Shrimp Aguachile with Coconut and Avocado

Coconut water, celery, ginger, and chiles come together to flavor the base of this delicate aguachile, while pineapple, cucumber, and avocado garnishes help cool it down. Chef Claudette Zepeda makes homemade coconut chips by shaving and toasting fresh coconut, but we've substituted readily available store-bought coconut chips. Timing is the key to this recipe, as the shrimp is "cooked" in lemon juice.

Shrimp, Coconut and Avocado Aguachile
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins


  • 1 whole fresh pineapple (about 28 ounces)

  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided

  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk (from 1 [13.6-ounce] can, well shaken and stirred)

  • 1 medium (1-ounce) lemongrass stalk, trimmed and roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

  • 1 small serrano chile, halved (and seeded, if desired)

  • ¾ cup bottled coconut water (such as Vita Coco Pure Coconut Water) (from 1 [11.1-ounce] bottle)

  • 5 medium (2-ounce) celery stalks, divided

  • 12 peeled and deveined tail-on raw large shrimp (about 8 ounces)

  • cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons), divided

  • 4 dried chiltepin or pequin chiles (unseeded), crushed

  • ¼ cup shaved coconut chips (such as Mavuno Harvest Dried Organic Coconut)

  • 1 medium (6-ounce) avocado, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion (from 1 small [5-ounce] red onion)

  • 1 small (2-ounce) Persian cucumber, thinly sliced into half-moons (about 1/2 cup)

  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

  • Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)


  1. Using a sharp knife, remove top and bottom of pineapple; remove and discard outer peel. Quarter peeled pineapple lengthwise; remove core by cutting it out at an angle. Thinly slice 1 pineapple quarter crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices to measure 1/2 cup. Reserve remaining pineapple for another use.

  2. Spread pineapple slices in a single layer on a baking sheet or a large plate. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt. Let stand 1 hour. Transfer pineapple slices to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. While pineapple stands, stir together coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and serrano chile in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until solids have softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let steep, uncovered, 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender; add coconut water. Roughly chop 4 celery stalks; add to mixture in blender. Process mixture until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into an airtight container; discard solids. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.

  4. Arrange shrimp in an even layer in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, and pour 1/3 cup lemon juice over shrimp. Place in refrigerator; let marinate until shrimp just start to turn opaque, 35 to 40 minutes, flipping shrimp after about 20 minutes.

  5. Remove chilled coconut milk mixture from refrigerator; stir in crushed chiltepin chiles, remaining 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, and remaining 1/3 cup lemon juice.

  6. Remove shrimp mixture from refrigerator. Remove shrimp from baking dish; arrange evenly in 4 shallow bowls. Pour chilled coconut mixture evenly over shrimp in bowls. Sprinkle shrimp evenly with shaved coconut chips. Thinly slice remaining celery stalk on a sharp diagonal, and arrange evenly over shrimp. Top evenly with avocado, cilantro, onion, cucumber, and pineapple. Sprinkle evenly with flaky sea salt, and serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

Make Ahead

Pineapple and coconut water mixture can be prepared up to 12 hours in advance and stored in separate airtight containers in refrigerator.

Suggested Pairing

Citrusy French white: Chéreau Carré Château l'Oiselinière de la Ramée Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine

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