My new favourite dish is the utterly divine kokoda (pronounced kokonda) found in all good restaurants in Fiji. It’s the same as Tahiti’s poisson cru, but the recipe I got from the chef at Malamala Beach Club is a complicated one (he scorches the coconut flesh before making the milk), but if you have the patience, it will be the best raw fish salad you’ve tasted in your life!
Read on for that recipe, plus an easy peasy one from Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort…
So here is the kokoda recipe in scorched coconut milk from chef Lance Seeto at Malamala Beach Club:
- 200gm sea bass, Spanish mackerel or other dense white flesh, cut into 1″ cubes
- 8 limes or lemons, juiced
- 1-2 fresh chilli
- 1 small white onion, diced small
- 1 small firm tomato, deseeded, diced small
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped fine plus keep leaves for garnish
- 1 cup scorched coconut milk * (use tinned as alternative)
Scorched Coconut Milk* (this is the palaver section! – Megan)
- 2 brown dry coconuts
- 1 coconut scraper (available at SE Asian shops)
- 1 medium-sized porous stone
- gas or fire heat source
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- pinch sea salt
In a bowl, pour half the citrus juice over the cubed fish to cure. Leave covered in the refrigerator for a min. 2 hours, or overnight until the flesh turns opaque. Strain the cured fish, dispose of the juice, and rinse in fresh water. Set aside.
To make scorched coconut milk:
- Heat the stone over an open flame until white hot
- Scrape the dry coconut using a special scraper into a stainless steel bowl. Keep shells.
- Carefully pick up the hot stone with tongs and place on the dessicated coconut
- Using the tongs and hands, carefully scorch the coconut over the stone – keep moving the stone to avoid burning the coconut too black
- Remove once all coconut is toasted
- Add the warm water and squeeze the coconut to release its ‘milk’
- Strain the coconut milk into another bowl
Combine the coconut milk with the cured fish, lemon juice, coriander, onion and tomato. Adjust seasoning with sea salt. Fill each empty coconut shell, garnish with lime wedge, chilli and coriander leaves
Copyright (2017) Malamala Beach Club / Chef Lance Seeto
Meanwhile at Outrigger Fiji Resort on the Coral Coast they have a fine dining restaurant called Ivi (pronounced Ee-Vee) and they make your kokoda at your table. You can choose how much you want of everything, like the finely chopped red onion, chilli, cucumber and the fish is already pre-marinated over night in lime juice, plus a spoonful more is added table side.
I asked if I could pop into the kitchen and video how Ivi makes their kokoda, so here it is…
At your table they will wheel a trolly with all the kokoda ingredients, ready to go…