Episode 104: Pac-Rim Grill

Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vietnamese Flavors

Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vietnamese Flavors


Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vietnamese Flavors

Recipe Notes

  • Active Prep: 20 minutes
  • Grill Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling


  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus salt as needed for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 cup sugar in a shallow bowl for grilling the pineapple
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, shaken dry, and stemmed
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, washed, shaken dry and stemmed
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil or regular basil leaves
  • 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Combine the shrimp and salt in a mixing bowl and toss to mix. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Meanwhile, heat the oil to medium-high in a small saucepan on your grill’s side burner or stovetop. Add the garlic and shallots and fry until lightly browned and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let the ingredients burn, or they’ll taste bitter. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Let the oil cool to room temperature and reserve.

Step 3: Make the dressing: In a large serving bowl, place the lime juice, fish sauce, and 1/4 cup sugar. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

Step 4: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.

Step 5: Brush the pineapple slices on both sides with some of the reserved garlic-shallot oil. Dredge in sugar on both sides, shaking off the excess. Arrange the pineapple on the grate and grill until browned on both sides, but still raw in the center, 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Transfer the pineapple to a wire rack to cool, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Add them with any pineapple juices to the bowl with the dressing.

Step 6: Add the cilantro, mint, basil, and chiles to the pineapple, but do not toss.

Step 7: Right before serving, blot the shrimp dry with paper towels. Brush the shrimp on both sides with some more of the garlic-shallot oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp until browned and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning with tongs. Add the shrimp and any remaining garlic-shallot oil to salad and gently toss to mix.

Step 8: Sprinkle the salad with the fried garlic and shallot and the peanuts and serve at once. This may be the most electrifying salad you’ve ever tasted.

Recipe Tips

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