A tostada is the name of a corn tortilla that has been either deep-fried or toasted. It has a similar texture and taste to corn tortilla chips; the only difference is the tostada is served whole. Tostada is also the name of a Mexican entrée that has a crispy corn tortilla topped with refried beans, cheese, and various other toppings. In this case, it is a Shrimp Tostadas.
My tostadas have layers of incredible flavors. A crispy corn tortilla, topped with black refried beans, queso fresco, shredded lettuce, my Homemade Guacamole, pico de gallo, and spicy roasted shrimp. These Shrimp Tostadas are ridiculously good, so good in fact, it was our New Year’s Eve dinner. Tostadas are messy, crunchy, spicy, and fun! I’m not sure which I like better, making Shrimp Tostadas or eating them.
Store-bought ingredients are great shortcuts when making tostadas. Although it is hard to beat homemade! You can bake the corn tortillas rather than buying deep frying them to make tostadas. However, baked tostadas never seem to have a good crunch. If you are in an area that sells prepackaged tostadas, you still should warm them in the oven prior to assembling all of the ingredients. It gives them a nice crunch!
Shrimp Tostadas Assembly
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- Corn Tortillas: In order to change a soft corn tortilla into a crispy tostada, you either need to deep fry them or bake them. Frying gives you a tostada with a better crunch.
- Refried Black Beans: I use good quality canned refried beans, although homemade is a great option as well. I mix the refried beans with a cup of tomato salsa, a diced jalapeño, and a teaspoon of Mexican oregano. They are the base of the shrimp tostada and hold onto the other ingredients so they don’t slide off as you eat it.
- Queso Fresco: A simple Mexican cheese made of cow’s milk. If it’s not available in your area, it is virtually identical to the Indian cheese Paneer. Or, it is a simple 3-ingredient recipe of milk, salt, and vinegar. It goes on top of the refried beans and gets melted in the oven before the other toppings go on the tostada.
- Homemade Guacamole: I make the best guacamole, so follow the link for the recipe. The shrimp and guacamole are amazing together, it’s my favorite part of this tostada.
- Pico de Gallo: Literally translated means the beak of the rooster. It is a tomato-based salsa, the recipe is very simple. Diced tomatoes, red onions, fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), lime juice, salt, pepper, and diced jalapeño. For my shrimp tostada, I omit the jalapeño in the pico de gallo, the tostada has enough spice already. The pico gives the tostada a nice pop of color and flavor.
- Oven Roasted Shrimp: Roasting shrimp only takes a few minutes and can be done while assembling the tostadas. I toss the shrimp in a spice mix consisting of ground cumin, paprika, ancho chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Hot and mildly spicy, the shrimp are on the top of the tostada and look beautiful.
Ingredients: Oven Roasted Shrimp Tostadas
This recipe is for 2-people
- Shrimp: I like the 21/25 extra-large shrimp for oven roasting. This size shrimp is a nice bite-size and 9-shrimp per person is ideal. Remove the shell and the tails, and remove the vein that runs down the spine of the shrimp. Rinse well.
- Chili Powder: This is ground Ancho chili and is fairly mild, it has a nice dark brown color that looks nice on the shrimp.
- Ground Cumin, Paprika, and Cayenne Pepper: Pretty standard taco seasonings, the combination is great on the roasted shrimp.
- Crushed Garlic: I prefer to use fresh garlic on the oven-roasted shrimp. It adds a nice texture and visual appeal, although you can substitute garlic powder if you like.
- Mexican Oregano: Has a slightly lemony/citrus flavor, different from the Mediterranean oregano. Although either will work if you can’t find Mexican oregano.
- Red Pepper Flakes: This is optional. If you want a little more heat on the shrimp, this is the go-to. It also adds a nice look to the shrimp.
Here is my recipe for the Shrimp Tostada
- Tortilla Press
- 18 21/25 Shrimp Peeled and deveined
- 8 Corn Tortillas Fried to make tostadas
- 1 Cup Refried Black Beans
- 1 Cup Guacamole
- 1/2 Cup Pico de Gallo
- 1/2 Cup Iceberg Lettuce Shredded
- 1/2 Cup Queso Fresco Paneer cheese is a good substitute
Spices for Shrimp
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Teaspoons Mexican Oregano Mediterranean oregano is a good substitute
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Crushed and chopped
- Lime wedges
- Chopped Cilantro
To Fry Corn Tortillas
- Place 1/2-inch canola oil in a pan and heat to approximately 350-360°F. Fry each corn tortilla individually for 30-seconds per side. Set on a paper towel to dry.
To Oven Roast Shrimp
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Make sure everything is ready to go before you cook the shrimp. The shrimp should come out of the oven around the same time the tostadas are completely assembled
- Place the peeled shrimp in a large bowl. Combine the spices, then sprinkle generously over the shrimp, mix to cover the shrimp completely.
- Bake shrimp for 10-11 minutes until firm to the touch and the flesh is pink and opaque. The USDA recommends cooking the shrimp to an internal temperature of 145°F
To Assemble Tostadas
- Spread a heaping tablespoon of hot refried black beans over each tostada, sprinkle with queso fresco.
- Top the refried beans with shredded iceberg lettuce and a heaping tablespoon of guacamole spread it evenly.
- Add a heaping tablespoon of Pico de Gallo on top of the guacamole and spread evenly
- Place 3 shrimp (hot) on top. sprinkle with additional crumbled cheese and chopped cilantro