Coconut lime shrimp tacos are a colourful meal option full of wonderful flavours. Shrimps are sautéed in flavoured coconut oil and seasoned with lime juice to make the perfect seafood taco filling. Follow my easy shrimp tacos recipe, add your favourite veggies and sauces and make this shrimp taco filling the star of your next taco night!
Since Friday in Sweden is taco day (read on to find out more), my husband and I are very happy to comply and throw spontaneous taco parties from time to time. Tacos are a fantastic way to incorporate a lot of delicious veggies into a meal. Since we’re also trying to reduce our meat consumption, we started to make shrimp tacos more and more often. I like to look at it as a sort of Meatless Monday meets Taco Friday. My favourite shrimp taco recipe is coconut lime shrimp. It’s a very easy recipe for a fresh and tasty taco filling that only takes 10 minutes to make. Coconut lime shrimp tacos pair wonderfully with a tangy salsa, guacamole and pickled onions for a perfect taco night!
Taco Friday in Sweden and Norway
If you’re invited to a Scandinavian house for dinner and it happens to be a Friday night, it’s highly likely you will get to sample Sweden and Norway’s favourite Friday night meal – tacos! Some overly proud taco-people might even claim tacos to be Sweden or Norways national dish. Err okay? I’m not telling lies, and my surprise was as big as yours the first time I was offered tacos in Oslo. Got invited to these long-time immigrated to Norway friends of my mother’s. The first time I visited, they made me Polish barszcz czerwony (beetroot soup) because they’re Polish, I’m Polish, we all speak barszcz. The second time I’d visit they promised a Norwegian speciality.
You know, I was an exchange student in Oslo back then and I was eager to learn something new about my host country. Since making friends with locals had proved harder than I though despite my usually pretty good social skills, in order to learn something more about my host country I could only rely to the only Norwegian family I knew around. They lived on the opposite side of a metro line from where I lived, took 45 minutes to travel from one side of the city to the other, and all those 45 minutes I was having salmon and moose fantasies.
So I come into their lovely red wooden house and the table is all full of bowls containing all sorts of colourful stuff. I detect corn, tomatoes, something green that might have been avocado (I was not familiar with avocado back then), cream… In the centre of the table lay a large plate full of tortillas, and soon the lady comes out of the kitchen with a pot full of smoking hot minced meat. I take my seat at the table still visibly confused. “So you take a tortilla and you stuff it nicely with anything you please, like this”, goes the husband, offering a live demonstration. “There, make sure to leave enough room to fold the tortilla”, he goes on, a proud smile on his face.
“I thought tacos is a Mexican thing”, I utter. This is when I get to hear: “Oh dear, tacos are the national dish of Norway” – that’s the wife talking, now. – “So how’s life? How was Copenhagen? Wait, let me grab a can of Żywiec, you want one?”
You can’t have a taco party without guac! Here’s my chunky guacamole recipe.
Taco dinner ideas: coconut lime shrimp tacos
Coconut lime shrimp tacos are really easy to make and very tasty. In order to get the coconut flavour I recommend using flavoured cold-pressed coconut oil. Coconut oil is used to sautée the shrimps, but I also add a spoonful at the end to enhance the flavour. For this recipe I like to use frozen shrimps. They’re cheaper, already cleaned, and as taco filling I actually prefer them small. Since I’m ultimately using them in shrimp tacos, I want to be able to taste all the flavours that come with every mouthful of tacos. Large shrimps are fantastic in many ways, but in tacos they can be too flavour-dominant.
One tip is to thaw the shrimps beforehand. This reduces the cooking time. Thawed, the shrimps will also release much less water. You want to quickly sautée the shrimps in coconut oil, not simmer them in their own water. The whole procedure should not take more than 5 minutes, really. Sautée the shrimps in coconut oil, add the fresh lime juice, evaporate it and you’re pretty much done. Lastly, I like to stir in one more tablespoon of flavoured coconut oil. I don’t generally add any salt, but depending on the kind of shrimps you buy you may also have to add a sprinkle of salt when sautéeing the shrimps at the beginning.
Regular tacos in Sweden are made with minced meat that is seasoned and fried. In supermarkets you can find special taco spice mixes to add to the meat. I generally prefer to make my own spice mix, and I generally use smoked paprika, some dried herbs, garlic or onion powder. Even when I buy vegetarian alternatives to minced meat I use this kind of seasoning. One of my favourite minced meat alternatives is minced quorn. When I make shrimp tacos, though, I find that this kind of seasoning doesn’t work. With shellfish I find it better to use refreshing flavours such as lime and coconut.
Looking for the perfect nacho dip? Try this blended garlic salsa!
The perfect taco dinner, Swedish style
The perfect taco dinner in my opinion should feature a combination of basic ingredients and original takes. After almost 5 years in Sweden I have learned that there are no limits, really, to make a perfect Friday taco night. There are, however, a few unmissable ingredients that define a memorable Taco Friday Swedish style. Here’s a list of those.
- Tortillas – soft or crunchy, small or large, wheat or maize. The choice of commercially sold tortillas available in Scandinavia is really great. I prefer small sized, either soft made of wheat (like in the photos throughout this post) or crunchy made with maize.
- Guacamole – a staple in the original Mexican taco tradition, guacamole is loved in Sweden. Sweden imports a lot of avocados, so making guacamole is a very convenient way to add a very good item to your diet.
- Salsa – it is claimed that the Swedes don’t eat very spicy food. Mexican and Thai food tends to be pretty toned down here in Sweden. I don’t know how true this is, as I also don’t eat spicy. Salsa is unmissable in any respectable taco dinner, so it’s good to make one sweet and one spicy just to please everybody.
- Sour cream – any type of smetana, creme fraiche, or the Swedish gräddfil can play this role. Enrich your tacos with dollops of cream for extra flavour, or just use it to dip your nachos.
- Nachos – also known as tortilla chips here in Sweden. Unmissable. I’ve seen people stuffing their tacos with crunched nachos and it may or may not be somebody I know pretty well.
- Pickled red onion – last but not least, a very Swedish feature. Picklad rödlök, as pickled red onion is known in Sweden, is a beloved sweet and sour onion preserve that all Swedish families have in their fridges. The loyal condiment to many burgers in the summer, it is also very popular on shrimp sandwiches. Having it on shrimp tacos is just the best you can have.
Tacos are a fantastic meal opportunity. They are a great way to cater to people with various dietary requirements, as everyone fills them with theif foods of choice. My favourite part is that they make for an incredibly colourful dinner. It could be the darkest day of the Swedish winter outside of your window, but a taco meal will bring you the flavours and colours of a day at the beach in Mexico. Swedish tacos may not be the most authentic representation of the Mexican original, but they’re a big part of the culinary tradition of this country. And I hold them dear, too.
Coconut lime shrimp
- 400 g shrimp
- 3 tbsp coconut oil (flavoured)
- 1 lime
- salt to taste (optional)
Warm up 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat and add the shrimps. If using frozen shrimps, make sure to thaw them beforehand. Cooking from frozen will release a lot of water. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.
Juice the lime and add the juice to the shrimps. Add salt if needed - sometimes shrimps are quite flavourful without adding any salt. Cook until the lime juice has evaporated, 2-3 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Using flavoured coconut oil, this last addition is mostly for the taste. Use immediately a filling for tacos.