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Kokoda Coconut Fish Recipe (Papua New Guinea & Fiji)

Kokoda Coconut Fish Recipe (Papua New Guinea & Fiji)

Kokoda is a dish prepared from raw fish, native to Papua New Guinea and the archipelago of Fiji. Made from raw fish marinated with the flavors of citrus and coconut, this variant of the Peruvian ceviche is served in coconut or giant clam shells.

Additionally spiced with a combination of ingredients like chilies, sliced onions and coriander leaves, it is an Oceanic delicacy similar to many others eaten throughout the Pacific islands.

History & Cultural Significance

The origin of this kokoda recipe could be dated back to almost 33,000 years ago when the island of Papua New Guinea became inhabited.

As this simple recipe requires only a knife for its preparation, inhabitants of the pacific islands indulged in this fresh fish delight as soon as they identified the abundance of fish and coconuts on the island.

Usually prepared with fish varieties of Mahi-Mahi and snapper which are abundantly available along the coastlines, the recipe constitutes just mixing the raw ingredients together in a bowl.

Kokoda can be served as a starter as it freshens up and cleanses the palate for the main course. However, the pseudo-cooked fish in lime water acquires a chewy texture and garnished with fresh chopped vegetables makes for a very satisfying and filling meal.


Kokoda Coconut Fish Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This Fijian raw fish delight can be made in different ways with slight variations in the ingredients based on your preferences. We bring to you the traditional recipe straight from the archipelago of Fiji.


  • Mahi-mahi or snapper fillet skinned - ½ kg
  • Lime juice - 1 cup
  • Freshly squeezed coconut milk - 1 cup
  • Red onion - 1 large
  • Tomatoes deseeded - 3 medium
  • Coriander - ½ cup
  • Red chilli - 1
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Spring onions - 2
  • Green bell pepper - 1
  • Oak lettuce leaves (for serving) - 4


  1. Cut the fish into small cubes and then pour the lime juice over it to submerge the fish completely.  
  2. Leave to marinate in the fridge for approximately 2-8 hours or overnight.
  3. In the meanwhile finely chop the onions, tomatoes, chilies, coriander and green bell pepper.
  4. When the fish fillets are opaque, drain them and reserve the liquid.
  5. Add coconut milk to the opaque fish fillets to balance out the liquid.
  6. Then toss in the rest of the chopped ingredients, adding some reserved lime juice.
  7. Give the mixture a thorough stir to ensure the proper flavoring of the fish with the ingredients.
  8. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and serve chilled.
  9. To serve, line the serving platter or halved coconut shells with lettuce leaves and spoon the Kokoda in. Add in a few wedges of lime for extra zing.

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