As a lover of all things taco, I believe I have tasted almost every taco that has ever been imagined. What I have always loved about tacos is the endless possibilities. A common trend that I have noticed is the most flavorful and successful tacos reflect the creator’s culture, geographical location, and surrounding influences.

A great taco paints a picture and tells a story. Like a movie, it transports you with a single bite and allows your imagination to run wild. Walt Disney was the king of imagination. He built an empire on creativity, imagination, and taking us to “the happiest place on Earth.”

When I received my bottle of Robyn’s new Sunshine State of Mind rub, within a moment I already knew what taco needed to be fused.  It needed to reflect the beautiful state of Florida, for which it is named. With some of the freshest seafood on earth, Caribbean flair, and an abundance of tropical fruit, the Sunshine State Shrimp Taco was born! A coconut crusted gulf shrimp with sunshine key lime crema, the taco is topped with a pineapple and mango salsa and garnished with lime dressed micro radish.

I first hand-pressed a yellow corn tortilla that receives a spread of Mexican crema that has been infused with key lime juice and Sunshine State of Mind rub.  The notes of grapefruit, honey, coriander, paprika and kefir lime juice make for a luscious sauce. Honestly, I couldn’t stop eating this sauce straight from the spoon.

Shredded purple cabbage lend some color and crunch to the Sunshine State Shrimp Taco and are topped with coconut crusted shrimp. Use your favorite recipe or even use a store-bought version crisped up in an air fryer. I used Trader Joe’s coconut shrimp but next time will use a recipe that infuses margarita mix and rum to pair with the coconut.

Nothing is more refreshing than a fresh fruit salsa of pineapple and mangos with a little kick from serrano chiles. If you can find micro radish salad, it’s amazing. I find mine at Whole Foods. It offers that herbaceous punch and zestiness. Dress it with a little lime for a little extra zing to top your taco. 

The Sunshine State Shrimp Taco is Florida in one perfect bite (if you’re a gator)…. two bites… maybe three bites?  Make sure you put on a little sunscreen because you’ll be so in love with this taco that you won’t mind the sweltering Florida heat. After all, we have a “Sunshine State of Mind!”

Welcome to Florida, home of the “Happiest Taco on Earth!”

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Sunshine State Shrimp Taco

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  • Author: Rico "Uncle Chico" Gubernick
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


  • 1 pound Trader Joe’s 16 oz. coconut shrimp (using 4 shrimp per taco)
  • 1 cup Mexican Crema
  • 2 tbsp. Sunshine State of Mind rub
  • 2 key limes
  • Half a head of shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 2 tbsp. diced red onion
  • 1 serrano chile, finely diced
  • Handful of cilantro leaves finely minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Micro radish salad from Whole Foods
  • Yellow corn tortillas (fresh is best, but any good store bought works too)


  1. Cook shrimp per box instructions in an air fryer or oven.
  2. Heat tortillas to get a little char.
  3. To make crema, add zest of one key lime and juice to 1 cup Mexican crema (I love Caqique brand).
  4. Add in Sunshine State of Mind rub.  This is totally to taste, but I used about 2 tbsp. for 1 cup.  If you want a little heat, add a few drops of Valentina hot sauce or Cholula. Spread a nice layer to cover the tortilla.
  5. Add shredded cabbage on top of the crema.
  6. Top cabbage with 4 shrimp with the tail cut off. You can also cut them into chunks for easier eating, but I think the whole shrimp is more stunning for presentation.
  7. To make the salsa, dice the mangos and pineapple to even small chunks and mix it with chopped onion, finely minced garlic, cilantro, serranos (remove ribs and seeds if you don’t like it too spicy). Add juice of lime and honey and mix to combine evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Top shrimp with salsa and lime dressed micro radish salad.
  9. Serve with lime wedges and an ice cold drink. I recommend the Grilled Grapefruit Paloma from Shannon at Big Green Egg Foodie with Robyn’s rub as a rimmer.

Want more recipes from Uncle Chico? Check out these posts!

BBQ Style Chicken Tinga for Cinco de Mayo

Smoked Birria Quesataco With Consomme

Cemita Poblana With Pork Panko  


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