I am not well acquainted with the foods of the Pacific Islands (Polynesia), but since I have a book on that subject and an ongrowing interest in such dreamlike places, I decided to try a traditional dish from Tahiti...
This "Tahitian Poisson Cru" (Tahitian raw fish) or "E'ia Ota" is a national dish in that region of the world.
As it is the case with other dishes hailing from this corner of the world, "Tahitian Poisson Cru" is fresh, quite simple, yet flavorful, delicate and perfectly harmonious. This dish is particularly delicious and will make your tastebuds shiver with ecstatic pleasure!!! "Tahitian Poisson Cru" is in many ways similar to the South American "Cerviche" or the Hawaiian "Salmon Poke", but it differentiate itself by integrating coconut milk as a final touch (it soften it's flavor).
I really recommend you to make this exotic dish even if you are skeptical when it comes to eating raw fish as this "Tahitian Poisson Cru" is incredible!!!
Recipe adapted from "Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook", Doubleday 1968 (see link here and there).
3 Limes, juiced
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
2 Red shallots, very thinly sliced
1/2 Tsp Castor sugar
Tabasco (red), to taste
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
150ml Thick coconut milk
Spring onions, chopped
Fresh coriander, chopped
1. Slice the salmon very thinly (6mm/1.5 inch in thickness) into bite-sized pieces.
2. Place in a bowl and add the lime juice, crushed garlic, sliced shallots, sugar, tabasco, salt and pepper.
3. Place in the refrigerator and let the fish marinade for about 4-6 hours.
4. Take out of the refrigerator and add the coconut milk.
5. Rectify the seasoning, if needed.
6. Arrange in a bowl and sprinkle over the chopped spring onions and the coriander.
7. Serve chilled.
For this recipe, you can use any kind of firm-fleshed fish such as tuna, cod, sole, swordfish, mahi-mahi, mullet, etc...
If you wish, you can add a cubed tomato to the poke.
Don't serve this dish too cold otherwise, the coconut milk will tend to solidify.
Eat this "Tahitian Poisson Cru" alone, spooned into avocado halfs or served over cold glass noodles (bean thread noodles). Use your imagination!
(Hawaii -Pic by Robert Teague www.trekearth.com)
(Hula Dancing -Pic by www.improve.org/hawaii)