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, leaving you wanting another bite. Simple yet delicious, 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. Serve as an entrée, salad or simply enjoy for lunch, this dish is sure to become a favourite.
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.
As always we recommend getting to know your local fish monger or supplier. Ask them whats sustainable and available in your local area and what they would recommend for curing. We used Trevally in our dish, sourced from Moana Seafood suppliers here in New Zealand.
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How to cure fish?
There are a couple of ways to cure fish.
One way is with salt and sugar mixed with herbs and spices like fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fresh herbs like dill and coriander. This method sucks moisture out of the fish and is generally used with curing salmon for a gravlax.
Another way and the way I have used in this recipe is to marinate the fish using a little acid.
In my recipe I have used a little white vinegar in the dressing. The acid from the vinegar slowly cooks the protein in the fish, 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. Then add the thinly sliced fish to the dressing, giving it a good mix to coat the fish and leave for 20 minutes. This will very light cook the fish, turning it slightly opaque and a nice firm texture for your salad.
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. Enjoy and we would love to hear your thoughts on this one!
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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 thinly sliced
Coconut Cream Dressing
- 30 ml Water
- 30 g Caster sugar
- 30 ml White vinegar
- 30 ml Fish sauce
- 1 Red chilli deseeded, minced
- 1 clove Garlic minced
- 70 ml Coconut cream
- 100 g Cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ Red onion sliced
- 1 Young coconut flesh scraped from a drinking coconut
- 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.
- Place the sliced trevally to a large bowl. Add the dressing and give it a mix.
- Add the cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, young coconut flesh and cucumber to the bowl. Give it a gentle mix.
- Arrange into your serving bowl and garnish with the coriander leaves and sliced red chilli.
- Serve with tortilla crisps.