International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Poisson Cru, or E'ia Ota

Poisson Cru, or E'ia Ota, Recipe (Tahitian lime-marinated tuna)

(Tahitian lime-marinated tuna)

Average: 4.3 (15 votes)

This famous Tahitian dish is similar to Latin ceviche or Hawaiian poke. It differs primarily in the addition of coconut milk, which softens its flavor. Poisson cru only marinates very briefly so the lime juice doesn't have time to "cook" the inside of the fish. The Tahitian name for poisson cru is e'ia ota. The same dish is called oka i'a in Samoa.

4 to 6 servings


  • Highest-quality ahi tuna, cut into 1/2-inch cubes -- 1 1/2 pounds
  • Lime juice -- 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk -- 1/4 cup
  • Cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes -- 1 small
  • Tomato, seeded and diced -- 1
  • Scallions, chopped -- 3 or 4
  • Kosher or sea salt -- big pinch
  • Fresh ground pepper -- pinch


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large, non-reactive bowl and set aside to marinate for 10 or20 minutes.
  2. Drain excess liquid and adjust seasoning. Garnish with some freshly chopped scallions and serve in a decorate bowl or large clam shell.


  • Make sure to use very fresh, high-quality fish for this dish. Such fish is often marked "sushi grade" in the market. Use other fish — halibut, snapper, swordfish — if you like.
  • Other possible additions: cubed red peppers, grated carrots, diced red onion, minced garlic.
  • Sometimes a pinch of sugar is added to take the edge off the acidity.


Just got back from a two week vacation to Tahiti, ate it EVERYDAY .. it was DELICIOUS, the Tahitian Lime is so much tastier than the ones in the USA, but I'm going to try to make it here at home. :)

Do you need to cook the fish?

No, the name "poisson cru" means "raw fish."

The lime juice cooks the fish just as effictively as does heat.

No, that's why it is called "poisson cru" or in english "raw fish". The salt and lime juice is slightly cooking the fish but very little. Remember, you need to get the best and freshest fish money can buy, ie sushi grade fish (but no salmon, either tuna or white flesh fish). Good luck.

Use Key Limes, same as Tahitian limes
Add some Olive Oil to enrich the flavor
Soak your cubed fish in "sea water" before using(1tsp salt/1cup water)
Add some sambal or siracha for some spice

I fell in love with this amazing dish during my travel around Tuamotu and Tahiti last summer. I found myself craving fo it so much and want to reproduce - my problem is how to get fresh coconut milk.. Do not trust can products -Any idias Friend