Combine sugar, salt, and coconut milk in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Cover and continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes to wash down sugar crystals from sides of pan. Uncover and cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches soft ball stage (234°). Stir in coconut; return mixture to soft ball stage.
Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture is creamy and begins to thicken. Working rapidly, drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper; let cool.