Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper

Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper

This recipe shows you how to make the traditional Fijian dish of Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper. This is a very popular dish that is eaten in Fiji and consists of marinating raw fish in Lime Juice to essentially ‘cook it’. Once the fish has been cooked with the Lime Juice it is mixed with fresh Fruits and Vegetables. The final addition is fresh Coconut Milk, which gives the dish it’s unique flavor and distinct appealing looks. It’s a wonderful dish that is so easy to create yourself at home

You can use different types of Fish to make Kokoda Ceviche and the marinating times will be different

In addition to it being so easy to make, the beauty of this dish is how adaptable it is to other types of Fish. It will really work with most types of Fish and come out great. We enjoy this recipe a lot with Salmon. Good quality Sashimi grade Salmon tastes amazing in Kokoda and will require far less marinating time. Only about 1 hour or so. So, if you’re in a pinch and want to eat this dish ASAP (can’t blame you if you do), then Salmon is a great choice

Other meaty white Fish are great alternatives to Snapper as well. Another very common fish used in the preparation of Kokoda is Cod. Cod has a similar texture and consistency to Snapper, so is a great alternative. Other popular white fish such as Halibut, Sea Bass, and Grouper are great choices. If you enjoy the dish the first time you make it, why not try it out with different types of fish to see what works best for you?

Snapper Ceviche with Coconut Milk
Snapper is a perfect white fish for this dish, however you can use so many different types of Fish and get a great result

Tuna is another great fish option

Tuna is another popular type of Fish for Kokoda. In fact, on our most recent trip to Fiji we stayed on one of the remove islands and Tuna was all we ate! It really came down to what fish the locals were able to catch which determines what you eat for dinner. Lucky for us Tuna were biting, and the Tuna tastes amazing when prepared Kokoda style

As with any raw fish preparation, be sure to check with your Fish Monger that the fish you are purchasing is good to consume raw

What separates this dish from other Ceviche recipes is the use of Coconut Milk

Ceviche is a wildly popular dish in many cultures all around the world. The use of Lemon or Lime juice to marinade and ‘cook’ raw fish is extremely common. What separates the Fijian Kokoda from a lot of other raw fish cuisines is the use of Coconut Milk. The Coconut Milk doesn’t cook the fish, so you still require the addition of lots of Lime. Coconut Milk, however, flavors the dish with the most wonderful sweetness. It is a beautiful combination with Fish and makes this dish truly unique

The traditional and most authentic preparation is to use fresh Coconut Milk. Milk that has come straight from a cracked open Coconut. This is the way they do it on the Islands of Fiji and will get the most amount of flavor for your Kokoda Ceviche

Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper Coconut Milk
If you have the means, natural Coconut Milk is the best choice. If not, using store bought Coconut Milk is just as great and will achieve a fantastic Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper meal

 While a bit more difficult to get hold of, if you can obtain a Coconut, then this is a highly recommended method. We would recommend adding some of the Coconut flesh to the dish. This will give even more Coconut flavor and a unique texture

For most of us however, access to Coconuts isn’t as easy. Nor are the methods of opening a Coconut even if you were able to get hold of one! Therefore, our suggestion is to use Coconut Milk you can buy from the store. It’s a great alternative, and on the plus side has a thicker texture than raw Coconut Milk. So, you’ll get a bit more body in the Kokoda, which we feel adds a nice sense of luxury to the dish

Add your favorite Fruit and Vegetables to the dish to give it your individual personality

This dish doesn’t only have flexibility when it comes to the Fish. You have so many options to chose from with what Fruit and Vegetables to add to the dish. For our recipe we use a combination of Red Onion, Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Pineapple, and Jalapenos. This is a great combination of sweet and savory ingredients which gives the Kokoda a rich, deep, dimension

When selecting which Fruit and Veg to include in your Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper dish, consider flavors and textures as you start to build up this recipe. We chose a good combination of savory and sweet ingredients to give the dish a well-rounded taste

Also consider texture as an ever-important factor with cooking. The combination of juicy ingredients like Pineapples paired with crunchy Onions and Bell Peppers is a great textural combination. You want to ensure there is some crunch in the dish to keep it from being too one-note on the texture

Snapper Ceviche Vegetables
Chose a combination of sweet and savory fruit and vegetables for a well rounded flavor to the dish

If you like you can add some chopped Peanuts to sprinkle over the top of the dish right before serving. They will add some lovely texture and unique flavor to the dish, while not overpowering it. Remember, while there are lots of ingredients in this dish, the primary flavors we want to get from this recipe is Fish, Coconut, and Acid. Those are the hallmark flavors of a great Kokoda

Be liberal with your Lime Juice, it is much needed

Lime is the key ingredients to cook the Snapper, so depending on how juicy your limes are you may need a little more than we’re suggesting in the recipe. We made this recipe using very juicy Limes, so only needed 4. We would suggest buying a whole bag of Limes and using as many as you need to ensure the Snapper is adequately coated before it is refrigerated

Acid is an important seasoning in this dish too. When you’re tasting the dish right before service, you can always add more lime if you feel it needs a bit more kick. We would recommend slicing up wedges of Limes and serve them on the table alongside the dish so people can squeeze a little more in if they like

Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper

Course: Lunch, Dinner, AppetizersCuisine: FijianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes
Total time



Note: While the prep time is only 10 minutes, the Snapper will need to be marinated overnight


  • 500g / 18 oz. Red Snapper Filet

  • 400g / 14 oz. Coconut Milk

  • ½ Pineapple, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • ¼ Red Onion, finely sliced

  • ½ Cucumber, diced

  • ½ Bell Pepper, deseeded and diced

  • 3 large Tomatoes, deseeded and sliced

  • ½ Jalapeno, deseeded and finely sliced

  • Juice of 4 Limes

  • Salt


  • Remove the skin and all bones from the Snapper and then cut into small bite-sized pieces. Place in a Ziploc bag with the Lime Juice. Mix well to cover the Fish in Lime Juice then refrigerate overnight
  • When you are ready to eat, prepare the Fruit and Vegetables by cutting them up into equal bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large bowl and season with Salt
  • Remove the Snapper from the refrigerator and place into the bowl with all the Fruit and Vegetables. Add the Coconut Milk and stir well to mix everything through. Check for seasoning, adjust if necessary and then serve immediately

That’s all you need to do to prepare this awesome Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper dish. It couldn’t be easier and when it comes to one pot dinners, it might be one of the simplest

For this recipe we’ve placed it under the Frying Pan category. However, there is no need to use one, nor is there any need for cooking. We’re trying to keep our categories as simple as possible on this website. Therefore, instead of adding a new one, this lovely Kokoda Ceviche with Snapper recipe has found a home here.  

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