Tahitian Poisson Cru [recipe]

poisson cru 5

Yup, it’s been 2 months since we came back from our vacation in the islands of Tahiti aka paradise, and I’m still going through poisson cru withdrawal. Poisson cru is Tahiti’s version of ceviche or poke, made with raw fish and crunchy vegetables, marinated in coconut milk and lime juice. We ate possion cru almost everyday while we were in French Polynesia, sometimes every meal. It’s so refreshing, perfect for the hot and humid weather in paradise. I’ve been trying to recreate this delightful dish at home, but it’s been hard to try to find quality canned coconut milk…none can compare to the taste of freshly made coconut milk on the islands.

The post on our trip to Tahiti will be up in a couple of hours!

poisson cru 6

Poisson Cru

serves 4


  • 1.5 lb sashimi grade fresh tuna
  • 4-5 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeded and diced into cubes or half moons.
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1 bell pepper, either julienne or diced small
  • 4 spring onion or scallion, finely chopped (use both green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • salt and pepper
  • optional: 2 Tbsp shredded coconut


  1. Gently rinse fish and dry. Dice into cubes and place in a large non-reactive bowl.
  2. Squeeze lime juice over fish, toss to mix well. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  3. If there is a lot of liquid/lime juice with the fish, drain out half of the juice. Add green pepper, scallion, carrots, tomato, cucumber to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Five minutes before serving, add in the coconut milk. Garnish with shredded coconut and serve with hot rice.

poisson cru 1

be sure to use sashimi grade fish!
poisson cru 2
poisson cru 3

I had some heirloom grape tomatoes on hand so I used those instead. Yes I still had to seed those.
poisson cru 4
poisson cru 7

The shredded coconut added a nice nutty flavor to the poisson cru. If you are lucky to have some fresh coconut on hand, use a mandolin to shave it really thin, it will add some nice crunch and flavor to the salad as well.


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