Author Topic: Cooks Island Ika Mata - Island-Style Marinated Fish in Coconut Cream  (Read 599 times)

Olga Drozd

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Cooks Island -  Ika Mata - Marinated Fish in Coconut Cream

This dish appears in the cuisine of all the Pacific Islands, including the Philippines.  It is known as Poisson Cru in Tahiti, Kokoda in Fiji and Ika Mata in the Cook Islands.  This version is a combination of the best Island recipes.

500 grams firm fresh fish fillets - cubed
Lemon juice or lime juice

1 cup thick coconut cream
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped finely
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 small ripe tomato, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill and basil
1 teaspoon or less chopped fresh chillies
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the fish into small 2 cm. (about 1 inch) cubes.  Put in a bowl and sprinkle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.  Cover with juice from 3 large lemons or 6 small limes.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours--do not leave too long.  The fish should be slightly raw in the centre.

Drain off lemon juice and press fish to remove excess liquid.  Combine drained fish with remaining ingredients.  Chill until ready to serve.

This dish looks attractive served in a halved coconut shell with flesh intact, or in cocktail glasses lined with lettuce.  Garnish with sprigs of herbs and lemon twists.