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)
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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
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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
now…
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Pretty fish all in a row.
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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.
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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.
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I put one section of the fish in the freezer for another day and used the other for oka.
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Oka.
Ingredients
Fillet of fish (as fresh as you can possibly get it.)
Limes
Onion
Spring onions
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.
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Curry Coconut Shrimp
Ingredients
Whole, unshelled shrimp
Virgin coconut oil for cooking
Onion
Crushed garlic
Crushed ginger
Chilli (if u like spicy)
Curry powder
Coconut cream
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.
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Faiai Fe’e (Octopus in Coconut
Cream)

Ingredients
Whole octopus (and its ink)
Water
Coconut cream
Salt and pepper
Onion
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
octopus. Stir.
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?

5 Comments
  • This is pure torcher Lani! TORCHER I say 🙁 lol. Fav seafood dish would be all of the above you just mentioned.

    September 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm
  • This is so cool. I’ve never been served whole shrimp before, I wasn’t sure what they were at first. It all sounds yummy, but living in the desert I don’t have access to fresh seafood. I guess I’ll just have to go to Samoa!

    September 27, 2014 at 5:23 am
  • Carey
    Reply

    I dislike fa’ai pusi too. Your dishes look delectable! I haven’t made oka or shrimp curry, I’m scared to mess up expensive food.

    September 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm
  • Andy
    Reply

    Ooh I love that your Oka recipe is all lime and no lemon.
    I love fresh oysters with lemon, and sashimi.
    G’day from Austraya.

    September 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm
  • Sina
    Reply

    Not really a big fan of fai’ai pusi (or as my palagi aunty says – fried eyed pussycats…hehehe). But LOVE fai’ai fe’e, alili, sea, and all the different types of fish, from alogo and poge to the tunas. Sigh. Homesick/hungry…

    September 30, 2014 at 6:50 am

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