Street tacos were once hard to find outside of Mexico and the states that border it, but now I see them everywhere: restaurants, grocery stores, and especially food trucks. They’re smaller than your standard American-style taco and come in a wide variety of filling combinations, so you can mix-and-match different varieties. It’s fun to get 3-4 types at a time and compare the flavors. While in Mexico last year, we ate at a restaurant that, surprisingly, served street tacos with Japanese influences, incorporating tempura vegetables and wasabi sauce. The possibilities for street taco flavor pairings seem to be endless.
Aldi jumped on the street taco trend with three frozen meal kits: crispy fish, pork carnitas, and the Fremont Fish Market Chipotle Shrimp Street Tacos Complete Meal Kit. At the time of publication, all three kits cost $9.99 for four servings and are an Aldi Find, so they’re only in stores for a limited time. Aldi doesn’t offer shipping for products not in stock at your local store, so if they’re gone, they’re gone.
The kit makes eight total tacos, which they consider four servings. Each serving has 270 calories, 8 grams of total fat (1 gram saturated fat), 100mg of cholesterol (shrimp is high in cholesterol), 310 mg of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates (1 gram of dietary fiber and 1 gram of sugar), and 17 grams of protein.
The kit advertises wild-caught Argentine shrimp, corn tortillas, a creamy ancho chili sauce, chipotle seasoning, and a spinach, corn and roasted tomato medley. The tacos are small, so they’re not a complete meal on their own for most people. We enjoyed ours with Casa Mamita Mini Empanadas and Season’s Choice Tropical Blend mixed fruit.
What’s In The Box:
The kit does not need to be defrosted before you start cooking, although I’d recommend defrosting the tortillas on the counter well in advance (more on that below.) When you open the box, you find the various ingredients individually packaged. I was skeptical that the amount of shrimp and vegetables in the box would be enough to make 4 tacos– even small street tacos– but I was wrong.
First, you need to defrost the tortillas and the chipotle sauce. The instructions tell you to defrost the sauce first and the tortillas after cooking the shrimp and vegetables, but this is wrong. The instructions say you can microwave the tortillas by wrapping them in a paper towel and microwaving for 30 seconds, then flipping, and repeat until warm. Or you can “thaw on the countertop for 15 minutes,” and then warm them in a pan.
I didn’t want the tortillas to become mushy or rubbery, so I tried the countertop method before starting to cook the shrimp or veggies. After 15 minutes, only the top 2-3 tortillas had thawed at all. Next, I tried the microwave method. It took about 2 minutes to fully warm the tortillas that way, and they became slightly mushy and stuck together. Even if the 15-minute method had worked, the instructions said to defrost them after cooking everything else, so the shrimp and vegetables would have gotten cold while the tortillas warmed up.
You defrost the chipotle sauce by submerging it (unopened) in boiling water while you prepare everything else. That and the rest of the instructions went smoothly.
You cook the shrimp by heating up 1 tsp. of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, and drain the excess liquid. After cooking, sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning. However, this seasoning is very spicy, so only add the amount that you’re comfortable with. I added the whole thing because we like spicy food, but it would be overpowering for more sensitive palates.
While the shrimp cooks, heat another 1 tsp. of oil in another skillet and cook the vegetable packet for 4-5 minutes. Each taco gets two tortillas and ⅛ of the shrimp and vegetables. Because the tortillas are so small, this amount actually filled them perfectly. Top with the creamy ancho chili sauce, as desired. Some of us also added fresh avocado to ours, which helped cut the spiciness.
How Do They Taste?
These tacos are surprisingly spicy. They burn your lips more than your mouth or throat, so be careful while eating them. We love spicy food and agreed that we would rank them as “medium-hot,” though if you don’t like spicy food, you’d think they were very hot.
Once you get past the spices, the shrimp flavor comes through strongly, and the corn tortillas add a bit of sweetness that helps balance the spice. However, although the vegetables add body to the tacos, they don’t add flavor. None of us tasted the spinach, and my younger son didn’t even realize that there were tomatoes in the mix. The corn pieces were indistinguishable from the corn flavor of the tortillas. It might help to add salt to the vegetables, which wasn’t in the instructions. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed our tacos and would eat them again.
Despite the problems we had with the tortillas and the bland vegetables, we would buy this kit again. My family enjoys shrimp and spicy food, so this was a fun, easy dinner for us. However, if you’re sensitive to spicy foods or long for the taste of spinach, you might want to give this kit a pass.