Welcome to Fantasy Island, Mon!
You can find salad presentations like this half pineapple bowl in the caribbean, Florida, Tahiti, Hawaii, Mexico and of course Las Vegas. Las Vegas? Las Vegas is not exactly in the tropics, but I happen to live hear and I am a long time tropical cuisine chef.
I spent about 15 years cooking in the tropics. I must admit that there are two types of cuisine wherever there are white sand beaches. There is tourist food and there is the food that the locals eat. Some of the tourist food does appeal to the locals. This style of pineapple shrimp salad appeals to everyone!
I really do not like popcorn shrimp! They are precooked in brine and they practically have no flavor. I prefer doing things the right way. Large 16/20 count per pound shrimp in a pineapple salad create a much better presentation. The texture is better with large shrimp too, because popcorn shrimp cause a salad like this to be too dense.
Pineapple salads should be made to order, because the pineapple pieces leak juice into the salad after setting for a short time. Mayonnaise is the dressing for this salad, but not much mayonnaise is required. The juices from the pineapple will thin the mayonnaise when the salad ingredients are tossed together.
In hot tropical kitchens that are located in busy tourist areas, the pace of the cooking is fast and furious. Everything is made quickly. Basic items are prepared ahead of time, but salads like this stuffed pineapple are prepared to order. That means that splitting the pineapple, trimming the points off of the leaves and cutting a bowl are done blazingly fast, with no mistakes.
I made the salad in the pictures from scratch in just over four minutes. While the shrimp poach, the pineapple and vegetables can be prepared. Four minutes is fast, but keep in mind that I have made a few thousand of these pineapple shrimp salads in my lifetime. In the tropics, food is prepared quickly, so the threat of airborne pathogens and spoilage is minimized. In the tropics, raw seafood can spoil in 20 minutes if it is not chilled. A different set of health code standards apply in tropical regions.
Poached Szechuan Pepper Shrimp:
Heat a pot over high heat.
Add 4 cups of water.
Add sea salt.
Add 1 pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add 8 Szechuan peppercorns.
When the water come to a boil, add 1/2 pound of peeled and deveined large shrimp. (Remove the tails.)
Poach the shrimp, till they become fully cooked. (About 3 to 4 minutes)
Cool the shrimp under cold running water.
Drain the water off of the shrimp and discard the Szechuan peppercorns.
Set the poached shrimp aside.
Split 1 whole pineapple in half lengthwise and keep the leaves attached.
Use kitchen shears to trim the sharp points off of the leaves.
Cut a small flat spot on the bottom of the pineapple rind, so the pineapple will be stable on a plate.
Place the pineapple on a cutting board with the cut open side facing up.
Use a paring knife to cut a bowl shape in the pineapple, so the bowl has a 1/4" thick rim.
Cut 2 vertical slices on both sides of the pineapple core, but do not cut through the rind.
Use a spatula or spoon to pry and pop the pineapple fruit out of the pineapple bowl.
Set the two fruit wedges aside.
Use a paring knife to cut under the pineapple core.
Remove the core.
Trim the fruit off of the core and discard the core.
Set the pineapple bowl aside.
Pineapple Shrimp Salad Recipe:
Cut the pineapple fruit into bite size pieces.
Place the pineapple fruit into a mixing bowl.
Add the poached shrimp.
Add 1 tablespoon of thin sliced celery.
Add 2 tablespoons of small bite size pieces of red bell pepper.
Add 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped bermuda onion.
Add 1 tablespoon of toasted shelled sunflower seeds.
Add 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro.
Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
Add 1 small pinch of allspice.
Add 1 small pinch of cayenne pepper.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Toss the ingredients together.
Place the pineapple shrimp salad into the pineapple bowl.
Set the stuffed pineapple on a plate.
Garnish the pineapple with cilantro sprigs.
Garnish the plate with bias sliced green onion.
Cool, refreshing, tropical, fresh and delicious! This pineapple shrimp salad is a pleasure to eat and to look at. Yum Mon!