A couple of posts ago I mentioned to you all that I was working on getting my readers involved with my blog by inviting them to contribute their recipes as a guest. Well here is my very first and special reader Simon Deo from Sacramento who has offered to do a guest post for me today.😊 Just so you all know this isn’t a sponsored post. I am merely helping the people in my community to spread the love of our Fijian cuisine. Oh and also because I’m just damn sweet! Careful now..so I don’t give you diabetes.😁
I approached Simon on a Facebook foodie group. I asked Simon if he could prepare a native dish for me. He immediately agreed and offered to cook up Kokonda which happens to be his favourite. I happily accepted. I, of course have my own selfish motive behind this because just like South Indian cuisines I don’t know the a-b-c of native Fijian cuisines either.😉
Simon has been very kind to accept my offer and honour my blog with his speciality today. I believe he is feeling a wee bit nervous and apprehensive about the outcome so I hope all my readers, fellow bloggers and buddies will give him a very warm welcome.
Over to Simon now…
Hi everyone my name is Simon and I’m from Sacramento Ca. I am a college student who loves to cook and take photos. My interest in photography started in high school which is when I fell in love with images I took that turned out natural and captivating. I do photography professionally as extra work here in Sacramento or sometimes around California. Some of my photography samples and gallery can be seen on my website Simon Deo Photography or you can check out my Facebook page link https://www.facebook.com/simondeophotography.
I self taught myself cooking just like my photography. My passion for cooking started in my childhood. I started with playing and experimenting around in the kitchen with foods and from then on I just couldn’t help but discover new flavors all the time. After graduating from high school I decided to take the two things I love the most, combine it together and share it with everyone.
I first began sharing my photos via Facebook and Instagram. Later I discovered a group called Mai Kana via Facebook. There I was able to share my food photography and recipes. I received very encouraging feedbacks and compliments which felt absolutely stupefying. From there I was approached by Sanjana Soni. She invited me to do a guest post for her blog. Of course I immediately said yes. It was a great opportunity for me to share my knowledge of cooking with others all over the world. So today I will be sharing with you a native Fijian dish called Kokonda which originates in Fiji. It’s basically fish cooked in citric acid mainly lemon/lime.
I first came across Kokonda in Fiji where I tried it at a restaurant and absolutely loved it. Biting into it I remember tasting a creamy and tangy soup. Than as I continued the journey of taste there was a bit of a crunch and then a tender piece of seafood went in my mouth. It was absolutely scrumptuous. Years later I came up with my own version of Kokonda. It was equally delicious but I threw in a my own twist to it by adding a sweet factor. When I normally cook I try to balance my recipe as much as possible. For Kokonda I already had the sourness from the lemon but I wished I had a sweet factor so I decided to add a sweet fruit to it. The addition of a fruit gave this dish a bit of a kick! I hope all of you will enjoy my recipe.
2 cups of Fish of choice
1 1/2 cup of Lemon juice
1 1/2 cup of Lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Green chilli for taste
1 cup of Peach, pineapple or mango (I used peach)
1 cup of Coconut cream or milk
1 cup of Bell pepper (preferably red)
1/2 cup of Onions or shallot.
Slice your fish in 1/2 or 1/4 inch bite sized pieces.
• Add 1 and 1/2 a cup of lemon and 1 and 1/2 a cup of lime juice to the fish in a bowl. Make sure your fish is fully submerged in the citric acid.
• Add salt and pepper and give it a quick stir.
• Cover it with a plastic wrap and let it “cook” in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
• Meanwhile, chop your fruit, in my case a peach (or any other fruit of your choice). Also chop bell peppers and onions in cubes (keep the cubes about half the size of your fish bites) and then set it aside in the fridge tightly covered with a plastic wrap.
• After 2hrs (or maybe more as per your preference) add your chopped veggies and fruits into the bowl along with the coconut cream and give it a good stir and cover once again.
• Slice your green chilies very thinly and add into the bowl with the fish. Give it another good stir and taste to check for salt. I like to serve this with tortilla or potato chips (using the kokonda kind of like a dip) but you may choose to serve however you desire!