Tahitian Poisson Cru (Marinated Raw Fish)

Poisson Cru
Sarah Bossert / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
520 Calories
25g Fat
23g Carbs
56g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 520
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 439mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 7g 23%
Protein 56g
Calcium 92mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Poisson cru is translated as "raw fish" in French. In Tahitian, it is called "ia ota (ee-ah oh-tah)." It is generally considered the national dish of Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia. It is similar to but distinctly different from Latin ceviche or Hawaiian poke. The same dish is called "oka i'a" in Samoa.

Poisson cru is made with the freshest of ingredients as found in the islands of Tahiti. While most commonly made with raw fresh tuna it can also be prepared with numerous other fish such as crab ("ota pa'a/paka"), eel ("ota pusi"), lobster ("ota ula"), mussels ("ota pipi/maso"), octopus/squid ("ota fe'e/feke"), prawns ("ota ulavai"), and sea urchin ("ota vana/tuitui"). If none of those are available you can make it with jack fish, halibut, salmon or snapper.


  • 1.75 pounds tuna (fresh, sushi-grade)
  • 8 limes (juiced)
  • 1 large onion (2.8 ounces)
  • 1 bell pepper (green)
  • 1 tomato (1.75 ounces)
  • 1/2 cucumber (3.5 ounces)
  • 1 glass of coconut milk
  • Kosher Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Dice the fish into 1/2-inch cubes, rinse with fresh water, drain and place in a large salad bowl. Feel free to add a dash of a little salt in the water, but this is optional and a matter of taste.

  3. Squeeze the limes and pour the juice over the fish. Mix well and chill 15 to 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

  4. Cut onion and green pepper into thin slices, cut tomato into small cubes, remove seeds from cucumber and cut into thin half moons.

  5. Drain some of the lime juice, add the vegetables and season with salt and pepper.

  6. Five minutes before serving, add the coconut milk. Serve chilled.