Rarotongan (Cook Islands) Ika Mata is an effortless dish but is a great refreshing snack or side. While ultra simple in ingredients and direction, it is a true reflection of using natural foods in abundance within the Rarotongan lagoon environments.

Rarotongan (Cook Islands) Ika Mata with Taro Chips

Sashimi-grade reef fish
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Coconut cream, chilled
Coriander leaf
Sea salt


Using sashimi-grade reef fish, cut into 1cm cubes, place in a non-reactive bowl and cure the fish in one cup lemon juice for 5-10 minutes, occasionally stirring to turn the fish over. Once cured, you’ll notice a slight colour change from transparent to a whiter tone.

To Serve

Add 3-4 tablespoons of chilled coconut cream per serve, mix well. Season to taste with sea salt, and if desired, garnish with fresh coriander leaf.

A simple side salad of iceberg lettuce wedge, cubed tomato flesh (deseeded) and finely chopped chives is best served with a drizzle of olive oil and lime wedge.

Taro Chips

1-2 large taro roots
Sunflower oil
Sea salt


1. Use a cookie cutter for taro chip, particularly if the taro root is large. Again, the aim is to create a consistent size.

2. Cooked in hot sunflower oil until golden, drain well on absorbent paper, and immediately add sea salt.

Rarotongan (Cook Islands) Ika Mata

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