Recipe: Ika Mata from Cook Island’s Little Polynesian Resort

During these unprecedented times, when staying at home is of the utmost importance, us here at The AU Review are going to be doing everything we can to help readers live their best lives, indoors.

As with many other media companies who typically focus on getting folks out and about, we’re shifting to adapt to the necessary lock-downs taking place all over the world. One way we’ll be doing so is simply by sharing our favourite recipes.

Over the next few weeks (or months, who knows) we’ll be publishing the cocktail and food recipes that we find most exciting, so that when you aren’t ordering in to support your favourite venues, you’ll know enough to quickly throw together some top-class concoctions

Little Polynesian Resort’s Ika Mata

Today we’re taking you to the vibrant Cook Island, specifically into the kitchens of boutique paradise Little Polynesian Resort on the island of Rartonga. Here’s a recipe for a popular dish at the resort, a local traditional called Ika Mata which heroes raw fish, lime and coconut milk. This recipe typically serves four.


  • 500g white fish (firm – tuna is perfect)
  • 2 fresh lemons, squeezed
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (or more depending on taste)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 1/2 pennant cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: fresh chilli
  • Optional: Coriander


  1. Cut the fish into small cubes and into a bowl.
  2. Add juice from 2 halved lemons to the raw fish and gently stir through.
  3. Place the drained halved lemons face down on top of the fish to cover it.
  4. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for about 45 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare onion, capsicum, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.
  6. Retrieve the bowl from the fridge and remove halved lemons and drain the lemon juice from the fish – do not rinse out the fish.
  7. Add the vegetables and coconut cream. Start with half a cup of cream then keep adding to the bowl of fish according to taste.
  8. Add salt and optional ingredients
  9. Serve with your bread of choice (garlic bread goes well) or sweet potato fries.


Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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