24 Sep Reason #101 Why You Should Come To Samoa
The seafood. It’s fresh, delicious and very reasonably priced.
Today we went to the Fish Market in Apia. Which was an undertaking in itself because it took me awhile to find parking and then those Demon children of mine kept wrinkling their noses and saying loudly, “Eww it smells bad here!” Totally making us look like spoilt brat “fia palagi”s to all the fish sellers and assorted fish buyers. (Thank you to these patient and accomodating guys who said, ‘sure you can take a photo of our fish’ even tho we didnt buy any from them. #rockstars)
Once I’d hissed at the children to “shush up your mouth”…we then bought a fillet of mahi mahi – which is what we had gone to the fish market for. But then we got distracted by some other things.
Like trochus things. “Giant sea snails,” said Bella authoritiatively. #fiapoko
Eels. “Can we buy one?” asked Little Son. I said no. Theyve got too many small bones. My dad would bring home faiai fe’e (eel baked in coconut cream) every Sunday from the village council meeting because it was a special treat reserved for the high chief. But I didnt like it then and I dont think I’d like it
Pretty fish all in a row.
And ocotopus! I love faiai fe’e and the Demons have never eaten octopus so we bought one for twenty tala from this super nice man who let Bella poke and pinch all the octopus on the table.
Then we went to Lucky Foodtown for some herbs…fresh coriander, parsley, spring onions and lemongrass. We scored some freshwater shrimp that had just come in from mountain streams inland and then we were ready to cook a seafood extravaganza feast.
I put one section of the fish in the freezer for another day and used the other for oka.
Fillet of fish (as fresh as you can possibly get it.)
Salt and pepper
Cucumber / Tomato / Bell peppers (as you prefer.)
Coconut cream. Freshly squeezed is nice but the canned variety is still pretty good too.
1. Chop your mahi mahi fillet into cubes.
2. Drench in lime juice. Add diced onion.
3. Marinate in fridge for 30min.
4. Add coconut cream. (We only had the canned variety.) Stir.
5. Add spring onions, diced cucumber. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can also add tomato and bell peppers. (We like ourselves simple tho so we can focus on the flavors of the fish, lime and coconut cream better.)
6. Chill and enjoy.
Curry Coconut Shrimp
Whole, unshelled shrimp
Virgin coconut oil for cooking
Chilli (if u like spicy)
Salt and pepper
1. Wash fresh shrimp in water. Cut off heads if you prefer. (We cook the shrimp whole. Lots more yummy juices and flavor that way.)
2. Heat frying pan and add virgin coconut oil. Cook chopped onion, garlic, ginger. Some chilli if you like it hot.
3. Add whole shrimps. Stir. They will cook fast. Add curry powder and coconut cream. Stir. Season with salt and pepper if preferred.
4. Serve immediately. Extra good with fa’alifu taro or fa’i.
Faiai Fe’e (Octopus in Coconut
Whole octopus (and its ink)
Salt and pepper
1. Wash octopus, being careful not to lose all the inky juice.
2. Cut off each tentacle and dice.
3. Squeeze ink and juice from the body
/head into same bowl with the chopped
3. Empty all into pot. Add enough water just to cover octopus. Bring to a boil. Stir.
4. When flesh is tender (about 30min slow boil), drain half the liquid. Add coconut cream, diced onion, spring onions.
5. You can now either continue to simmer on stovetop until the liquid has
thickened to the consistency you like
OR you can transfer to a casserole
dish and bake in oven for 30min. Either way its heavenly stuff.
When we were done cooking we bought some fa’alifu kalo (taro cooked with
coconut cream) from the front of Mariyon Store for seven tala and then invited the grandparents over for dinner. Everything tastes better when you know just how fresh it is and you’ve cooked it yourself so that it’s gone from ocean and river – to the plate.
What’s YOUR favorite seafood dish?