferably, some of them will involve the grill.  These were absolutely perfect for the increasingly hot weather – light, refreshing, and bursting with flavor.

The flavors in these tacos were extremely fresh and bright.  The cilantro and lime marinated shrimp picked up the smokiness of the grill and retained their natural sweetness.  The onions packed a punch of spices and a delicious tartness from the vinegar.  The vivid green of the marinade contrasted nicely with the pinkish hue of the onions.  Both pretty and flavorful, these were an extremely easy, refreshing, and flavorful taco.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Pickled Red Onions

Michael Symon’s Pickled Red Onions:

Adapted from Live to Cook by Michael Symon (I <3 my signed copy!)

1 large red onion, sliced 1/4″ thick (about enough to fill a 1-quart jar semi-snugly)

Vinegar – half apple cider vinegar, half rice wine vinegar


Kosher salt

2 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbs. coriander seeds

2 tbs. black peppercorns

4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

2-3 bay leaves

Pack the onion slices in a 1-quart jar and cover with water to come within 1/2″ of the rim.  Pour the water out into a measuring cup.  Note the volume, then pour off half of the water.  Replace it with half apple cider vinegar and half rice wine vinegar.  For example, the total volume of water was 2 1/2 cups.  So I used 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar.

Pour the vinegar mixture into a nonreactive saucepan.  Add 2 tbs. sugar and 2 tbs. salt for every 3 cups of liquid.  Add the mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Allow the liquid to boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Pour the hot liquid into the jar over the onions.  Stir to evenly distribute the spices.

Screw on the lids and shake a few times.  Let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to refrigerator.  Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Shrimp:

1 lb. shell-on jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 cups loosely packed cilantro

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 lime, juiced

1/2 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed

1/3 cup olive oil

Add cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and jalapeño to a food processor.  Pulse a few times to chop the cilantro and garlic.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.  Add the shrimp and the cilantro mixture to a ziplock bag and marinate for thirty minutes.

Meanwhile, heat up your grill.

Thread shrimp onto skewers, making sure they have some space between them.  Brush with leftover marinade.  Add the skewers to the grill.  Depending on the heat of your grill, cook about 4-5 minutes per side, brushing with any leftover marinade as they cook, until pink and no longer translucent.


Pickled red onions, see above

Cilantro-lime grilled shrimp, see above

Soft tortilla shells, heated thirty seconds per side on the grill

Add 4-5 shrimp to each tortilla.  Top with some onions.  Fold into taco shape and devour.

4 Responses to “Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Pickled Red Onions”


  1. Roasted Red Pepper and Black Bean “Burgers” « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - June 7, 2012

    […] Pickled red onions, for serving (optional) […]

  2. Spicy Coriander and Ginger Pickles « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - June 19, 2012

    […] loved the pickled red onions I made by adapting Michael Symon’s recipe so much that when I saw some pickling cucumbers for […]

  3. Steamed Silken Tofu in Mustard Seed and Coriander Broth « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 1, 2012

    […] as seasoning in a vegetarian casserole, and in chicken salad.  But the brine leftover from the pickled red onions I made a few weeks back was unique, and I wanted to use it in a bit of a different way.  I thought […]

  4. Kelseyincleveland’s Second Blog-o-versary « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - July 15, 2012

    […] Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Pickled Red Onions […]

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