Fijian Kokoda

Fijian Kokoda

Fijian Kokoda

Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is not only renowned for its stunning turquoise waters and pristine beaches but also for its rich and diverse culinary heritage. Among the many delightful dishes that grace the Fijian table, Kokoda stands out as a true taste of tradition and tropical delight.

Kokoda, also known as Fijian ceviche, holds deep cultural significance in Fiji. It is a dish that reflects the island nation's close relationship with the sea and its bounty. Traditionally, Kokoda was prepared by coastal communities using freshly caught fish, often mahi-mahi or tuna. The dish was originally seasoned with local ingredients like coconut cream, lime or lemon juice, onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers, all of which were readily available in Fiji's lush environment.

I had so much fun making this dish because for one thing, it was fast and easy. For another, the flavor combination is nothing like I've ever had before. If you are looking for a new recipe to wow your friends, this is the one.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

You can always get a hold of me on Instagram.  

Admiring the tableware? Check out our Helix collections.

Cultural Significance and Modern Appeal

Beyond its delicious taste, Kokoda holds cultural significance as a dish that celebrates Fijian identity and traditions. It embodies the Fijian philosophy of using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create meals that nourish both body and spirit. In recent years, Kokoda has gained popularity beyond Fiji's shores, becoming a favorite in restaurants and homes around the world where diners seek out its exotic flavors and healthy ingredients.

Fresh Mahi-Mahi 🤤

Preparation and Ingredients

The preparation of Kokoda is simple yet nuanced, emphasizing the freshness of its ingredients. The key steps involve:

  1. Selecting Fresh Fish: The choice of fish is crucial. It should be firm, fresh, and suitable for raw consumption. Mahi-mahi and tuna are popular choices due to their texture and flavor.

  2. Marinating in Citrus: The fish is diced into bite-sized pieces and marinated in freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice. This acid bath not only enhances the fish's flavor but also "cooks" it slightly, similar to the process in ceviche.

  3. Adding Coconut Cream: Once the fish has marinated for a short period (typically 30 minutes to an hour), coconut cream is added. This ingredient is central to Kokoda, imparting a creamy texture and subtly sweet flavor that balances the citrusy tang.

  4. Seasoning: Chopped onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers are mixed into the dish, adding crunch, freshness, and a hint of heat. Some variations may include additional herbs like coriander or spring onions for added complexity.

  5. Chilling and Serving: Kokoda is best served chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together. It is often presented in a coconut shell or a bowl lined with banana leaves, enhancing the dish's tropical presentation.

Just a midwestern white girl trying to create tropical vibes at home.

No need for a plane ticket to Fiji

If you are dying to try this tropical delicacy but don't see yourself traveling to Fiji any time soon, have no fear. Here is the simple recipe on how to make Kokoda at home. I was shocked at how simple and easy it was to make.

Fijian Kokoda





Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

Zero Hours

Let's dive in


Alixandrea Tieben



  • 350g (about 3/4 pound) fresh fish fillets: Mahi-mahi or tuna are traditional choices, but you can use any firm, white fish suitable for raw consumption.
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut milk: Fresh coconut cream is ideal, but I used canned from the grocery store
  • Juice of 4 limes and 1 lemon 
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1-2 Thai chili peppers (optional): Adjust the amount depending on how spicy you like it.
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1 Green onion



Step 1: Prepare the Fish

  1. Dice the Fish: Cut the fish fillets into small, 1 cm cubes. Ensure they are evenly sized for even marination.

  2. Marinate in Citrus: Place the diced fish in a non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic). Squeeze the lime juice over the fish, making sure all pieces are coated. The lime juice will "cook" the fish slightly, turning it opaque and enhancing its flavor.

  3. Chill: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. This marination process allows the fish to absorb the citrusy flavors and cook it (hehe).

Step 2: Prepare the Kokoda Mixture

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, diced red onion, diced tomato, and finely chopped chili peppers (if using). Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  2. Add Marinated Fish: Remove the marinated fish from the refrigerator. Drain off excess juice and gently fold the fish into the coconut cream mixture until well combined.

  3. Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. You can add more lime juice for extra tanginess or more salt and pepper according to your preference.

Step 3: Serve

  1. Chill: Return the Kokoda mixture to the refrigerator and chill for another 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

  2. Garnish: Just before serving, garnish with fresh coriander, chopped green onion, and a lime wedge for a pop of color and added freshness.

  3. Serve Chilled: Kokoda is best served chilled, either as an appetizer in small bowls or as a light main course accompanied by crusty bread or a side of rice.



Find me making this recipe on instagram. If you make this, feel free to tag me @mora_ceramics.

Written by Alixandrea Tieben


Shop the story