Tasty Thai Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Scott Atlas for 2011 Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Show: The Perfect 3 Episode: Tacos
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 45 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 8 tacos; 4 serving


  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, julienned (seeded if less heat is desired)
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 sweet onion, julienned
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves picked (about 1/2 cup loosely packed leaves), plus more for garnish
  • 1 scallion, cleaned and rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup of sushi rice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, julienned
  • 8 small flour tortillas
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In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the rice vinegar, water, brown sugar, and 3/4 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Combine the jalapeno, carrot, and sweet onion in a bowl. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The pickled vegetables can be made a day ahead.

Place the cleaned shrimp in a bowl and set aside. Place the Thai curry paste, basil, ginger, cilantro, scallion, sugar, olive oil, lime juice, and fish sauce in a food processor and grind until they make a fine puree.

Next pour the marinade over the shrimp and combine until all of the shrimp are coated. Place the marinated shrimp in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, rinse the rice under running water until the water runs clear. Place the rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water in a rice cooker and follow the manufacturers' cooking procedure, about 15 to 20 minutes. When the rice is finished cooking, add the seasoned rice vinegar and stir allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Cover and set aside.

In a dry, hot skillet, toast the tortillas for 20 to 30 seconds on each side and wrap them in a towel to keep them hot.

Using the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear the shrimp on one side and turn over to cook the shrimp through. Do not over crowd the pan, cook in batches if necessary. Remove from the heat.

To assemble the tacos, use one tortilla, add about 2 tablespoons rice, then 3 to 4 shrimp. Top with pickled veggies, julienned cucumber and finish with some sliced avocado and chopped cilantro leaves.

Cook's Note: This dish uses several layers of unique flavors to build a powerful taco experience. It blends Thai and Mexican ingredients to bring harmony in your mouth. The marinade can be used on shrimp, beef, chicken, or pork.



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