While staying at Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji, I was introduced to Kokoda – a traditional Fijian dish made from freshly caught local fish. Just like the Central and South American dish Ceviche, Kokoda is raw fish that’s ‘cooked’ by marinating the fish in lemon and lime juice.
The two dishes share a lot of similarities, but the islands of Fiji have a tropical ingredient advantage – COCONUTS! We cracked open a fresh coconut and made the coconut milk for this recipe from scratch. It was my first time making coconut milk and it was so much fun! You grate the coconut flesh into a bowl, pop on a pair of gloves and squeeze the milk out of it.
Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina is located on the beautiful island of Malolo Lailai – it’s a picturesque island with palm fringed beaches, hiking trails and its own organic farm that uses sustainable farming techniques with no herbicides or pesticides! We visited the farm to pick our ingredients for the recipe and headed back to Chef Alick’s alfresco kitchen to assemble this delicious summer starter.
While Kokoda is served all over the islands, the recipe I ‘cooked’ at Musket Cove was by far the best one I tasted, and I tasted a lot just to be sure. So if you’re looking for a fresh and summery dish to make, try this delicious Kokoda recipe below.
A big thanks to the staff at Musket Cove for teaching me this recipe, especially Chef Alick and Kini Saukuru. Enjoy!
1kg very fresh walu (a local reef fish), mahi-mahi or snapper fillet, skinned
Juice of 10 limes and 3 lemons
2 medium-sized onions, finely diced
3 red chillies, minced
2 cups finely chopped tomato
Several spring onions, finely sliced
A few stems of coriander leaves (substitute: parsley)
4 cups coconut milk
½ tablespoon sea salt
Lime wedges and coconut shell to serve
And the MOST IMPORTANT ingredient for Kokoda is LOVE! The guys at Musket Cove Resort were the cutest and kept emphasising throughout my cooking lesson, that the more love you put into making the dish, the better it will taste 🙂
- Cut the fish into 1 cm dice, discarding any bloody tissue.
- In a bowl, mix the fish and the citrus juices and chill to marinate for two to three hours, or until the fish is opaque.
- Drain the fish and add the onion, chilli, tomato, spring onion, coriander, coconut milk and salt.
- Mix well, chill well and serve in coconut shells with lime wedges.
Pair your Kokoda with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay for maximum deliciousness.
How to get there:
The quickest and easiest way to get to Musket Cove Island Resort & Marina on Malolo Lailai is fly into Nadi International Airport. You can then choose from a range of transfer options out to the island like the leisurely 60 minute cruise from Port Denarau (20 mins from Nadi International airport), aboard the Malolo Cat luxury catamaran which operates four return services daily. Private speedboat charters, seaplane or helicopter transfers are also available. Details here.
Where to stay:
Photography by Michaela Skovranova.