Tahitian Poisson Cru (Marinated Raw Fish)

Poisson cru is interpreted as”raw fish” in French. In Tahitian, it’s known as”ia ota (ee-ah oh-tah).” It’s usually regarded as the national dish of Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia. It’s comparable to but definitely different from Latin ceviche or Hawaiian poke. Exactly the identical dish is known as”oka I’a” in Samoa.

Poisson cru is created with the freshest of ingredients as found in the islands of Tahiti. While many commonly made with uncooked fresh tuna it may also be ready with many other fish like crab (“ota pa’a/paka”), eel (“ota pusi”), lobster (“ota ula”), mussels (“ota pipi/maso”), octopus/squid (“ota fe’e/feke”), prawns (“ota ulavai”), and sea urchin (“ota vana/tuitui”). If none of these can be found you can create it with port fish, halibut, salmon or snapper.



  • 1.75 pounds tuna (fresh, sushi-grade)
  • 8 limes (juiced)
  • 1 large onion (2.8 ounces)
  • 1 bell pepper (green)
  • 1 tomato (1.75 ounces)
  • 1/2 cucumber (3.5 ounces)
  • 1 glass of coconut milk
  • Kosher Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

How to Prepare The Dish? 

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Dice the fish into 1/2-inch cubes, rinse with fresh water, drain and place in a large salad bowl. Feel free to add a dash of a little salt in the water, but this is optional and a matter of taste.

  3. Squeeze the limes and pour the juice over the fish. Mix well and chill 15 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

  4. Cut onion and green pepper into thin slices, cut tomato into small cubes, remove seeds from cucumber and cut into thin half moons.

  5. Drain some of the lime juice, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

  6. Five minutes before serving, add the coconut milk. Serve chilled.


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