Shrimp Birria Tacos


  • 5 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn open to lay flat
  • 3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn open to lay flat
  • 2 dried cascabel or pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn open to lay flat
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped, plus chopped onion, for garnish
  • 2½ cups Clamato®
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 lbs. large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • Spray canola or olive oil
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • Thinly sliced radishes, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Queso fresco, crumbled, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


  • To make birria tacos, the tortillas are first dipped into the spiced birria broth (or consommé) before frying, so be sure to use hearty corn tortillas that can hold up to the tasty process.
  • In a large, dry skillet or griddle over medium heat, arrange chiles and cook, turning occasionally, until toasted and very fragrant (without burning, which makes the sauce bitter), 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to a medium pot along with garlic, onions, and 6 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain (reserving 2 cups of the liquid) and transfer to a blender.
  • Add Clamato®, 2 cups reserved chile water, vinegar, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and 3 teaspoons salt and purée until smooth.
  • Transfer birria sauce to a large pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt to taste.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Season shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt and then add shrimp to skillet in two batches, cooking until just pink and golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Transfer to a plate as done.
  • Add shrimp to simmered birria sauce (along with accumulated juices) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat.
  • To make the tacos, arrange a large griddle over medium heat and spray generously with oil.
  • Working with 2 or 3 tortillas at a time, fry each tortilla on both sides until hot and just crisp, then dip into the birria broth, letting excess drip off, and arrange again on the griddle, spraying both sides of the tortillas with oil.
  • Fry, pressing down occasionally, until toasted, deep golden brown on both sides, and sturdy enough to hold the saucy shrimp, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • As the tortillas are done, spoon some of the shrimp into each, top with onions, radishes, cilantro, and queso fresco, and serve immediately, with a bowl of birria broth on the side for dipping and limes to squeeze over the top.

Servings: 6 to 8

Enjoy Responsibly!

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