Did you read our interesting story about Laurence, who moved her family to tropical paradise? She was kind enough to share her recipe for a traditional French Polynesian dish called poisson cru (“raw fish” in French). It’s a French Polynesian take on ceviche. It’s less acidic though, as the lime juice is only used to “cook” the fish then is removed from the dish. It’s gentler, sweeter and creamier than ceviche.
This recipe is one of those dishes where every family and restaurant has their own slight variation! We had many different versions of poisson cru, so feel free to experiment a little bit and make it your own. Some added shredded carrot, thinly sliced scallions, or served as a salad on a bed of lettuce (omitting the rice). I stayed true to Laurence’s recipe, with a few exceptions: I added a touch of salt and a healthy squeeze of lime before serving to make the flavors sing (I love acidic food!). I also decided to use cherry tomatoes because the big tomatoes in my grocery store looked awfully anemic. We don’t have hothouse cucumbers in Japan, either, so I used a small one that didn’t need seeding.
If you want to see more from our trip, check out my French Polynesia travel guide and the island-specific travel guide for Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.
- 400 g sushi-grade, raw tuna
- 6 citrons (substitute 2 Persian limes)
- 1 hothouse or English cucumber
- 2 tomatoes
- about 1 cup cold coconut milk
- 350 g cooked basmati rice
- Cut the tuna into small cubes. Set aside in a small bowl. Juice 6 limes and add to the bowl with the tuna. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Peel and seed the cucumber. Peel the tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes and cucumbers into equal, small cubes.
- Once the tuna has “cooked” in the lime juice, rinse in cold water and mix with the coconut milk.
- Serve very cold, with rice on the side.
- You can serve this as an entrée with the rice, a light lunch with salad, or on its own as an appetizer in small glasses.
- Alyssa here: when I make this dish, I stay true to Laurence’s recipe, with a few exceptions: I added a touch of salt and a healthy squeeze of lime before serving to make the flavors sing (I love acidic food!).