Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails.
Over the past two weeks, instead of work, I have been living a life of cocktails on an island in Fiji – and it was spectacular.
As has been widely discussed by all Sydneysiders, our weather in the past year has been pretty crap. Known for our glorious beaches and sunshine, we have had almost two years with a non-existant Sydney summer. So, after going for a weekend run in early February (usually the height of Sydney summer) and coming back cold, dripping wet and sporting a crazed look in my eye, Scotty got to work planning the perfect island holiday. Two weeks later we were all booked up for a trip to Fiji and just had to get through the four month wait.
Arriving on the island a couple of weeks ago was everything we could have hoped for… and more!
Matamanoa Island and its resort is small and intimate accommodating only 66 guests. With a ‘no children’ policy and frequented mostly by newly weds there is a serene calmness about the resort. The island is surrounded by a spectacular coral reef and has a volcanic cone jutting out of the turquoise blue waters – simply put, you have to pinch yourself while there to prove you aren’t dreaming. We are already planning our return trip as soon as possible.
Whilst on the island, Scotty and I befriended the wonderful Seko (maker of my hat pictured above) who was responsible for ensuring all guests were happy and entertained. This included: hosting the Kava ceremony, taking Scotty and I on a fresh coconut gathering and eating mission, teaching us how to weave a coconut palm leaf basket, hosting an International Crazy Crab Race AND teaching us how to make a spectacular Fijian Fish Curry!
After shedding a tear as the boat left the island with us on it at the end of our holiday, my thoughts immediately turned to Seko’s Fijian Fish Curry recipe and when I would be able to make it myself. A couple of days later and back in Sydney, we found ourselves at the local fishmongers looking for a suitable replacement fish for Mahi Mahi.
An extremely fragrant and light fish curry, this recipe not only tastes wonderful but is also super quick and easy to make. Like all things Fijian, it features coconut and is a must try for fans of Thai style curries.
FIJIAN FISH CURRY
4 lean firm-textured fish fillets, cubed (such as Ling)
3 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
3cm square fresh ginger, finely grated
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 long red chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
200ml coconut milk
200ml coconut cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, ginger, onion and chilli and cook until onion is transparant.
Add mustard seeds, turmeric and cumin stirring constantly until fragrant.
Lower heat and add fish pieces. Add lemon and lime juice over the fish pieces and stir fish lightly until just cooked on both sides.
Pour coconut milk and cream over the fish and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with fragrant jasmine rice.