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‘Ota ika – Raw Fish Salad

You can find marinated raw fish dishes accross the Pacific and Aotearoa, known as Ika Mata in the Cook Islands, Oka i’a or Oka in Samoa, Poisson La Cru a la Tahitienne in Tahiti, Kokoda in Fiji and Poke in Hawaii. Whatever you call it, it's delicious. The coconut milk is a signature of Pacific raw fish dishes, but try to take it easy for a healthier option. This recipe is a Tongan raw fish dish from the Heart Foundation


1 kg fresh fish fillets, mullet or gurnard

5 lemons, juice only

3 spring onions, chopped finely

1 small cucumber, seeds removed, chopped into bite-size pieces

2 tomatoes, chopped

½ green or yellow pepper, chopped

1½ cups lite coconut cream

1 cup water

Pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse the fish and cut into cubes
  2. Place in a shallow dish and cover with the lemon juice
  3. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour in the fridge
  4. Drain off the lemon juice
  5. Add the spring onions, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, lite coconut cream and water
  6. Season with pepper and mix well
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill before serving

Source: Heart Foundation