'Ota 'ika

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'Ota 'ika

'Ota ika is a Polynesian dish, similar to Latin ceviche, consisting of raw fish marinated in citrus juice and coconut milk. The Tongan, Tahitian, and Samoan variants are essentially identical in that the raw fish is briefly marinated in lemon or lime juice until the surface of the flesh becomes opaque. The fish is then mixed with coconut milk and diced vegetables (most commonly cucumber, tomato, onion, green onion, and spicy peppers).

The word "ota" means "raw" in Samoan, Tongan, and Tahitian, although the more common term for the dish in French Polynesia is its French equivalent, "poisson cru"[1] (literally, "raw fish"). Any type of seafood can be used to make "ota," the word "ika" means fish ("i'a" in Samoan language), but the dish is often prepared with mussels ("ota pipi/maso"), prawns ("ota ulavai"), crab ("ota pa'a/paka"), lobster ("ota ula"), octopus/squid ("ota fe'e/feke"), sea urchin ("ota vana/tuitui"), and eel ("ota pusi").

This is the national dish of Tonga. A variant called kelaguen is also prepared in the Marianas Islands.


  1. ^ Planet, L.; Staff, Lonely Planet Publications (2012). The World's Best Street Food: Where to Find It and How to Make It. Lonely Planet Publications. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-74321-664-4. Retrieved July 30, 2016.

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