Prawn tacos with a bowl of prawns

These prawn tacos are literally bursting with flavour yet are fairly light (as far as tacos go). Garlic and lime pan-seared king prawns nestled in soft tortillas with mango salsa and a chilli lime yogurt dressing. They are served with a vibrant fruity flavour which is cut by a hot kick of chilli and a citrusy zest. Great for serving a crowd or for a mid-week meal.

What are tacos?

Tacos are a Mexican street food that contains a mixture of ingredients folded in a tortilla. They are hugely popular because of how versatile they are. You can make them with a variety of flavours and ingredients.

What type of tortilla should I use?

You can get both soft tortilla tacos and crunchy hard-shell tacos. In Mexico, the most common are soft tortillas. You can use either for these, although I typically use soft.

The next question is whether you should use flour or corn tortillas. Corn tortillas are the most traditional and the most commonly found in Mexico. But what you use is really a matter of choice.

Flour tortillas are sturdier and will stay intact more easily. For this reason, they are not typically used for fajitas or burritos. However, corn tortillas will add a little more flavour to the taco. As this recipe contains quite a few ingredients and packs a lot of flavours anyway, I prefer to use flour, but you can certainly use corn if you prefer.

Nutritionally, corn tortillas are better for you. They contain around 50% fewer calories and over 3x less fat. They also contain more fibre and magnesium.

Prawn Tacos lined up

How should I warm tortillas for tacos?

You have 3 choices when it comes to warming your tortillas:

  1. In a dry frying pan/skillet – if you have a grill pan with ridges then this is hands down the best method as you can produce those lovely grill marks on the surface too. They need about 30 seconds on each side. As you will need to do them one by one this isn’t the best method if you are feeding a crowd, however.
  2. In the oven – great if you need to do a lot of tortillas, although it takes the longest. Wrap the tortillas in foil and then place them in a pre-heated oven at 180C/350F. They will take around 15 minutes to warm through.
  3. In the microwave – place damp paper towels over the tortillas and then heat in 30-second blasts until hot enough. Only do a maximum of 5-6 tortillas per batch.

Once you’ve warmed your tortillas, the next challenge is to keep them warm! You can keep them wrapped in foil or slightly dampen a clean tea towel and wrap them in there. Or you can buy one of these super useful microwave tortilla warmers which will heat them and then keep them warm for up to an hour.

What is the best type of prawn to use?

There are around 3,000 species of prawn although the two you are most likely to come across are king prawns and cold water (or North Atlantic) prawns. In UK supermarkets varieties which are simply labelled ‘prawns’ are likely to be cold water prawns.

I like to use raw king prawns for these tacos. They are a lot ‘meatier’ and more flavoursome than cold water prawns and literally zing after being marinaded and pan-fried as per the directions below.

You can use pre-cooked prawns if you really want to but if you go through the step of warming them they will toughen up as prawns cook very quickly and this will cause them to overcook. It may be better in this case to simple drizzle them with some lime juice and seasoning and then use them cold.

How do I prepare the prawns?

If you have bought full prawns rather than pre-cleaned ones, then first remove the head and the shell. Break off the head and peel the shell from the remaining body.

How to de-vein a prawn

Next, remove the vein from the prawn. Simply cut a small slit in the back of the prawn a couple of millimetres deep and then you will see a black thin thread – use a small knife or toothpick to pull it smoothly out and discard.

You can leave the tails on the prawns if you like for extra visual appeal, and then let people remove them at the table.

Can I make them in advance?

The good news is that most of this dish can be made in advance. The chilli mayo, mango salsa and prawn marinade can be prepared and kept covered in the fridge. The mango salsa will last for up to 2-3 days, while the mayo will last for up to a week.

I do not, however, recommend reheating the prawns after cooking. As prawns cook incredibly fast they will overcook when reheating and become more rubbery and tough. They are delicious cold, however, so leftovers can be tossed in a salad. I highly recommend them in this Asian style noodle and courgette salad or for this prawn and avocado salad. You can also whip up some Marie Rose sauce and serve them as a starter. Leftover salsa also goes beautifully with this baked Cajun salmon.

Ingredients

There are quite a few ingredients for these prawn tacos – but don’t be put off! They are all fairly basic and there is barely any cooking time required.

Prawn Tacos Ingredients

The main ingredients are below. For a full list of ingredients with weight and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.

For the prawns

  • Raw king prawns, shelled and deveined
  • Lime juice & wedges
  • Garlic

For the mango salsa:

  • Red bell pepper (capsicum), finely diced
  • Red onion, finely diced
  • Red chilli, finely chopped
  • Mango, diced

For the chilli yogurt sauce:

  • Natural yogurt
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Chilli flakes
  • Lime juice

For the tacos:

  • Small tortilla wraps (see above for more information about tortilla varieties)
  • Fresh coriander
  • Rocket/arugula

How to make them

For more detailed instructions with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.

Recipe Steps
  1. First place all the prawn ingredients in a bowl to marinate.
  2. Mix together all the salsa ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Mix together the chilli yogurt sauce ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Cook the prawns for one minute on each side in a frying pan/skillet over high heat.
  5. Warm the tortilla wraps in a microwave or in a dry pan/skillet.
  6. Arrange everything on the table for people to assemble their own tacos.

Looking for more great prawn recipes? Try:

  • King prawn biryani
  • Prawn sandwich
  • Salt and pepper prawns
  • Prawn and avocado salad
  • Keto prawn stir fry
  • King prawn pasta with chilli and garlic

Products that work well for this recipe:

12 Inch Tortilla Holder – Microwavable

– Enough Space for 15 Tortillas – Keep your Tortillas Warm for up to 1 Hour – perfect for tacos, fajitas and more! – Can be used for a variety of different breads such as Pita, Rolls, Chapatis and more

Magnetic Spice Rack – Set of 12

Organise your spices with this magnetic rack! – Stick to the fridge or the provided plate – Rotating design with sift/pour holes

Herb Keepers

It’ll keep what’s left of your bunch perky for longer – perfect for the fridge door!
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Prawn Tacos lined up

Prawn Tacos


  • Author: caroline
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x

Description

These prawn tacos are packed with flavour. Fruity mango salsa, lime & chilli yogurt sauce & fresh coriander. Perfect for a midweek dinner or to feed a crowd. 

The default recipe serves 2 – 3 tacos each.


Scale

Ingredients

For the prawns

  • 300g / 7oz raw shelled and deveined king prawns
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • fresh lime wedges, to serve

For the mango salsa:

  • 1/2 red bell pepper (around 80g / 3oz), finely diced
  • 1 small red onion (around 60g / 2oz), finely diced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 80g / 3oz diced mango (around 1 medium mango), diced (see note 1)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chilli yogurt sauce:

  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt (see note 2)
  • 2 tsp sriracha sauce (see note 3)
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the tacos:

  • 6 small tortilla wraps (15cm / 6in in diameter) (see note 4)
  • 1012 sprigs fresh coriander, washed and placed in a serving bowl
  • small handful rocket/arugula, washed and placed in a serving bowl

Instructions

  1. First, marinate the prawns. Mix together the lime juice, half the olive oil and garlic in a bowl and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add the prawns and turn them to coat. Set aside while you prepare everything else. 
  2. Next, mix together the salsa ingredients. Add the mango last and stir it in gently so it doesn’t turn mushy! 
  3. Make the chilli yogurt sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. (see note 5)
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil from the prawns in a large frying pan/skillet over high heat. When hot add the prawns, spreading them across the bottom of the pan so they all have contact with the heat. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the top. Cook them for one minute before turning and cooking for a further minute on the other side. Remove from the heat and transfer the prawns to a serving plate with wedges of lime. 
  5. Heat the tortilla wraps either in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a dry frying pan / skillet (a ridged pan will give you those lovely grill marks). Place everything on the table along with the rocket/arugula and coriander in bowls so people can assemble their own tacos. 

Notes

  1. Try and find a mango that is just ripe. If it’s too soft it will become mushy in the salsa.
  2. You can use low-fat yogurt if preferred, although the texture will be runnier. You can also substitute Greek yogurt.
  3. You can substitute sriracha sauce for any alternative chilli based sauce. Or if you are making this for people who don’t like spice, ketchup.
  4. You can use either corn or flour tortillas for these tacos. Flour tortillas will hold things together better, while corn tortillas have more flavour and fewer calories/fat. You can also substitute hard taco shells. Nutritional information is calculated using 3 small flour tortillas per serving.
  5. If you whisk the ingredients together you will get a smoother texture.
  6. To keep the tortillas warm you can wrap them in foil or slightly dampen a clean tea towel and wrap them in there. Or you can buy one of these really useful microwavable tortilla warmers which will keep them warm for up to an hour. 
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Hob / Stove
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 590
  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 55g
  • Protein: 37g

Keywords: tacos, mexican, prawns, seafood, dinner, spicy

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