Grilled Pineapple, Jalapeno, & Shrimp Ceviche with Fried Plantains

I love ceviche. A vacation to Mexico once had me eating this seafood dish every single day of the trip...Sitting on a beach with some freshly made ceviche and a beer is one of the best experiences ever... It's absolutely perfect for a poolside get-together, as well. (A body of water, ceviche, and a cold beverage is basically the formula for a perfect afternoon.) This past Monday, I had a Girls' Day by the pool and my friend Sophia asked me to bring some. I felt like sprucing up my go-to recipe a little, so I came up with this: Shrimp, Grilled Pineapple, & Jalapeno Ceviche with Fried Plantains!

The first thing you'll want to do is blanch your shrimp. Why, you ask? Isn't the point of making Ceviche to let the citrus "cook" the seafood? Well, I have to say, I usually let the lime juice do all the work when I make ceviche with fish. Blanching shrimp is really just an optional precaution. You can look up plenty of recipes that will argue either method, "It's only a true ceviche if you cook it in citrus juice" or "The blanching keeps the texture of shrimp intact". Personally, I choose the "blanching" route. All you do is add the shrimp to salted, boiling water, wait for the shrimp to cook through and turn pink, then place the shrimp in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain the shrimp and toss with the lime juice. Refrigerate and marinate for half an hour.

While the shrimp is marinating, you can prepare the rest of the ceviche ingredients. I started with the pineapple and plantains.

When I was thinking of ways to put my own spin on ceviche, I thought of how I love to use grilled pineapple in salsas. The caramelized fruit and smoky char from the grill...paired with spicy flavors...everything is just singing a lively, summery tune.

Plantains are traditionally fried once to cook and fried again to crisp up, I decided to forgo the first fry and just grill the plantains instead. (I threw them on the grill alongside the pineapple.) I cooked them just long enough to make them tender, but I would definitely recommend leaving the peels on to avoid burning.

I normally like to use red onion in ceviche, but I remembered how I use Maui onions in poke and decided to try it out in this dish. Maui onions are smaller, sweeter, and much more mild due to their low-sulfur/high-water content. They bring crunch and flavor to the table without overpowering everything else.

Jalapenos are another component that I wanted to highlight in this ceviche, so I sliced them thinly (almost like shavings) to give them more texture than the typical fine mince. You really get that raw kick in every bite.

Finally, combine all the diced ingredients, salt, the marinated shrimp, and all the liquid in a mixing bowl. Toss lightly to combine everything.

To finish up the plantains, slice the grilled plantains into 1/2-in thick pieces and smash/flatten them. I used the bottom of a measuring cup, but you can also use a wide wooden spoon or a traditional "tostonera". Fry the slices in a cast iron skillet, 2 minutes per side until golden-brown and crispy. I'm a huge fan of serving these alongside ceviche, as opposed to the usual tortilla chip or saltine cracker!

The sweet, grilled pineapple accents the natural sweetness of the shrimp, the jalapeno and Maui onions give your palate a spicy punch, and the avocado is creamy and cools your mouth. My favorite thing about the fried plantains is that the crunchy edges have a flavor and texture similar to extra crispy french fries, but the inside is soft and has this almost-sweet-potato-thing going on. Yum!  Make this ceviche before you head out for your next day-trip to the beach (ocean, lake, or even river!), for your next pool party, or maybe even if you're going boating. It's light, refreshing, and won't weigh you down...which is perfect when it's bikini weather ;)

Shrimp, Grilled Pineapple, & Jalapeno Ceviche with Fried Plantains

Printable Recipe
1 1/2 lbs Medium-Sized Raw Shrimp, peeled, deveined, & blanched
3/4 cup Lime Juice
1/2 a Pineapple, cut into spears
1/3 cup Diced Onion
1 Jalapeno, seeded & thinly sliced
1 Avocado, diced
1/2 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
4 Plantains
Oil, for frying

  1. Blanch the shrimp by adding to a pot of salted, boiling water. Remove the shrimp from the pot once the water returns to a boil, and place into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the shrimp and toss with the lime juice. Refrigerate and marinate for half an hour.
  2. Grill the pineapple spears for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, just to caramelize and slightly char the pineapple, and dice the pineapple. Just before serving, combine the grilled pineapple in a mixing bowl with diced onion, jalapeno slices, diced avocado, salt, and chopped cilantro.
  3. Add lime-marinated shrimp to the pineapple-jalapeno-avocado mixture, and toss lightly.
  4. Serve the ceviche with fried plantains or tortilla chips.
Fried Plantains
  1. Preheat oil in a pan or a cast iron skillet.
  2. Slice the plantains into 1/2-in thick pieces, and fry for 2 1/2 minutes per side. Remove the plantain slices from the pan, and drain on paper towel. 
  3. Next, smash and flatten the plantain slices using a wide wooden spoon, the bottom of a measuring cup, or a traditional tostonera.
  4. Return the plantains to the hot oil, and fry for another 2 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
  5. Remove the finished plantains, drain on paper towel, and season with salt while they're still hot (optional).