Tropical Dishes to Try

You may not be able to make it to Hawaii this season, but you can bring island life to your dining table. As citrus season begins to wane, tropical fruits are at their peak. So while we wait for summer berries, we can enjoy a taste of the tropics on our dinner plates:

Featured Recipes

Asian Tuna KebabsASIAN TUNA KEBABS permalink icon

3 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tbsp. peanut oil
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
1 serrano chile, seeded, minced
- coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lbs. ahi tuna, cut into 1 1/4" cubes
- nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" squares
1 large sweet onion (such as Maui or Vidalia), cut into 1" squares
8 (10") metal skewers

Whisk first eight ingredients in medium bowl; season with pepper. Transfer 3 tbsp. marinade to a small bowl; reserve. Add tuna to remaining marinade in medium bowl; toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 min. Alternate tuna, peppers and onions on skewers. Spray skewers lightly with vegetable oil spray. Grill directly over a grill preheated to medium-high, turning frequently (about 4 min. for medium-rare). Transfer skewers to a serving platter; drizzle with reserved marinade and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

A note about gluten: To make this recipe gluten free, use a gluten-free tamari in place of the soy sauce

Nutrition Information per Serving:

Total Calories: 254
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Protein: 41 g
Sodium: 258 mg

Low in total fat, but a good source of omega-3 fats, a serving provides nearly a day's worth of vitamin C and is rich in heart-helping vitamins A, D, B12 and potassium.

TROPICAL BANANA BREAD permalink icon

2 cups flour
Tropical Banana Bread3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp. coconut extract
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. water
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. shredded sweetened coconut, divided
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
- zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or more as needed

Whisk together the first three ingredients in one bowl, the next eight in another. Gently mix together the dry ingredients into the wet using a silicone spatula and a gentle folding technique, just until dry ingredients are moistened (lumps and chunks of banana may remain); gently stir in 1/2 cup coconut and the nuts. Scoop batter into a 9x5" loaf pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray (bottom and long sides lined with parchment); sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake in a preheated 350° oven until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, with just a few moist crumbs attached (60-70 min.). If necessary, tent bread loosely with foil in last 20 min. of baking to prevent coconut from burning. Cool loaf in pan 10 min.; remove loaf to a wire rack. Mix the last three ingredients in a small bowl until smooth, using just enough juice to make a very thick glaze of drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over the loaf 1-2 times while warm; cool cake completely 2-3 hrs. Drizzle with remaining glaze to taste.

Serves 10.

Hawaiian Doughnuts (Malasadas)HAWAIIAN DOUGHNUTS (MALASADAS) permalink icon

- cooking spray
- plastic wrap and parchment paper
- vegetable or canola oil for frying
- paper bag and 1/2 cup sugar for coating the warm doughnuts
1 2/3 cups flour, sifted, plus extra for kneading
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 (7 g.) packet dry active yeast
3 tbsp. sugar
3 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, beaten
7 tbsp. half-and-half, lukewarm (about 105°)

In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, yeast and sugar. Make a well in the center of the bowl; quickly mix in butter, egg and warm milk to make a soft dough. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth (7-9 min.). Let rise in warm place in large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, covered with plastic, until doubled in size (1 hr.). Divide dough into 24 evenly-sized pieces; shape into smooth balls. Let rise in warm place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, covered with plastic wrap, until doubled (45 min.). Heat 1 1/2" of oil in a deep pot to 350°. Carefully lower doughnuts into oil using a slotted spoon, 4-6 at a time; fry until golden and cooked throughout (about 30 sec. per side). Remove with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. While warm, shake doughnuts in bag of sugar. If desired, spoon jam into bottom corner of storage bag; snip corner. Using kitchen shears, cut a deep "X" slit in the top of each doughnut; squeeze a little jam inside. Best eaten immediately.

Makes 24.

More tropical recipes:
Citrus Crab Salad
Teriyaki Burger
Kiwi Cooler
Macadamia Crusted Halibut Over Mango Coulis
Pineapple Berry Smoothie
Pineapple Bruschetta
Rum-Roasted Pineapple
Szechwan Slaw
Toasted Coconut and Caramel Ice Cream Topping
Tropical Pineapple Dessert
Tuna Steaks with Tropical Salsa

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