"poisson cru" (tahitian-style tuna and salmon with coconut milk)

On our honeymoon to French Polynesia, I fell in love with "poisson cru" (which translates to "raw fish" in French). I think I ate this dish twice a day for the full two weeks we were on the islands. It is a Tahitian salad of sorts, comprised of raw fish (typically tuna or salmon) marinated in coconut milk and lime juice. The fish becomes tender and creamy, and the acid from the lime juice lightly "cooks" the fish. I would recommend serving this dish with a bright white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc. 

  • Very fresh, sushi-grade raw Ahi tuna (1/2 pound)

  • Very fresh, sushi-grade raw salmon (1/2 pound)

  • Coconut milk (1 can, 13.5 ounces)

  • Lime zest (from 2 small limes)

  • Lime juice (approximately 2 tablespoons, from 2 small limes)

  • Toasted sesame oil (2 tablespoons)

  • Red bell pepper (1 large pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)

  • Tomato (1 large tomato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)

  • Cucumber (1 whole cucumber, chopped)

  • Black sesame seeds (2 teaspoons)

  • Sea salt (1 and 1/2 teaspoons)

  • Green onions, also called scallions (1 bunch, sliced lengthwise in very thin strips)

  • Sriracha hot sauce (1 teaspoon)

  1. Cut the tuna and salmon fillets into 1/2-inch cubes of raw fish and place in a large mixing bowl.

  2. Add the coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, and toasted sesame oil. Use a spatula to gently fold the fish into the milk mixture. 

  3. Add the chopped bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, sesame seeds, and sea salt to the bowl and gently combine with the fish. Set in the refrigerator for approximately one hour.

  4. When ready to serve, plate the sliced green onions on a platter and top with the marinated fish and vegetables. Garnish with extra green onions, sesame seeds, and 1 teaspoon of Sriracha sauce.