Poisson Cru à la Chinoise

11:30 am on 23 May 2011


From Me'a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific by Robert Oliver with Tracy Berno and Shiri Ram.
Published by Random House.

Fine-dining visitors to Tahiti may be surprised to find what would be sold in New York or Paris as an up-market fusion tuna tartare appetiser is considered quite everyday in Tahiti. Poission cru à la Chinoise is a popular takeaway dish in Papeete’s marché municipal, and is a staple menu item on roulotte menus — hardly highbrow! As with all raw fish preparations, this relies on the best possible fresh fish, and Tahiti has this in abundance.

(Serves 4, generously)


  • 500 g sashimi-quality tuna loin, trimmed and cut into 3 cm dice
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber
  • ½ cup very finely minced spring onion
  • ¼ cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • hot chillies, chopped (optional)


Mix the tuna, cucumber and spring onion well, and refrigerate in the serving bowl.

Combine the lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Dress the fish with this mixture about 15 minutes before serving.

Return to the refrigerator and serve the dish very cold.

Add hot chillies if you like.

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

Pinot Gris
Lake Hayes 2010

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