Ika Mata - Raw Fish Salad from Rarotonga

Did you know that eating raw fish could stave off dementia in later life? Research show this could be the case and is supported due to evidence which shows a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids improves alertness and reactions times and reduces mental fatigue. Perhaps this is why Rarotongan's have such a whitty sense of humour? 

Know your nutrients

White fish while not as high in omega 3 as oily fish, it still contains some. It is low in fat, making it one of the healthier, low-fat alternatives to red or processed meat. So load up on your Sashimi friends, or for something a little different, try this dish with your favourite white fish!


Ika Mata

  • 800 g firm fleshed white fish (snapper, cod)
  • 5–6 lemons, to make 120 ml lemon juice plus extra to cover
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 200 ml coconut milk (good quality tinned coconut cream or coconut cream mixed with tinned coconut milk)
  • salt and pepper
  • ½iceberg lettuce
  • handful of fresh coriander, to serve (optional)
  • fresh chillies (optional)

Chop fish into bite-sized pieces (1 cm thick) and cover with fresh lemon juice. Cover with the lemon halves and refrigerate overnight in a non-reactive bowl (Use glass or porcelain - not metal as it can react). Stir at least once.

Remove and drain from lemon juice and mix with all other ingredients in a bowl.

Stir in some fresh lemon juice to coat. Check seasoning. Serve slightly chilled over lettuce leaf sprinkled with fresh chillies and coriander leaves.

If you happen to have a coconut handy - serving up in one of these is a treat! The one we had came with Breadfruit Chips! Yum Yum Yum!