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Nothing says island food to me more than crispy coconut shrimp along with a tropical fruit salsa eaten, of course, by a warm, breezy beachside. When I close my eyes and imagine this, it defines one of my biggest desires in life: to not have a care in the world, soak up the sun and eat some damn good food!
In case you missed it, I recently announced on my Instagram that Devin and I have decided to move to Hawaii! Almost daily, for the past 6 months or so, I’d been thinking about our past trips to Hawaii, especially this most recent trip in which we got engaged (!!!) and found myself longing for the beach, the sun, the Aloha vibe.
I wanted to go back to grabbing a bite of Poke after a hike or swim or just sitting in the sand watching the surfers. Island food, like this classic coconut shrimp, always takes me back to those times where I’m most content, by the beach. I could go on and on with my Moana moment about the beach but this post is about SHRIMP and SALSA.
It’s no surprise that I’m a shrimp lover. I mean, damn near half of my recipes include shrimp or seafood in some way. The funniest part is I used to HATE shrimp as a kid. I can’t pinpoint the moment I began to like it, but I can imagine it was the moment I actually decided to taste it for the first time! Shrimp can be a weird creature to kids but I think anything covered in a delicious crispy batter will win them over!
And then there’s the salsa. I can admit, I got inspired by these pineapple salsa boats that I’ve been seeing all over social media so I decided to make my own! At the bottom of the recipe I describe how to actually make the pineapple boat. I’d keep in mind that one whole pineapple is MORE than enough for this recipe. I used about half a pineapple to fill the half used to make the pineapple boat.
As a little tip, if you love salsa but also love the option of a dipping sauce with your shrimp, I highly recommend either sriracha mayo (literally equal parts sriracha sauce and mayo) or Thai sweet chili sauce. Use all three for the ultimate-trifecta-of-sauces-to-eat-with-crispy-shrimp! And, yes, I just made that up.
As always, let me know your thoughts on this recipe! Are you a seafood by the sea lover like me? Let’s chat about it!
- 25-30 large shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup coconut milkPineapple Salsa
- 1 cup pineapple, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sweet or hot peppers
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea saltInstructions
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Season shrimp with salt & pepper. In a bowl, whisk egg and coconut milk. In a second bowl, combine panko crumbs, shredded coconut, garlic powder, salt and paprika. Put flour in a third bowl.
- Working in small batches or one at a time, dredge shrimp in flour then egg and coconut milk mixture, then panko curbs mixture. Place each shrimp evenly on a baking rack** over a baking sheet.
- Bake shrimp in oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, prepare pineapple salsa by mixing all ingredients in a bowl and chill.*
- Garnish shrimp with cilantro and serve with salsa.DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings
Skill Level: Easy
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
*To make pineapple boat, hold pineapple upright and cut as close to down the center as possible, starting the cut on one side of the pineapple leaves. Lay the pineapple flat then cut a ring, about 1/2 inch from the edge. Make two vertical and two horizontal slices in the center of the ring, giving you nine pineapple chunks. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the chunks and dice for salsa. Use remaining half of pineapple for salsa recipe.
Place shrimp close to heat source in oven to achieve browner color. Extra paprika in panko mix can also help produce a browner color.
Shrimp can be fried as an alternative at 375 degrees F.