How About a Summer Tostada?

Tostada Top View Showing Condiments in an Artistic Arrangement

We all like to lighten up our food during the summer, so here’s an idea: tostadas. A tostada is simply a tortilla, usually corn, that is fried crisply and sometimes made into boat shapes during the process. Various toppings are piled on top and it is served either hot or at room temperature. Given such a simple yet broad definition, there’s obviously hundreds of variations possible. Here’s one that I like a lot, but feel free to adjust it any way you like. If you don’t like beans with your shrimp, omit them. If you like additional fresh herbs or sliced chiles, add them. One bit of advice: These can be messy and look disorganized on the plate, so take a little time to arrange them artistically with added garnishes.

Quick Summer Shrimp Tostadas

Shrimp Tostada with a Margarita. Photo by Wes Naman.

Notice that I’m taking shortcuts with this recipe to save time. If you have a lot of time, you can buy fresh shrimp, make your own salsa, cook your own beans, and even make your own tortillas from scratch. If you don’t have the Tajin seasoning, use any chile and herb dried seasoning. The cabbage adds a Yucatán flavor to the tostadas. Serve this with margaritas for lunch or dinner. This takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (16-ounce) bag frozen raw shrimp, thawed

1 tablespoon Tajin seasoning, here, or to taste

4 tostada shells, or deep-fried corn crisp tortillas

1 (15-ounce) can beans, rinsed and drained, available here.

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese of choice (see here)

1 cup prepared chunky salsa (see here)

1 cup shredded cabbage

In large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionallyr until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp, cooking and stirring until the shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a bowl and sprinkle with the Tajin seasoning to taste.

Place the tostada shells on individual plates. To each shell on the plate, add the beans, seasoned shrimp, cheese, salsa, and top with the cabbage.

Yield: 4 servings
Heat Scale: Varies

For more food history and recipes on the subjects of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, just click on the image below.

AboutDave Dewitt

Dave is known in the media as "The Pope of Peppers" because of the 36 books he's written on chile peppers and spicy food around the world. He's also co-producer of the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show and editor and publisher of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite at His latest book, with chile breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, is The Complete Chile Pepper Book.

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