I’ve mentioned it before, but with a country like Nauru that has a very small online footprint, it’s very hard to find content actually from Nauru – but it is out there!
For example, when you look up “Nauru recipes”, you get a lot of blogs who are doing a “one recipe from each country” project – those are great on their own, and my own blog is honestly an extended remix version of that. However, every single one gives “coconut-crusted fish” as their recipe for Nauru. It seems plausible for a Pacific Island that grows coconuts (and it looks delicious). However, I don’t know if this is a actually a common way of preparing fish on Nauru (though I’m happy to be corrected if anyone knows firsthand).
That being said, “coconut fish” shows up on a lot of Nauruan restaurant menus … but the only reference I’ve found with details is a completely different dish. I found an actual source from someone who has travelled to Nauru and one type of Nauruan coconut fish is tuna sashimi served in coconut milk. There’s similar recipes in Tahiti and Tonga, though those seem to be ceviche, while the Nauruan source looks more like unmarinated raw fish. Tuna sashimi on its own is very popular there too.
There’s no exact recipe, but from what I can tell from the picture and Street Food Guy’s notes, Nauruan coconut fish is fresh raw tuna, served in coconut milk, and topped with green onion and OXO powder. So that’s what I’m going to try! I picked up some tuna sashimi from Hokkaido Sushi and used chicken OXO (the flavour isn’t specified, that’s what was handy).
The colours of the bright red tuna, the white coconut milk, yellow OXO and green onions makes a really pretty rainbow. It’s such an unusual combination of ingredients to me, let’s see how it tastes.
Oh WOW this is good. Stirring the OXO into the milk a bit gets a lovely savoury coconut broth that doesn’t overwhelm the tuna, and the green onion adds a nice little pop to it. If you’re a fan of sashimi, definitely try it the Nauruan way!
Addendum: For an even more authentic Nauruan version of this recipe, try the improved version here.