We discovered my favorite Fijian dish so far: kokoda (pronouned “koh-con-da”). It’s a ceviche with local fish.
At a restaurant called Eden in Suva, it’s made with the fish depicted on the Fijian 5-cent coin. The fish is fileted and cut up, and the pieces are marinated in fresh citrus juice until the acid cooks them. Coconut milk is part of the marinade, making for a dish that’s light and slightly creamy with a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk.
Eden serves its kokoda with fiddlehead ferns. In North America, fiddlehead ferns are a rare ingredient at upscale restaurants. In Fiji, fiddlehead ferns are easy to get at the local produce market. They have a subtle, elegant flavor that adds color and nutrition to the dish.