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Pacific Islands Raw Fish Salad

There may be minor variations but all refer to the popular salad of marinated fish.

Serves 4-6.


750g/1 1/2 lb fillets of delicate white fish
juice of 4 limes or lemons
4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 firm ripe tomatoes, diced
2 small green seedless cucumbers
1 small red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
1 small green capsicum (bell pepper), diced
2 sliced fresh chillies (optional)
washed and chilled salad greens

400 ml/14 oz can coconut cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
or 2.5 cm/1 in slice fresh turmeric


Remove all skin and any remaining bones from fish fillets. Cut into thin slices and put into a glass or pottery bowl. Pour lime or lemon juice over, add sliced shallots and salt and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover and leave to marinate for 6 hours in the refrigerator, stirring 2 or 3 times with a non-metallic spoon.

Shortly before serving drain away the lemon juice. Combine dressing ingredients. If using fresh turmeric, pound to a paste and mix with some of the coconut cream. Pour over fish and diced vegetables and mix gently. Arrange leaves on serving plate and pile fish salad in the centre. Serve chilled.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)

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