Tahitian Style Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp marinated in lime juice and Hawaiian sea salt, mixed with shaved coconut, cantaloupe, cucumber, and coconut milk.

This recipe is a sweeter, fruitier take on the traditional Tahitian dish poisson cru.

Poisson cru, literally meaning raw fish, is a Tahitian dish much like Latin American ceviche. It consists of raw fish or seafood marinated or cooked in lime juice and mixed with vegetables. But unlike its Latin counterpart, coconut milk is added to mellow the acidity of the fish.

Traditionally poisson cru is made with tuna, cucumber, onion or green onion, and chilis. Many common variations include items such as lobster, sea urchin, mussels, and tomato. I went a sweeter route with this recipe using shrimp, cantaloupe, and fresh coconut meat.

I also used a local Hawaiian sea salt harvested from Kauai’s salt ponds. The salt has a reddish hue from the red volcanic clay (alaea) it is dried on. Any coarse sea salt can be substituted.

The coconut meat I used for this dish was freshly grated. Whole coconuts can be hard to come by in many areas. They are also hard to crack open and harvest what’s inside. For those of you who would like to skip this step, use frozen coconut meat or rehydrate desiccated coconut in coconut milk before using it. I do not suggest using sweetened shredded coconut as it will add too much sugar to the recipe.

Tahitian Style Shrimp Ceviche

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Total Time 1 day
Servings 6 cups


  • 2 pounds shrimp 31-40 peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut meat shredded
  • 1 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups cantaloupe diced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cups cucumber diced in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp honey


  • Mix the shrimp with the lime juice and sea salt. The shrimp should be covered by the juice. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight. Strain the shrimp, reserving 1/3 cup of the juice.
  • Mix the shrimp with 1/3 cup lime juice, coconut milk, coconut meat, cantaloupe, cucumber, and honey. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes and serve.

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