I can already tell, this meal is going to be our summertime jam.  You know, like the food equivalent of whatever current song is the quintessential summertime anthem.  (What song is that right now, by the way?  I’ve been listening to board review lectures, This American Life episodes, and Justin Timberlake pretty much exclusively.)  In any case, this meal has got it goin’ on.  It’s light, full of flavor, and though it might seem a bit fancy, it actually comes together really quickly.  (I made it on a Wednesday night after a busy work day, for crying out loud!)  It’s one of the best new things I’ve tried recently and we can’t wait to have it again.  And again, and again.


For the salsa: 
1 mango, diced
1½ cups diced fresh pineapple
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced small
¼ cup red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
Juice of one lime
Pinch of coarse salt

For the shrimp cakes: 
1 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 tbsp. minced fresh chives
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 large egg
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
Few dashes of sriracha (to taste)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Coconut oil for cooking (about 2-3 tbsp.)

To serve: 
Baby spinach or bibb lettuce leaves


  • 01

    To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.  Toss to mix well.  Cover and refrigerate, allowing flavors to blend.

  • 02

    To make the shrimp cakes, add the uncooked shrimp to a food processor.  Pulse in very short bursts just until finely chopped.  Transfer the chopped shrimp to a medium bowl.  Mix in ¾ cup of the coconut, the garlic, chives,  lemon zest, egg, cilantro, sriracha, salt and pepper.  Stir the mixture with a fork until evenly mixed.  Form the mixture into 7-8 patties.  Add the remaining ½ cup of coconut to a shallow dish or pie plate.  Gently coat the shrimp cakes in the shredded coconut.

  • 03

    In a large skillet (I use cast iron), heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the shrimp cakes to the pan and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden and the cakes are cooked through, about 4 minutes total.  Serve the warm shrimp cakes over a bed of baby spinach or bibb lettuce leaves.  Top with the mango pineapple salsa and serve immediately.


  • These look absolutely mouth-watering. I love shrimp cakes but never even thought of doing them with coconut! What a great combination. That’s ingenious! Thanks for sharing.

  • I love this meal and actually posted something similar today! I love the coconut on your cakes, that sounds incredible!

  • Diane

    This looks awesome! Do you think something can be substituted for the mango, or just leave it out? I’m allergic.

  • Yum!
    This looks like the perfect summertime meal – bright and refreshing! I love that
    they are coated in coconut :)

  • jenbowers

    Annie, this recipe looks awesome! I was thinking about making smaller shrimp cakes for appetizers at a party. Do you think I could make the patties the night before? Thanks for your expert advice!

  • How do you do it all?
    What a fantastic recipe (as they all are).
    Thankyou for sharing this. YUUUUUM!

  • Caroline L.

    You should listen to Robin Thick’s new song “Blurred Lines” if you like Justin Timberlake! And mmm this looks so delicious – a sure hit for the summer!

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure how these would be the next day. Ours didn’t last long enough to find out. I imagine they are really best fresh though, so I would recommend testing them before going that route.

  • annieseats

    I would just use more pineapple, or play around with other fruits. Enjoy!

  • Jackie

    Love the Paleo recipe!!!! You’re recipes have never failed me…but after having some issues, I figured out that Paleo is the way to go for me. I still follow your blog religiously, usually just drooling over the foods I can’t eat :)

  • aparady

    My current summertime anthems are “Rebel Beat” by the Goo Goo Dolls (I love it, though I’m a little weirded out that it is by the Goo Goo Dolls) and Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.”

    Also, I love that you just referred to a food as “your jam’. I say that all the time and sometimes feel silly. ;)

  • This is exactly what I’m craving right now. It’s going straight onto the menu for this weekend!

  • This is most definitely what I want come summertime. Pour me a drink, give me a good patio table and chairs, and crank up the music–perfection!

  • Looks scrumptious–I love coconut shrimp and can’t wait to try this spin!

  • disqus_VmC2D9oBAk

    This recipe is going to be a summer “go-to”, awesome, thanks for sharing!

  • Pat Gallegos

    Wow!!!! I can hardly wait!! It si definitely going on the Summer Eats Menu!!!

  • nessa

    These look great for summer!

  • Nancy Long

    yum – but why has it become so difficult to post a comment lately?????

  • annieseats

    What is difficult about it?

  • Em Rohrer

    I just made these last night and they were delicious! I coated the outside with panko since my husband isn’t a huge fan of coconut and we gobbled them down :). Added some avocado to the salsa and it was amazing – thanks for the recipe!

  • Kellie

    Words cannot express how much I loved this meal! I must have said yum at least a hundred times and I was so sad when dinner was over! It took awhile to put together but was so worth the effort. Next time I think I am going to make a double batch and freeze half before cooking.

  • annieseats

    I was the exact same way – I’m glad to hear you felt the same way I did!

  • Jenny-fer Lewis

    Some things I love, shrimp, mango, pineapple, coconut AND these shrimp cakes! Perhaps I had a past life in the carribean some where…at lease the Big Easy is a good place for great shrimp so I am on my way! These were fantastic, fresh and a wonderful light summer meal!