Photo by Tam West
On a recent visit to Tahiti, I ate plenty of the raw fish with coconut milk that is served everywhere — skilfully made and elegantly spilling out of a half coconut poolside at the Moorea Pearl, mixed with red cabbage as part of the ahima’a feast at the Tiki Village, and prepared on the beach for a picnic lunch on a motu (an islet) in the lagoon after swimming with sharks and stingrays (an excursion not to be missed).
It was all prepared the same way — rinsing the fish in salty water (traditionally seawater but for hygienic purposes they add salt to drinking water these days) gives it lots of flavour and only a small amount of coconut milk is added for flavour and to stop the fish from "cooking".
The Tahitians use a lot of locally-caught tuna but conscientious fish consumers in New Zealand should use whatever the catch of the day happens to be.
To read more, see Island of dreams, here.
- Rinse the fish in well-salted water for a few minutes then drain.
- Mix the fish with the lemon juice and place in the fridge for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and chill for 30 minutes before serving.
More Tahiti-inspired recipes