These spicy Blackened Prawn Tacos offer a lot of flavours while limiting the time spent working away in a hot kitchen. They’re perfect for a quick evening meal or for sharing with friends in the garden on a hot summer’s day.
What Are Blackened Prawn Tacos?
Blackened food is a technique associated with Cajun cuisine. It doesn’t mean to burn, but to char protein and spices. Traditionally, it’s associated with fish but can be applied to any foodstuff in modern times. This recipe for blackened prawn tacos sautés peeled prawns in a Cajun seasoning mix and butter.
Cajun cuisine originates in Louisiana, while tacos originate from Mexico, making this a hybrid fusion recipe. However, the styles work exceptionally well together as the regions share a lot of similar flavours and ingredients.
Taco Shells for Blackened Prawns
In their simplest forms, Tacos are smaller tortillas made from wheat or corn and then wrapped around a filling. They’re designed to be handheld, making them a perfect street food item. The term “antojitos” refers to street foods of Mexican origin.
Traditional tacos come in many forms, with prawn tacos known as “Tacos de Camarones” in Spanish. The cooked prawns are placed with garnish on top of the flat tortilla and served with a lime wedge for seasoning. The diner rolls the tacos themselves.
Nowadays, it’s common to hear of two types of tacos: soft and hard. We often mean corn when referring to hard-shell tacos and wheat flour tortillas when referring to soft-shell tacos. However, hard shell tacos appear to have found popularity in the United States, giving rise to the modern taco idea of the corn taco shell differentiating from other popular Mexican street foods such as a burrito.
Traditionally, the soft-shell taco referred to corn tortillas that were grilled or steamed. This made them softer than a hard taco. However, now they seem to refer to wheat tortillas exclusively.
Other Fillings for Blackened Prawn Tacos
Pickled Red Cabbage – “Tacos de Camarones” are traditionally served with lettuce or cabbage. However, these blackened prawn tacos call for my pickled red cabbage, which gives the soft-shelled tacos a crunch and a refreshing acidic hit to balance the spicy Cajun seasoning.
Pico de Galo – This 5-ingredient salsa has become synonymous with all things Mexican, so much so that even this hybrid recipe wouldn’t feel complete without it.
Avocado – Along with the lime sour cream, avocado provides richness which is often lost with seafood such as prawns. However, blackened prawns have a richness of their own from copious amounts of butter.
Lime Sour Cream – Lime and sour cream have long been associated with the cuisines of Central America. However, Mexican use a different type of tangy cream called crema. Yet, sour cream works well and seems much easier to find.
Blackened Prawn Tacos with Lime Sour Cream
For the Pickled Red Cabbage
- ½ Red Cabbage Shredded
- 250 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- 250 ml Water
- 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
- 50 g Sugar
- 1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tsp Peppercorns
- 1 Bay Leaf
For the Lime Sour Cream
- 4 Tbsp Sour Cream
- Juice and Zest from 1 Lime
- Salt to taste
For the Pico de Galo
- 3 Tomatoes De seeded, Chopped.
- ½ White Onion Diced
- 2 Fresh Jalapenos Deseeded and Chopped
- 5 g Coriander Chopped
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Salt to taste
For the Blackened Prawns
- 400 g Prawns
- 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
- 40 g Butter
- Juice from 1 Lime
- Salt to taste
- 8 Small Wheat Tortillas Approx 6-8 Inches
- 1 Avocado Peeled, Cored, Sliced
- 5 g Fresh Coriander Leaves
- For the Pickled Red Cabbage – Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices to a boil in a small pan. Place the red cabbage in a heatproof bowl, and pour the boiling liquid over the top. Cover and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight, preferably.
- For the Lime Sour Cream – Combine the Sour cream with the lime juice and zest in a small bowl. Season to taste and set aside.
- For the Pico de Galo – In another small bowl, combine the freshly chopped vegetables and season with the lime juice and some salt to taste.
- For the Blackened Prawns – In a small bowl, mix the prawns with the Cajun seasoning and season with salt to taste. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over a medium heat, and gently melt the butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the prawns. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the prawns start to brown, then turn them over. Cook for 2 minutes, spooning the butter over the prawns and basting the prawns with the blackened mix. Drain the prawns off and assemble the tacos.
- To Assemble the Tacos – Gently warm the tortilla in the same pan. Spoon in a tablespoon of drained red cabbage, followed by prawns, Pico de Galo, avocado, and lime sour cream. Finish with coriander.