Recipe: Wai Tom Donu (Water Dip Coral Trout) from Fiji

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.

Wai Tom Donu

The tropical paradise of Fiji certainly holds onto a strong culinary identity with many delicious and culturally important dishes. Seafood is a mainstay in this unrelentingly gorgeous part of the South Pacific, reflected in the unique and colourful ways of preparing dishes like the Wai Tom Donu, or water dip coral trout.

We’ve sourced a recipe for the dish from one of the country’s leading chefs, Land Seeto of destination dining restaurant KANU, who lays out some easy steps to follow so you can bring some of that Fijian spirit to the kitchen. Bula!

Note this recipe serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole scaled, gutted white-fleshed fish with skin on.

Dressing:

  • Half a cup of lime or lemon juice
  • One large tomato or several ones small, diced up with flesh removed
  • 1/2 diced red onion.
  • 1 cup of clean sea water (or home-made salt water)

Garnish:

  • Fresh ground coconut
  • Paw Paw (or Papaya)
  • Edible flowers
  • Kumquat (or lime, or lemon)
  • Coriander

Method

  1. Score the fish on both sides and place onto a BBQ or hot charcoal grill.
  2. The charcoaled skin of the fish is a key flavour, so don’t be afraid to let it crisp and burn in parts.
  3. Turn over as required.
  4. While the fish is cooking, put the diced onion, tomato, lime juice and clean saltwater into the shaker and give a good shake.
  5. Allow to sit and infuse while the fish cooks. The acid of the ingredients will offset the salty water.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.