Tahiti: Recipes and Cuisine

Country | Tahiti Papeete Image

The food and cooking of Tahiti is typical Pacific Island cuisine. Pork roasted in a firepit (ahima'a) is a highlight. Fresh fish and seafood are the base for many tasty dishes. Taro root, cassava and rice are staple starches. Taro leaves, bananas and breadfruit are all used as vegetables. Coconut cream enriches dishes, while lime juice gives food a tart punch.

Tahitian Recipes

Chevrettes à la Vanille et Coco

Ingredients | Vanilla Beans

(Tahitian shrimp in coconut-vanilla sauce)

The best vanilla in the world comes from Tahiti, and Tahitian chefs are known for their fabulous creamy coconut and vanilla sauces. This rich recipe uses shrimp, but you could also use fish or chicken. Read more »


Ingredients | Bananas Image

(Tahitian fruit pudding)

Po'e (POH-eh) is a popular fruit pudding found at all traditional Tahitian tamara'a barbeques. Originally the pudding was wrapped in banana leaves and baked in the fire pit. This simple baked version is easier in the modern kitchen. Read more »

Poisson Cru, or E'ia Ota

Fish | Poisson Cru Image

(Tahitian lime-marinated tuna)

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. Read more »

Poulet Fafa

Ingredients | Taro Leaves

(Tahitian chicken with taro leaves)

Poulet fafa is a traditional part of a Tahitian ahima'a, or pit barbeque. If using taro leaves, make sure to follow the initial step to avoid a mouth on fire. The leaves must be cooked in saltwater first to remove irritating cacium oxalate from the leaves. Read more »