This was entirely inspired by a meal I had in the International Market food court in Waikiki. Really! I ate at this place three times, I just couldn't resist. It may not sound like a very interesting choice, with so many restaurants to choose from. But it worked. If Scarlet decided it was time to run around and climb up and down the nearest stairs - we could do take away, if not we could sit amongst others eating from any number of places serving anything from fish, to Korean BBQ, to coconut smoothies, burgers, Mexican, Thai or Filipino.
The first time I ordered the platter with six shrimp, rice, salad, pineapple wedge and a wonderful pineapple salsa! The second time I ordered the ahi tuna platter - which was similar but there was no pineapple salsa. The third time I ordered the ahi tuna sandwich. I highly recommend eating any of these if you are in the area. So, here is my recreation of or inspiration from the salsa I enjoyed here.
You can use less or more of the other ingredients according to what you prefer. Perhaps you want the red pepper to be more dominant. Or, perhaps you want less or more onion.
I served it made just with the trio of pineapple, red onion and red bell pepper the first time. A spoonful over pan-cooked chicken breasts, alongside steamed broccoli and brown rice was just right. The second time I added a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro. I served it on steamed sockeye salmon, with broccoli and small potatoes.
The next day I had it like a salad with my lunch:
- 1/2 pineapple, cored, peeled, then finely chopped into cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red onion, peeled and finely diced
- 1/2 hot chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) cilantro or mint, finely chopped (optional)
- the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1 tsp (5 ml) sugar or honey (optional)
Cutting up the pineapple:
Slice the top off of the pineapple, then cut right through the pineapple, so you are left with the top half.
Slice the sides (peel) off of the pineapple. I find it easiest to hold the pineapple upright, and slice downward. After you have worked your way around check for any remaining bits of skin or peel - cut those out.
You can now continue cutting the pineapple into small pieces, as small as you like. You may want to cut out the very centre if it's too fibrous or tough, but I like to try and use as much of it as I can and I like the slightly harder, more fibrous texture. It's up to you!
Slicing the bell pepper:
Slice off the stem of the bell pepper, below the 'shoulder' so you get the root of the stem and expose the ribs inside the pepper. Slice around the stem of the top you have just removed and chop this part into small chunks. Discard the stem.
Set the pepper upright. You may be able to pull out the top part of the core at this point. Either way, slice down the side vertically to open the pepper up. Lay it on it's side with the outside of the skin down, and work your knife around to remove most of the ribs and seeds, while flattening out the pepper. This won't necessarily work for all peppers, some will just break at this point, but it doesn't matter as you are chopping it up anyway!
Slice along the ribs lengthwise as it makes it easier to slice off the remaining bits of ribs. Slice off any remaining part of the ribs.
Slice the now 'clean' pepper into strips lengthwise, then rotate and slice into small pieces.
Peel and chop about 1/4 of a red onion, depending on the size - you want to end up with about two tablespoons of the onion when chopped.
If using a hot chili pepper, slice in half crossways.
Slice off the very top or bottom, depending on which you decide to use.
Slice along the middle of this piece lengthwise.
Scrape out the seeds and ribs with your knife and discard.
Finely chop the chili pepper.
Add to the pineapple, red bell pepper and red onion.
Finely chop the cilantro or mint and add to the mixture.
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime over top.
Add the sugar, if using.
Stir to thoroughly combine. Serve or cover and place in the refrigerator. Will keep several days.