Q&A WITH CHEF LANCE SEETO + RECIPE
1. What's your favourite part of Fiji?
This is a difficult question as I've been lucky to have travelled to nearly every part of Fiji and each has touched me in different ways. From the cascading waterfalls on Taveuni island to the giant mud crabs of Kadavu island, but my first Fijian home on Castaway Island will always be my favorite!
2. How would you describe island life?
It's the only place where I've truly felt in touch with my humanity. Far away from the pressures of modern society, the islands allow you to think about your place and purpose in life. It's given me the opportunity to re-think how we should be eating for health to prevent sickness thanks to Fiji's natural medicine food - coconut!
3. Something we didn't know about food in Fiji?
Traditional Fijian cuisine is very medicinal, gluten and dairy free - a "food as medicine" gift from their 4000 year old civilization. Wild tropical fruits provide sweetness, Dark Leafy Greens and seaweeds provide their calcium and essential minerals, Wild Root Vegetables provide slow releasing carbs, wild fish and sealife provide key proteins for the brain and then there is the abundance of coconut. Everyone has access to free or cheap coconut water, milk and the healing powers of Virgin coconut oil!
4. What's your favourite Fijian recipe?
AVOCADO SEAFOOD KOKODA FIJIAN COCONUT CEVICHE
(c) 2014 Chef Lance Seeto Serves 4
- 1 lb peeled shrimps, cut into 1" cubes
- 1 lb sea bass or other dense white flesh, cut into 1" cubes
- 2-3 fresh chilli
- 1 small white onion, diced small
- 1 small firm tomato, deseeded, diced small
- 8 limes, juiced
- sea salt, pinch
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine plus keep leaves for garnish 1/4 cup fresh tropical fruit, diced
- 4 avocado, halved and seeds removed, leave skin on
- 1 cup coconut milk
- In a bowl, put half the lime juice in with the fish to cure.
- Leave covered in the refrigerator for min. 1 hour, or until the flesh turns white. Strain the cured fish, dispose of the juice,and rinse in fresh water. Set aside.
- In another bowl, add the remaining lime juice with the shrimp and a pinch of sea salt. Cover
and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until prawns are fully cured to white.
- Combine the coconut milk with the fish and prawns. Add the cilantro, onion tomato and tropical fruit. Adjust seasoning
- Using a large spoon, carefully scoop out the avocado fruit. Dice into 1" cubes. Carefully combine with the seafood.
- Fill each empty shell, garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves