Poisson cru Tahitian tacos. Credit: Tahiti Tourisme

How to Make Tahitian Tacos (Poisson Cru)

International travel may be on hold for now, but a proposed travel bubble between Australia, New Zealand and other Pacific Island nations could be just on the horizon… and I’m excited! There are so many incredible destinations waiting to welcome us back, and there’s one in particular that has my attention.

To get us hyped for a visit in the near future, Tahiti Tourisme has released an amazing new video campaign called ‘Tahiti Comes to You’ – showcasing many aspects of local life. You can learn about reef preservation from Tahiti’s famous coral gardeners, get a crash course in Tahitian dance moves, and even delve into the art of Polynesian tattooing.

The video that caught my eye is Hinatea Colombani’s recipe for Poisson cru – Tahiti’s simple but oh-so-delicious national dish made with fresh tuna marinated in lime and coconut milk. You can find variations of the dish throughout the Pacific islands, like Kokoda in Fiji.

This version does things a little differently though, giving the classic Tahitian staple a Mexican twist. Until we can get over to Tahiti and experience real, authentic Poisson cru in person, this could be the next best thing. Who’s hungry?

Check out the video and see the full recipe below.

Recipe: Poisson cru tacos

Equipment Needed:

• Large bowl for mixing ingredients
• Large spoon
• Chef knife
• Cutting board
• 8 inch frying pan or cast-iron pan
• Cooking tongs for turning tortilla

Main Ingredients:

• 1.5 lbs (approx. 700g) fresh fish (halibut, yellowtail, snapper, or sea bass are great). Ask your fish market specialist what fish is best to eat raw in your area.
• 1 can coconut milk or cream (fresh if available)
• 1 small yellow onion
• 2 cloves of minced garlic
• 2 red radishes sliced into round pieces (use a mandolin if you have one)
• 2 limes
• 1 Hass avocado
• ½ Solo papaya or mango (optional). If you don’t have them, it’s ok to substitute or omit
• Bush of coriander (cilantro)
• ¼ cup 100% olive, coconut, or sunflower oil (do not use extra virgin olive oil)
• Sea salt to taste
• 6-8 tortillas (homemade or store bought)
• Garnish, Optional: Pickled red cabbage

Sauce Ingredients:

• ½ cup mayonnaise
• ½ cup ketchup
• 1 tsp Perrin sauce
• 1 teaspoon Tabasco or Tapatio hot sauce
• 1 lime
• Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Make your sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix until creamy. You can always adjust the heat of the sauce by adding more hot sauce to taste.
  2. Set marinade aside
  3. Slice fish into 1 inch pieces or cubes
  4. Cut avocado and mangoes into cubes
  5. Slice onion into thin “julienne” style slices
  6. Add coconut milk until you have reached your desired consistency (not too “wet” or saturated)
  7. Combine these ingredients into a mixing bowl and add oil and lime juice. Season with salt and mix well. Put into refrigerator to marinate
  8. Meanwhile, place tortillas into a hot frying or cast-iron pan. Heat until they are cooked to your liking. You can also add oil and fry tortillas until crunchy like a tostada.
  9. After tortillas are warmed, remove mixture from fish and add a tablespoon of the fish mixture to one tortilla. Garnish with cilantro, pickled cabbage (optional) and add sauce mixture to each taco.
Written by
Chris Ashton

We're Chris Ashton and Simon Ceglinski, two Aussie travellers with a love of exploration and adventure, and the odd bit of luxury thrown in. We seek out street art, street food, and scuba diving wherever we go, and prefer the road less travelled over well-worn tourist paths.

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Written by Chris Ashton