Recipe: Tahitian Poisson Cru

People & Culture

Poisson Cru with coconut rice…served in a fresh coconut!

Poisson cru or ia ota in Tahitian is one of the most popular dishes in Tahiti.  It is made with fresh raw fish and delicately diced vegetables soaked in coconut milk and marinated with lime juice and is found throughout Tahiti.  It is a must try for all visitors and we guarantee you will want to recreate this delicious dish when you return home.  Luckily, you can easily make this yourself.

Preparation:  15 minutes             Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 1.75 pounds of fresh sushi-grade tuna
  • ½ a cucumber (3.5 ounces)
  • 1 tomato (1.75 ounces)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 large red onion (2.8 ounces)
  • Juice from 8 limes
  • 250 – 300 mls of coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dice the fish into ½-inch cubes, rinse with fresh water, drain and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Pour the juice over the fish, mix well and marinate for at least 20 minutes in refrigerator.
  • Cut onion and green pepper into thin slices, cut tomato into small cubes, remove seeds from cucumber and slice into small pieces.
  • Drain some of the lime juice, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.
  • Five minutes before serving, add the coconut milk.
  • Present on a bed of lettuce, on individual plates or, even better, in a coconut shell! Serve chilled.