A taco is a traditional Mexican dish consisting of a corn or flour tortilla wrapped around a filling. Tacos are usually filled with a combination of meat, chicken, seafood, cheese and vegetables and served with various salsas and condiments. The word taco means ‘plug’ and is thought to have been coined by Mexican silver miners due to its resemblance to an explosive consisting of gunpowder wrapped in paper.
I grew up in Canada eating store-bought hard shell corn tacos. We used to buy perfectly formed Old El Paso plastic-wrapped shells. We would fill these with ground beef topped with thinly sliced iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, and a little bit of salsa.
It has been years since I had one of these childhood treats, so Cinco de Mayo was a great opportunity to rediscover and re-imagine the taco. This unconventional version has the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and salty flavors.
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (reduced or whole fat)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional)
1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
3/4 pound cooked and peeled shrimp (sliced in half) or other seafood such as crabmeat, lobster, or salmon
12-ounce package coleslaw mix (including green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots)
1 mango, peeled, cut into thin strips
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional)
salt (to taste)
12 small tortillas or hard taco shells
Red Rooster chili sauce for serving (optional)
1. In a small bowl, make dressing by mixing mayonnaise, juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon water, sugar, jalapeno pepper, and 1/3 cilantro leaves.
2. Toss shrimp or seafood with 2 tablespoons of dressing until just coated. Set aside.
3. Combine remaining cilantro, coleslaw, mango, red onion, remaining dressing, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
4. If making soft tacos, warm tortillas in skillet. To serve, spread tortilla or hard taco with chili sauce and fill with seafood and coleslaw mixture. Serve with lime wedges.