What’s not to love about the tropics? There’s weather that nears perfection, tranquil energy, and unbeatable cuisine. Our friends in Hawaii know that nothing says quality food quite like fresh caught fish and seafood served up ohana-style. If you’re looking to bring some tropical flavors into your kitchen, check out some of our favorite island-inspired, pescatarian recipes below.
1. Salmon Burgers With Avocado Salsa
Get crafty with your salmon and prepare this scrumptious and omega-3 fatty acid-loaded salmon burger. Combining fresh herbs, lemon juice, and salmon filets, this take on a backyard classic is perfect for entertaining guests or serving up a cozy dinner at home. Gluten-free? Simply sub out the breadcrumbs for a grain-free version. The avocado salsa is not to be skipped, and works nicely in place of a bun. From Cooktoria.
2. Hawaiian Shrimp Truck Special
Inspired by the dish at Giovanni’s famous Hawaiian food truck, this recipe combines some of the world’s best ingredients: garlic, lemon, butter, and fresh shrimp. But this is more than your typical shrimp scampi—the Hawaiian version is served with rice, pineapple, and a lemon wedge. If you can’t make it out to Hawaii to eat from the truck, this recipe is a great substitute. From Half-Baked Harvest.
3. Snapper Barbados
Pull up a chair and gather round the outdoor dining table for this beauty. Snapper Barbados is a broiled whitefish topped with lime, garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs. It comes together in minutes, making this recipe easy enough for weeknights but tasty enough to become a kitchen staple. From The Wanderlust Kitchen.
4. Hawaiian-Style Tuna Poke
What sort of list would this be if we didn’t include poke? Poke, translating to “sliced or cut crosswise into pieces” is a classic Hawaiian dish, with variations over the years that octopus, salmon, crab, clams, cooked shrimp, and even tofu! This recipe is as traditional (and delicious) as they get, using tuna as a base and dressed in light soy sauce, onions, sesame oil, ginger, chili pepper, and toasted sesame seeds. From Ready to Yumble.
5. Salmon Tartare With Avocado and Mango
This beautiful dish is perfect for a midday weekend snack or as an impressive appetizer. The combination of avocado, fresh fruit, and saw salmon is truly mouthwatering, creating a flavor profile that rivals some of the seafood dishes you might find in your favorite restaurant. It’s as pretty as it is tasty, and can be eaten with tortilla chips or all on its own. From Del’s Cooking Twist.
6. Baked Coconut Shrimp
Coconut Shrimp is tropical classic. This recipe takes one of your favorite island appetizers and adds a healthy twists, omitting much of the oil and swapping out the deep-frying for baking. This also saves you from what can often be a big mess—frying can be quite the commitment. If you’ve got 20 minutes and a taste from some island cuisine, then this is the recipe for you. From Rasa Malaysia.
7. Mahi Mahi Tacos With Mango and Pineapple Salsa
There are few things more festive than fish tacos, especially when they come paired with at tropical salsa. This recipe focus on quality ingredients (make sure your fish is fresh) and simplicity. The real standout is the salsa—save it as a snack with tortilla chips if you gave leftovers! From Vodka and Biscuits.
8. Seared Ono With Honey Glaze
Ono, also called Wahoo, is a delicate, flaky, and mild-flavored fish native to Hawaii. This recipe instructs marinating the fish in a simple sauce of honey, soy, and ginger, and then seared to perfection. The end result is unique, healthy, and impressive recipe that’s sure to wow your fish-loving friends. Serve over rice or alongside a starchy vegetable for a complete, island-inspired meal. From Feasting at Home.
9. Spicy Thai Coconut Mussels
Mussels are the ultimate finger food. Not only are they affordable and full of protein, but they’re also incredibly versatile. This recipe soaks the mussels in a spicy (yet oh-so-comforting) combination of coconut milk, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, serrano chile, and lemon. And while a big bowl of mussels may sound fancy (it definitely tastes like it is!), don’t be intimidated. You basically throw everything in a pot and let the stove work its magic. From F for Food.
Yes, there is already a handful of raw fish on this menu—but a poke burrito? How could we say no? Take one of your favorite entrees and fold it into this trendy, on-the-go treat. It’s the closest you can get to Hawaiian cuisine without planning a trip to the Big Island. (Which we still highly encourage.) From Honestly Yum.