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E'ia Ota (Tahitian Poisson Cru)

This recipes was shared by a French-Tahitian WWOOFer a part of Kelsey's fieldwork in Central Otago. The recipe was selected because of the personal significance it held for the WWOOFer. As a dual citizen of France and French Polynesia (Tahiti), she was often served E’ia Ota by her extended Tahitian family when she went home. She also selected it because of the parallel's between the recipe's ingredients and Māori Kai Moana (seafood dishes) and because of positive memories of sharing it with a former WWOOF Host.


1.5 lbs ahi tuna (yellow fin, sushi grade)
Juice from two fresh limes (approx. 2 cups)
Salted water (sea water is best)
1 large Roma tomato (de-seeded and diced)
3 – 4 scallions (chopped)
1 small cucumber (peeled, seeded, and julienned)
¼ - ½ cup fresh coconut milk
Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Cut Tuna fillets into small cubes (approx. 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm) and marinate in salted water for 15 – 20 minutes.

  2. While fish is marinating, squeeze limes into a clean bowl and add a pinch of sugar to balance sweet and sour flavours.

  3. Coarse chopped seeded tomatoes, and julienne peeled and seeded cucumber. Slice scallions and fine dice, reserve some for garnish.

  4. Remove fish from salted water and  to lime juice mixing in vegetables. Let marinate another 10 – 20 minutes.

  5. Mix in just enough coconut milk to thoroughly coat all ingredients in the bowl.

  6. Serve in small glass appetizer cups, and garnish with reserved scallions.


  • Can be turned into a meal, by serving on top of warm white rice, and garnishing with scallions.

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