Poisson cru au lait de coco

The Polynesian national dish, as prepared on a Tahitian beach.

Note: when not on a beach in Tahiti it is much more practical to just buy coconut milk in a can or package. We found it was thicker than the fresh-off-the-tree variety so you could dilute it a bit with water.

Raw white tuna
Lime juice
Fresh coconut

Dice the fish into cubes of about 1/4 of an inch. Marinate for 10 minutes in sea water (“Too many people have done pipi in this water,” said our guide. “So I am just sprinkling on salt instead.”) and lime juice. Add chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and onions (some people use grated raw carrot too). Put grated coconut flesh into a clean teatowel and squeeze over the fish and vegetables. Mix and serve. Optional: pour surplus coconut milk over the head of an unsuspecting tourist, telling her it’s good for the hair, and throw the used grated coconut to any passing hens. This dish is surprisingly delicious, but probably owes a lot of its flavour to freshly caught Pacific tuna, and being eaten on a white, palm-fringed beach looking out over an impossibly blue lagoon.

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