Tacos de Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Sautéed Shrimp Tacos) Recipe

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Tacos de Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Saut\u00e9ed Shrimp Tacos) Recipe

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Even though it sounds impressive, mojo de ajo is essentially just a mixture of garlic and oil—two very simple ingredients which nonetheless make a huge impression on this quick-cooking taco filling from Doña Tomás. Everything is cooked over high heat, leaving the vegetables tender but still slightly crisp, while a little butter and jalapeño added at the end envelop the shrimp in a creamy, spicy sauce.

But it's the mild garlic flavor that you'll taste first.

Due to the high heat, it's really important to have everything chopped and ready to go before you begin. Once the burner is on, the filling is finished in less than five minutes, and you don't want to be fumbling around on the cutting board while the shrimp overcook in the process.

Though it's relatively straightforward, I did have an issue with the onions. The original recipe advises adding the shrimp just moments after the onions, but when I did that, the shrimp started to overcook before the onions were ready. Perhaps I didn't have a large enough pan, or it wasn't hot enough. Anyway, I adjusted the recipe to let the onions cook for a little longer before the shrimp. Just be mindful. And if the onions aren't done but the shrimp is, remove the shrimp and then add them back when the onions are ready.

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut lengthwise
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stem removed, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (from about four garlic cloves)
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, stems discard, leaves chopped
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 lime, quartered

Directions

  1. 1.

    Pour the canola oil into a large skillet set over high heat. When just starting to smoke, add the onions and stir. Cook until they just start to turn soft, stirring constantly, about one minute. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are mostly pink.

  2. 2.

    Add the butter, jalapeño, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is very fragrant, about one minute. Season with salt, and cook until the shrimp are completely cooked, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat, and stir in the parsley.

  3. 3.

    Heat a second skillet over medium heat. Add as many tortillas as will fit in one layer, and warm them a few seconds on each side until soft. Set aside and cover with a towel. Repeat until all the tortillas are warm.

  4. 4.

    Spoon a little of the shrimp filling into each tortilla. Serve with the lime wedges.