A Samoan Delicacy That You Can Make

In a previous post we talked about provisioning a yacht in some of the South Pacific countries. Stocking up there can be a challenge, but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer.

photo courtesy of Cameron Gaut

photo courtesy of Cameron Gaut

One of the delicacies of the South Pacific that is dead easy to make uses only fresh fish, lime juice, and coconut cream—all ingredients that are easily found in most of these countries. And this delicious meal can even be made in the home countries of most yachties.

1143566_35213227 fish bazaar

photo courtesy of ilker

Similar to Spanish ceviche, this recipe can be made with any firm-fleshed, salt water fish like mahi mahi or ahi tuna. Red snapper or sea bass will work as well. The important thing is to get if fresh.

photo courtesy David Lat

photo courtesy of David Lat

The unique ingredient in the Polynesian recipe that makes this dish so delicious is the coconut cream. This can be found in many grocery stores, but if you’re in the South Seas you can make it yourself without too much trouble.

All you need is a coconut and a coconut scraper. It’s a great way to embrace the local cuisine, and it’s fun. Take a look at this video, How to Make Coconut Cream, to see how it’s done.

To make your own coconut cream,you can substitute a thin, clean tea towel for the plant fiber to wring out the coconut cream.

This dish is simple and delicious as it is, but you can always add ingredients that you have on hand, like tomatoes or cilantro, to suit your taste.

Fresh Fish in Lime Juice and Coconut Cream

photo courtesy of Claudio Salvalaio

photo courtesy of Claudio Salvalaio


2 lb. of fresh fish, cut into half-inch cubes

Juice of 2 large limes

1 cup of coconut cream

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 tomato, finely diced (optional)

Grinding of fresh pepper

Cilantro (optional)


  1. Place the cubed fish in a bowl.
  2. Pour lime juice over the fish and stir together thoroughly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Let the fish sit for 30 minutes, or until fish turns white, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the coconut cream and diced onion and tomato (optional).
  6. Cover and let it sit again for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve in a bowl with a grinding of fresh pepper and optional cilantro garnish.
  8. Enjoy!

Important! Be sure to buy fresh fish from a trustworthy fishmonger. Look for “sushi-grade” fish. The proper sanitary handling is important since acid marinades will not kill bacteria, parasites, viruses, or other pathogens like cooking can.


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