Oceania is always really fun to return to because they tend to require a lot of extra research and they have such cool flags. Nauru is no exception with their lovely minimalist design for a flag and some interesting statistics. Not only is Nauru the third smallest in the world by area, but it is also the third smallest by population. To put it in some sort of context, this is an island nation that is about a third the size of the island of Manhattan and has a population so small that it would only be able to fill half a major sports venue.
I swear that, on most world maps, they exaggerate the size of Nauru in order to have something to look at. Just find Australia in a map and go north east, you’ll find it eventually. As a country, Nauru recently celebrated 50 years of independence from the UK, Australia and New Zealand (it’s a long story involving phosphate mining and a rejected plan by Australia to relocate the citizens whilst they mined the island dry). Seriously, their Wikipedia page is worth your time. The Naurans appear to be a people that are incredibly savvy and know exactly how to get a good deal for their nation. I think I might be in love.
Finding a recipe for Nauru was hard enough. Finding one with ingredients that I can get in the UK without a massive postage bill was even harder. Thankfully International Cuisine had this recipe for coconut crusted fish. Whilst I am under no illusions that this is anything remotely close to a national dish, these are at least flavours that I can imagine being combined on this island nation. So let’s go with some coconut crusted fish.
First things first, this is the first time that I have had to crack open a coconut in order to use the meat inside. Usually I just get it pre-packaged, but I figured that I am on this culinary journey to try new things, so why not make one of things the art of cracking open a very tufty coconut. Went surprisingly well I must say and it gave me a lot of delicious grated coconut for my fish fillets.
Aside from the mutilation of a coconut, this is one of the easiest things that I have made for this food list. It is also one where I have had two separate requests to make it again, so I guess that means this recipe is a keeper. The coconut works so well with the lime juice and as a coating. I mean, I knew that from having coconut shrimp in the past, but hadn’t made the connection that this could work with other types of seafood. Definitely a recipe it keep around, although I might try doing this with desiccated coconut in order to reduce the chance of my oven. having an exploded coconut inside it.
Sticking with the island theme, next time on the world cooking challenge I want to flex my Caribbean muscles once again and make something deliciously Cuban. I already have a number of recipes in mind, one of which requires me to bake some specialist bread. So that’s going to be really exciting and possibly disastrous. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how it ends up going.