Tahitian Poisson Cru (E’ia Ota)

Tahitian Poisson Cru (E’ia Ota)

Tahitian Poisson Cru (E’ia Ota) is a specialty of the South Pacific islands around Tahiti. It’s it’s on nearly every menu and its flavor defines Polynesia – sweet and exotic.

Tahitian Poisson Cru (E’ia Ota) 

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Tahitian Poisson Cru (E’ia Ota)


  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 cup cold water
  • 4 cup ice cubes
  • 1 pound raw fish (cut into 3/4‑inch chunks, mahi mahi and local tuna are the most Tahitian choices)
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 medium tomatoes (seeded and chopped, optional)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and shredded)
  • 1 cucumber (peeled, seeded, and cut into shards or dice)
  • ½ cup sliced or diced sweet onion (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper (quartered lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise, optional)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • sliced green onion (as garnish, optional)
  • lime wedges (to taste)


Brine the fish: Combine kosher salt and water in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the salt. Add ice cubes and soak the fish in the brine for about 10 minutes. Locals swear this makes the fish more tender. Pick out the ice cubes, drain well and set the fish aside in a large bowl.

Toss the fish chunks with the fresh lime juice allow it to marinate for about five minutes then pour off and discard about ½‑cup of the lime juice, or to taste. Add any combination of the above vegetables, toss to combine. Carrots and cucumbers are required, the others are optional. Pour the coconut milk over the mixture and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with green onion (if using) and lime wedges.