Overview of Kiribati cuisine
Kiribati cuisine is a blend of traditional, indigenous ingredients and flavors with more modern influences. The island nation, located in the central Pacific Ocean, is surrounded by a wealth of seafood, including fish, crab, lobster, and clams. Coconut is a staple ingredient in Kiribati cuisine, often used in dishes as a flavoring or as a cooking medium. Other common ingredients in Kiribati dishes include taro, breadfruit, and pandanus fruit.
Traditional methods of preparing seafood
In Kiribati, seafood is often prepared using traditional cooking methods, such as baking in an underground oven called an umu. Fish, crab, and lobster are wrapped in banana leaves and placed in the umu, along with hot rocks and coconut husks. The heat from the rocks and husks steam the seafood, infusing it with a smoky flavor. Another traditional method of preparing seafood is by grilling it over hot coals. This technique is often used for smaller fish, such as tuna or barracuda.
Popular seafood dishes in Kiribati
One popular seafood dish in Kiribati is kakae ni bo, which is salted fish wrapped in coconut leaves and grilled over an open flame. Another popular dish is ika mata, which is raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice. Fried fish is also a common dish, typically served with coconut milk and rice. Shellfish, such as clams and crabs, are often eaten boiled or steamed, with a side of coconut sauce for dipping. Overall, seafood is an integral part of Kiribati cuisine, with traditional cooking methods and indigenous ingredients producing a unique and flavorful cuisine.