The next few postings will be about the Super Bowl party Jason and I threw this year. Attendees: Jason and I. Yes, we decided to make it a low key day and just had a “party” for two! The first of 4 dishes that we decided to make was something near and dear to our hearts.

Dish 1: Poisson Cru

Jason and I literally ate poisson cru every single day while we were on our honeymoon in Tahiti. It’s a simple dish; basically a tropical version of ceviche. We were taught how to make it when we went on a motu picnic in Moorea and the locals did a demonstration for us on the beach. Our version was a valiant effort at recreating it, but there was something that just wasn’t right. Perhaps it was the fact that we had to buy our coconut from the supermarket versus scavenge for it below the large palm trees. Or that the tuna was not caught the same morning we bought it. Or it could have just been the lack of warm sand between my toes 🙂

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Poisson Cru

2-3 tablespoons of salt
1/2 pound sushi grade tuna, diced
1/2 an English cucumber, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
milk from 1 fresh coconut (instructions on extraction below) or 1/2 can of coconut milk
juice from 1 lime

Mix salt with cold water in a large bowl. Swish tuna around in the salt water for a few minutes and then drain. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tuna and mix well. Salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld before eating.

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* Jason just mentioned that he thinks there were onions in the poisson cru we had in Tahiti. I vaguely recall that but am not 100% sure. I will add a bit of diced onion to the mix next time and see if that makes a difference.

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And now we’ll stop here to talk about the opening of the coconut. Yes, it will take you a few seconds to look through the photos and say to yourself, “Hey self! That’s easy. I could totally do that.” And yes friends, I will encourage and support you because you can. But please trust that it took us (i.e. mostly Jason) at least 20 minutes to do it all from start to finish. There was also heavy grunting and sweating involved and not the good kind.

How to Open a Coconut Without Having to Use Power Tools according to our ingenuity and years of watching MacGyver

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  1. Gather the appropriate tools. For the sake of your health and those partaking in the final dish with you, I recommend sanitizing them first. In our case, a hammer, screw driver, kitchen towel, and pliers were necessary.  
  2. Hammer the screwdriver into the holes found on top of the coconut. Keep in mind that you have to puncture at least two for air flow reasons, but three makes the water come out quicker.
  3. Drain out the coconut water from the holes.
  4. This is not pictured because I was hiding for safety reasons but once the coconut is drained, wrap it in a towel you most likely will not use again. Then beat the heck out of the coconut with the hammer. This picture is a breathing point between the beatings. Half of the outer layer came off and Jason thought he had triumped. Alas, not so simple so back tothe beating he went. As you can imagine, this step will involve heavy cursing so parental discretion is advised.
  5. Now you need to grab the pliers and use it to pick out the meat. In fact here, you only see half of the coconut because the other section is in several little pieces. I won half the battle.
  6. Shred the meat with a grater. Strike that. If you’re smarter than me, use a food processor or blender. Trust me; your knuckles will thank you.
  7. This next step is not pictured at all because by the end, Jason needed a rest. Gather the shredded meat into a sheet of cheesecloth, twist tightly, and squeeze the juice. Oh you ran out of cheesecloth last time you used it to drain your homemade stock? Well so did we. So you can do like we did and use one of Jason’s old (but clean) white t-shirts. The shirt will become another victim to your culinary foray though and will most likely definitely need to be thrown away.

Was it worth it? Honestly, if we had a fresher coconut it probably would have been. The coconut we got was shrink wrapped and had an off smell so I was a bit disappointed. Next time I make this, I will probably use canned coconut milk unless I can find a good supplier of fresh coconut. If anybody knows of a good purveyor, please let me know!

Good luck and maruuru!

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