Samoan Whole Roasted Fish with Coconut Sauce

April 06, 2011

Holidaying in one of the South Pacific Islands has always been one of my many 'dream' places to visit...


waking up to the sound of waves rushing to shore...
swimming in the crystal clear water under the bluest sky... 
indulging in exotic food... fresh seafood abundance...  

*sigh*... I can only dream for the time being... as I don't foresee that happening soon... The idea of holidaying to one of the islands was put forward every year, and every year the answer would be ..."NO"... but I will not give up...

Recently an online book company had a Mega Sale... I ordered Me' a Kai ~ The Food and Flavours of South Pacific... since I can't experience the first two ~ the wave and the swim!!.... I could still have a taste of South Pacific... may be that will make him change his mind !!!!


Palumalau Sosi Pe'epe'e that's what it is called in Samoa... a whole roasted fish in coconut sauce.
Flavoursome meal ... strong flavours with taste of fresh ingredients that I am familiar with... lemongrass, kaffir lime and coriander...  and the 'spicy' heat comes from garam masala...
It tasted like Thai- Indian fusion...

Coconut Sauce
Tasty, easy (wash, blend, marinate... ), less mess (no sauteing, no frying... everything in oven...) ...
Definitely will be cooking this again.. plus pushing the idea of holidaying there again.. and again... and again...

2 Taylors - scaled and gutted, then pat dry (or snapper)
juice of 1 lemon
1 can of coconut milk
2 stalks of lemongrass -coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves - coarsely chopped
2 garlic - chopped
2 tablespoon of mince ginger ( I used bottled mince ginger)
1 cup of chopped fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of masala spice
3 tablespoon of fish sauce
extra chilli -optional
lime wedges and slices to serve

  1. Rub the fish with some salt and lemon juice. Put it aside.
  2. Mix coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, lime leaves, coriander and garam masala and fish sauce into a blender. Blend well.
  3. Cut 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on each side of the fish. Rub the coconut spice mix all over the fish and inside the gut cavity. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  5. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the fish is cook (the eyes goes opaque and flesh pulls away easily from the bone). 
  6. Leave it to cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Carefully lift the fish to another platter, drizzle some of the coconut sauce over the fish and pour the remaning sauce into the gravy boat.
  8. Garnish the fish with lime wedges, lime slices and fresh coriander.


  1. My parents were born in Fiji, so I understand your admiration of the South Pacific - and appreciate it too :)
    The fish looks delicious!

  2. I hope your dream comes true one day! But this is as good for now =)

  3. wow...I'm drooling overe these pics...what a lovely fish recipe !

  4. Indie.Tea,
    Fiji is the one I am trying to make him say YES to :(

  5. pigpigscorner,
    keeping everything cross :D

  6. Saras,
    It truly is... kids were short of licking the sauce off the platter ;)

  7. Very delicious! I love the use of coconut in fish.

  8. Oh wow, simply done yet perfection! Roasting fish sounds like a great idea. Need to find a whole fish now ;O

  9. A good dish and a lovely dream. Wish you and your family are flying soon : ).

  10. TasteHongKong,
    Hmmmm... keep on wishing for him to say YES ;)