Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Smoky Beer Marinade


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  • Difficulty 3
  • Prep Time 35 mins
  • Cook Time 10 mins
  • marinating_svg Marinate Time 2 hrs
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty 3
  • Prep Time 35 mins
  • Cook Time 10 mins
  • Marinate Time 2 hrs
  • Serves 4
Shrimp are barbecue superstars. Here, they bathe in a smoky lager-based marinade before hitting the flames. Then they snuggle up with buttery avocado, tangy slaw and sweet pineapple for a summer taco like no other. We grilled the marinated shrimp on skewers to make turning easy and to keep them from slipping through the grill grate. The hot sauce is optional, of course, but we highly recommend it.

Ingredients for the Marinated Grilled Shrimp

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) American or Canadian lager
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) chipotle chili powder or chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 450 g large shrimp (31 to 40 count), peeled and deveined

Ingredients for the Slaw

  • 4 cups (1 L) finely shredded cabbage (or half 454 g package coleslaw mix), see tips
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro leaves (and small stems, if desired)
  • 1 green onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
  • Half serrano or jalapeño pepper (ribs and seeds removed, if desired), coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) sour cream
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) American or Canadian lager
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper

Taco Fixings

  • 8 6-inch soft flour tortillas
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cubed fresh pineapple (1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced avocado
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Directions for the Marinated Grilled Shrimp

  1. 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lager, oil, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, sugar and salt. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. 2. When almost ready to cook, soak bamboo or wooden skewers in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Thread 6 or 7 shrimp onto each skewer, ensuring shrimp have no space in between. Set aside (see tips) and preheat barbecue to high; grease grill.
  3. 3. Cook shrimp on grill, turning once, until pink, opaque and grill-marked, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Directions for the Slaw

  1. 1. Meanwhile, place cabbage in a large serving bowl. In a blender or food processor, blend cilantro, green onion, garlic, serrano pepper, mayonnaise, sour cream, lager, lime juice, sugar and pepper until smooth, 15 to 20 seconds. Pour a little more than half over cabbage and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining cilantro sauce until ready to serve.
  2. 2. Serve shrimp and slaw with reserved cilantro sauce, tortillas, pineapple, avocado, and hot sauce (if using). Let everyone dress their tacos to taste at the table.


  • Looking for an even char and perfect grill marks? Arrange the uncooked marinated shrimp skewers in a baking dish so the shrimp hang over the centre and the ends of the skewers sit on the rim. Let stand until shrimp have released all excess marinade into the dish, about 20 minutes. Grill as directed.
  • You can also cook the shrimp on the stovetop: In a large skillet, cook shrimp over medium-high heat, turning once, until pink, opaque and lightly browned at edges, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • No blender or food processor to make the dressing? No problem. Using a sharp chef’s knife, finely chop or mince the green onion, cilantro and serrano pepper. Mix them with all the other ingredients in a bowl. You’ll end up with a thicker sauce, but it will be just as delicious.

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