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Poisson Cru

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Poisson Cru is French for raw fish — which perfectly describes this Tahitian dish! Tender ‘ahi is marinated in a mixture of coconut milk, vegetables, and lime juice. It’s a wonderful option for sushi and ceviche lovers.

close up of poisson cru in a wooden bowl

Mahalo to Foodland Hawai’i for sponsoring the post. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Poisson Cru: The Ultimate Easy Appetizer

It’s no secret that we love fish in my house. It’s refreshing, simple to make, and so easy to find here on the island. Some of my favorite fish dishes (say that five times fast!) include furikake salmon, ‘ahi tuna burgers, and spicy ‘ahi tuna poke. As you can see, ‘ahi is my preferred poisson. In Hawai’i, ‘ahi refers to yellowfish tuna and bigeye tuna. No matter which one you go with, I’m sure you’ll become just as obsessed as I am!

Also called Tahitian Poisson Cru, this recipe is popular both in Hawai’i and the South Pacific. Called ia ota in Tahitian, it’s very similar to ceviche — raw fish prepared with a citrus-based marinade. The results are a refreshing and delicate appetizer that guests at your table are sure to love!

poisson cru in a glass bowl

Poisson Cru Key Ingredients

(Full recipe instructions and ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post)

  • ‘Ahi Tuna. Opt for the best quality ‘ahi tuna you can find. I personally love going to my local fishmonger for the best, sushi-grade tuna around. 
  • Limes. You’ll need the juice of two limes to marinate your ‘ahi tuna.
  • Tomato. For added freshness! Finely dice your tomato before adding it to the rest of the ingredients for easier eating.
  • Onion. Sweet Maui onions are the best. The slight bite of the onion works wonderfully with the other ingredients.
  • Cucumber. To add even more fresh vegetable flavor to the mix! Again, dice it finely.
  • Maika’i Organic Coconut Milk. You can find this at your local Foodland.
  • Salt & Pepper. The finishing touch!
poisson cru ingredients

How to make perfect Poisson Cru

https://youtu.be/arnms2zu70A

Marinate the ‘ahi. Place the fish in a bowl and add the juices from your limes. Gently toss to combine and allow it to marinate for 5 minutes. Remember: the acidity from the citrus will denature the fish giving it an opaque firm exterior and a tender interior — but it’s important not to let it marinate for hours as it will break it down too much.

Combine the veggies. Add the diced tomato, onion, and cumber to a bowl and mix.

Add the ‘ahi. Place the ‘ahi and lime juice into the bowl with the vegetables and gently toss to combine.

Pour in the coconut milk. Add the Maika’i Organic Coconut Milk to the mixture and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss once more, serve, and enjoy!

poisson cru in a wooden bowl with a spoon

Tips

  • Use the best ‘ahi tuna. As you’re going to be consuming essentially raw fish, it must be of very high quality. Go for sushi-grade tuna for the best results. It should be bright red or pink with no brown spots and a fresh odor.
  • Serve it fresh. You will want to serve this dish immediately after making it. As mentioned, the lime juice will break down the proteins in the fish. If you leave it out for too long, it could turn mushy.
  • Use a ceramic bowl or glass bowl. Stay away from using an aluminum or copper bowl to assemble and serve this dish. Otherwise, the ingredients could take on a metallic taste and/or change color. 
can of maikai coconut milk

Frequently asked Questions about Poisson Cru

What is poisson cru made of?

Most poisson cru recipes are made with sushi-grade tuna, freshly chopped vegetables, citrus, and coconut milk. You don’t need much, but the minimal ingredients come together to create something really tasty!

What is cru fish?

Cru isn’t a type of fish, rather it means “raw” in French. As I mentioned above, poisson cru translates to raw fish in English. You’ll also remember that this dish is of Tahitian origin, and Tahiti is actually a French territory. So it makes sense that its name is French!

What qualifies fish as sushi-grade?

Sushi grade refers to the FDA guideline that applies to fish sold for raw consumption. If you’re not sure what to look for, ask your fishmonger or visit the fish section of your local supermarket. The employees there should be able to help you.

Can you eat tuna raw without freezing it?

Raw tuna can contain harmful bacteria, which is why it’s so essential to buy sushi-grade fish. Some chefs suggest freezing raw tuna before consuming it in order to kill the bacteria. If you buy the right type of tuna, you won’t have to take this extra step.

poisson cru in a wooden bowl

Other ‘Ahi Dishes You’ll Love

close up of poisson cru in a wooden bowl

Poisson Cru

Poisson Cru is French for raw fish — which perfectly describes this dish! Tender ‘ahi is marinated in a mixture of coconut milk, vegetables, and lime juice. It’s a wonderful option for sushi and ceviche lovers.
5 from 37 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 293 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound 'ahi cubed
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cucumber diced
  • 3/4 cup Maika'i Organic Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place ‘ahi in a bowl and add the juices of the limes. Gently toss to combine and allow to marinate for 5 minutes.
  • To another bowl, add tomato, onion, cucumber. Add in the ‘ahi and lime juice. Gently toss to combine.
  • Pour in Maika’i coconut milk and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine and ENJOY!

Video

https://youtu.be/arnms2zu70A

Notes

  • Use the best ‘ahi tuna. As you’re going to be consuming essentially raw fish, it must be of very high quality. Go for sushi-grade tuna for the best results. It should be bright red or pink with no brown spots and a fresh odor.
  • Serve it fresh. You will want to serve this dish immediately after making it. As mentioned, the lime juice will break down the proteins in the fish. If you leave it out for too long, it could turn mushy.
  • Use a ceramic bowl. Stay away from using an aluminum or copper bowl to assemble and serve this dish. Otherwise, the ingredients could take on a metallic taste and/or change color.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 28gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 200mgPotassium: 584mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2776IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 2mg
Keyword ahi, ahi tuna, ahi tuna fish sliders, apple crumble, bonefish, keeping it relle, poisson, poisson cru, raw fish, seafood
Did you make this recipe?Share a photo and tag @keeping.it.relle on Instagram so I can see all your delicious creations and Let me know how it was!

© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!


By on December 14th, 2022

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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