Garlic Shrimp Taco with Poblano Chile Rajas

I first tasted a variation of this taco at El Taco de la Ermita in Tijuana, where taquero extraordinaire Javier Campos served it dorado style with several of his magical salsas. In this simplified version, the delicious, smoky-rich flavor comes from the roasted chiles poblanos. Poblanos are wide and sharply pointed, with dark green, shiny skin. They come into their own when charred and sautéed with onions and garlic into rajas (literally, “rags”). Ripe red poblanos, also called for in the recipe, may be found in Latin markets from September to November. If it’s not the right season, substitute bell pepper. Note that poblano chiles can be spicy, so if you don’t like heat, substitute mild, light-green Anaheims. This is also great over rice.


  • 1 green poblano or Anaheim chile
  • 1 red poblano chile or red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • ¾ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


  1. Char the whole peppers on all sides, by placing them directly in a gas flame or under a hot broiler. Wrap them in a paper towel and allow to cool completely, then remove the stem and seeds. Rub off the charred skin with the towel—do not wash the chiles or you’ll lose all that great smoky flavor. Cut the peppers into ½-inch dice.
  2. Heat an 8-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the diced peppers and onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and even a little browned.
  3. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook, stirring often, until they are pink and firm.
  4. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Add the lime juice and cilantro.
  5. Serve right away with warm corn tortillas and pico de gallo.

To Serve

Warm corn tortillas, pico de gallo