Fijian Coconut Cured Fish Salad - Let us transport you to the coconut lined beaches of the pacific islands. This creamy, sweet and spicy sauce dances around your taste buds. Paired with perfectly cured fish, this dish will leave you wanting another bite.
A simple yet delicious appetizer, entrée, salad or light lunch, let us show you how to recreate this dish.
This recipe is inspired by kokoda, a delicious and refreshing dish we loved while living in Fiji. Our version has a Thai influence with the addition of fish sauce, vinegar and sugar to balance out the flavours. This light but flavoursome dish is sure to become a favourite.
Discover more delicious Fijian flavour with our ever popular Fijian chicken curry!
- Fresh fish - always use fresh fish for curing. See our notes below about what types of fish work best.
For the dressing:
- Caster sugar
- White vinegar
- Fish sauce - a strong umami flavour that balances out this dressing beautifully. Fish sauce can be found in most supermarkets or head to your nearest Asian store.
- Red chilli - to add some spice, check the heat in your chilli and adjust quantity to your preference.
- Coconut cream - for a luxurious texture and flavour choose a good quality coconut cream.
For the salad:
- Cherry tomatoes - or any variety of sweet tomatoes that are available to you.
- Red onion
- Young coconut flesh - You can buy young coconuts already prepared at the supermarket for drinking and scrape the flesh from inside.
- Fresh coriander - we know this is a 'love/ hate' ingredient so omit it if your in team hate it.
- Red chilli - again check to heat by tasting the very tip of the chilli and adjust amount to your liking.
What fish works best for curing?
Its important to make sure the fish you use is really fresh, as the curing process does not entirely cook the fish. The best fish for the curing process is fish that is medium in texture like trevally, snapper, salmon, yellow fin tuna or tarakihi.
We used trevally for this recipe but as always we recommend getting to know your local fish monger or supplier. Ask them what's sustainable and available in your local area and what they would recommend for curing.
How to cure fish
There are a couple of ways to cure fish.
But the method we have used for this recipe, simply marinates the fish in a little acid.
For this recipe we have used a little white vinegar in the dressing. The acid from the vinegar slowly cooks the protein in the fish. And the longer you leave the fish in the marinade the more it will cook.
The process is very simple, but you must use fresh fish. Simply add the thinly sliced fish to the dressing, giving it a good mix to coat the fish. Place covered in the fridge for a maximum of 20 minutes. This will very lightly cook the fish, turning it slightly opaque while still having a nice firm texture.
A few simple steps to create this beautiful dish:
- Create the dressing - simply mix all the dressing ingredients until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cure the fish - mix well with dressing and place in fridge for maximum of 20 minutes.
- Prepare the salad.
- Assemble - taking care to beautiful plate the ingredients and enjoy.
Fijian coconut cured fish salad is a delicious fresh dish, that will have you thinking of the beautiful Pacific, with a little nod to Thailand.
Perfect for a summer lunch or as an appetizer, for a little extra serve with tortillas.
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Our goal is to share simple, tasty dishes created by Chef Shane and partner, Sara. Using Shane's understanding of flavours and knowledge of food, to teach and inspire you to create delicious food everyday and gain a new level of confidence in the kitchen. Sara understands what it's like preparing weekly dinners for a busy family of five and likes to create dishes that are easy, full of flavour and that the whole family will enjoy.
Fijian Coconut Cured Fish Salad
- 400 g Fresh Trevally fillets (0.88 pounds) thinly sliced (See note 1)
Coconut Cream Dressing
- 30 ml Water (1 fl oz)
- 30 g Caster sugar (1oz)
- 30 ml White vinegar (1 fl oz)
- 30 ml Fish sauce (1 fl oz)
- 1 Red chilli deseeded, minced
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- 70 ml Coconut cream (2.36 fl oz)
- 100 g Cherry tomatoes (3.5g) cut in half
- ¼ Red onion sliced
- 1 Young coconut flesh sliced (See note 2)
- ½ Cucumber cut into thin rounds
- Small bunch fresh coriander picked
- 1 Red chilli deseeded, sliced thinly
To prepare the dressing:
- Mix together the water, sugar, white vinegar and fish sauce in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved. Add the minced chilli, garlic and coconut cream.
Prepare the fish:
- Place the sliced fish into a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix well. While you prepare the salad ingredients, cover and place in the fridge, for a maximum of 20 minutes.
- Prep all the salad ingredients.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, young coconut flesh and cucumber to the fish. Give it a gentle mix.
- Arrange into your serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and sliced red chilli.