Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple and Jalapeño Chutney

A helping of island magic at home

Photo: Courtesy of Cheeca Lodge & Spa

There’s something magical about an island afternoon spent cracking open cold beers and sharing a big platter of seafood piping hot from the fryer as the sun softens behind sailboats at the dock.

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And there may be no better spot to experience that combo than Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Florida, specifically its modern coastal restaurant, Atlantic’s Edge. Cheeca Lodge has been open since the 1940s, this year debuting eleven new luxury casitas facing a private beach, but you don’t have to book a room to enjoy dining here. (If you want an outdoor seat by the sea, reservations never hurt.) 

The menu’s favorites include the “colossal” shrimp cocktail and the crab dip on sesame toast, but below, the chefs share a rustic yet refined take on that classic pairing of lightly sweet, shredded coconut and fresh Atlantic shrimp, with options for both frying and baking.


  • Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple and Jalapeño Chutney (Yield: 4 servings as appetizer)


    • 14 oz. diced pineapple (roughly ½ of a pineapple)

    • 6 oz. fresh orange juice

    • 4 oz. honey

    • 1 tsp. Red Boat fish sauce

    • 1 cup water

    • 1 small jalapeño, diced


    • 2 lb. shrimp ( 8/12 count), peeled, deveined, and butterflied

    • 6 oz. shredded coconut

    • 2 oz. cornstarch

    • 5 oz. egg whites, well beaten

    • Kosher salt

    • Blackening seasoning


  1. Make the chutney: Combine all ingredients except jalapeño in a pot and cook down until the pineapple is soft. 

  2. Add the jalapeño and cook for 3 more minutes. Mash the pineapple with a muddler or lightly pulse with a hand blender. Chill until ready to serve. Will keep in the fridge for up to three days.

  3. Make the coconut shrimp: Heat frying oil to 350°F, or oven to 375°F. In a food processor combine shredded coconut and cornstarch. Pulse until the coconut is finely ground.

  4. Lightly season the butterflied shrimp with salt and blackening seasoning, to taste.

  5. Set egg whites aside in a bowl. Set coconut cornstarch mixture aside in another bowl.

  6. To apply batter, dip a shrimp into the egg white and let drain slightly, then coat the shrimp in the coconut/cornstarch mixture. Be careful not to let the mixture get too wet or the end product will be clumpy. 

  7. When all the shrimp are coated, begin frying at 350 degrees. Gently place each shrimp in the oil, carefully holding it until the coconut coating is sticking to the individual shrimp before releasing. When the shrimp are golden brown and floating, remove from the oil and set on a paper towel to drain. Alternately, if you are baking them, place the battered shrimp on oven-safe tray and bake for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over, then bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. 

  8. Lightly sprinkle with salt, to taste. Serve immediately alongside the chutney.