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.

  • Yield about 4 servings


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.