Authentic Fijian dishes to try on your trip to the islands

One of the best ways to get to know a new locale, immerse yourself in the culture, and experience the unique pleasures that it has to offer is by eating the local food. Between the abundance of fresh seafood, the wide array of unusual produce, and the innovative cooking methods and techniques, there is no shortage of delicious fare to indulge in on the Fijian islands, whether you're on a romantic Fiji getaway or a family vacation. Unsurprisingly, the cuisine highlights the food that is naturally available including seafood, root vegetables, coconut, citrus and tropical fruits, as well as chicken, pork and lamb. And many of the dishes you'll find on local menus are recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Ready to discover the flavors of Fiji? These crave-worthy dishes are definitely worth seeking out while dining around the islands.

Baigan Valo
Making this Indo-Fijian fusion dish entails cutting an eggplant in half and stuffing it with fresh fish before steaming it. It is typically topped with a drizzle of rich coconut cream before serving.

Lovo
There's hardly a better way to experience Fijian cuisine than by enjoying a lovo — a traditional feast that entails wrapping fish, meat, and vegetables in banana leaves and then slow cooking them for several hours in an underground fire pit. Since a lovo is typically only prepared on special occasions (like weddings, holidays, and special festivals), it can be hard to come by. Luckily, at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, we bring the traditional Fijian lovo to our guests every week — Executive Chef Raymond Lee relies on centuries-old recipes and serves the lovo buffet style, so you can enjoy your fill of this hearty feast firsthand.

Kokoda
If you're a ceviche fan be sure to try this Fijian take on the raw fish dish. Kokoda is made with fresh fish (usually mahi-mahi or snapper), which is marinated in lime or lemon juice, and then typically mixed with coconut cream, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber, and chillies. It's often served in a coconut shell or traditional kava bowl and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a light lunch.

Rourou
To prepare this dish, taro leaves are stewed in coconut milk to create a warm pudding — the ultimate comfort food — which is usually served as a side, or appetizer, much like a soup. Occasionally, seasonings like ginger, garlic, or nutmeg are added to enhance the flavor.

Palusami
Taro leaves are boiled and mashed to create this dish, which might remind you of stewed spinach. Palusami is often served with coconut cream, and occasionally, chunks of lamb.

To find out more about the delectable cuisine Fiji has to offer, check out our diverse dining options at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.