Can you find Polynesian and Micronesian influences in Kiribati cuisine?

Polynesian and Micronesian influences in Kiribati cuisine

Kiribati is a small island nation located in the central Pacific Ocean. As an island nation, Kiribati’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its Polynesian and Micronesian neighbours. The cuisine of Kiribati is unique, but it shares similarities with the food of Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga. The island’s location also puts it in close proximity to Asia, which has also influenced Kiribati’s cuisine in recent years.

Traditional dishes of Kiribati

The traditional dishes of Kiribati are based on seafood, coconuts, and root vegetables. One of the most popular dishes in Kiribati is the “ika mata,” which is a raw fish salad made with coconut milk, lime juice, and onions. Another popular dish is “kakai,” which is a soup made with taro leaves, coconut cream, and fish. Other traditional dishes include “tiya,” a dish made with taro and coconut milk, and “kao kei,” which is a dish made with mashed bananas and coconut milk.

Ingredients and cooking methods in Kiribati cuisine

The key ingredients in Kiribati cuisine are seafood, coconuts, and root vegetables. Kiribati’s cuisine also uses a lot of coconut milk, which is used to add flavour and richness to dishes. The island’s cuisine also uses a lot of taro, which is a starchy root vegetable that is similar to a potato. Other popular ingredients in Kiribati’s cuisine include breadfruit, pandanus fruit, and sea cucumber.

The traditional cooking methods in Kiribati are based on underground ovens, which are used to cook food slowly over a long period of time. The ovens are made by digging a hole in the ground and heating rocks over an open fire. The rocks are then placed in the hole, and the food is wrapped in leaves and placed on top of the rocks. The food is then covered with more leaves and soil and left to cook for several hours. This method of cooking is called “umu” and is still used in Kiribati today.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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