5 Must-try Dishes to Eat Like a Local in Fiji

5 Must-try Dishes to Eat Like a Local in Fiji

The island getaway of Fiji is not all azure waters and white sand beaches, but also home to unique and delicious dishes sure to satisfy your inner foodie.

The end of the year is just around the corner and that only means one thing – non-stop holiday eating! And if you’re thinking of doing the festive rounds outside the hustle and bustle of city life, there is a place where the sun always shines and the people are always welcoming, and most importantly the food is amazing – the island getaway of Fiji!

In addition to bearing all the classic hallmarks of paradise – the glowing medallion in the sky, white sand beaches and turquoise lagoons – Fiji is also home to a range of unique and delicious dishes sure to satisfy your inner foodie.

A tantalising blend of fresh produce, aromatic spices and local cooking methods, Fijian cuisine remains a mystery to most. Read on to uncover some of Fiji’s most mouth-watering dishes, and learn about their links to some of our favourite Southeast Asian dishes. After all, what better way to experience a new culture than through its food?


Image credit: Chris McLennan

Pronounced ‘Ko-kon-da’,  this iconic Fijian dish is made up of finely chopped raw mahi-mahi fish ‘cooked’ in freshly squeezed lemon juice, and is typically served in a coconut shell or a large clamshell. Paired with a generous amount of miti (coconut milk mixed with onions and chili), Kokoda is best savoured as a starter as it cleanses the palate to prepare your taste buds for other robust Fijian flavours. While Fijians love their Kokoda to have a spicy kick, don’t hesitate to request for a less intimidating version.


Image credit: LynneS

Lovo means ‘feast cooked in the Earth’, and refers to a native style of cooking where meats, pork and vegetables are wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooked in the Earth. This unique style of cooking gives the food a smokey flavour that is akin to barbequed food. Lovos symbolise family and community celebrations are hence are typically cooked during weddings and other special. Most resorts in Fiji hold lovo dinners at least once a week, so be sure to sign up for one when you are in Fiji.


If this Fijian staple looks familiar to you, chances are you would probably have seen it at your local wet market as it is native to Asia. A type of root, taro can be eaten boiled and mashed just like potatoes, but most Fijians prefer it steamed. Taro has a strong cultural presence in Fiji, with Taro Day being widely celebrated in Fiji on the first full moon in May. Interestingly, all parts of this Fijian staple can be eaten, including the leaves.


Image credit: 663highland

Harvested on the Yasawa Islands and commonly referred to as “sea grapes”, nama is a kind of seaweed that is used as a garnish in dishes or eaten as fresh salad. While nama may be foreign to most Singaporeans, it is usually combined with coconut milk and chili – making the dish an interesting take on some of the most common ingredients found in Asian cuisines.


Image credit: MurielBendel

Duruka is often called the ‘Fijian asparagus’. Belonging to the sugarcane family, duruka is the edible unopened flower of a cane shoot, and is also found in other parts of Southeast Asia like Malaysia where it’s called tebu telur.  Duruka can be made into soup as a starter, but Fijians much prefer their duruka cooked in curry. Duruka curry has many ingredients seen in traditional Indian curries, such as chili, turmeric and garam masala powder – revealing the strong Indian influence on Fijian cuisine.

Just in October this year, Fiji Airways introduced award-winning Kiwi chef Robert Oliver as its new celebrity chef and culinary ambassador. With Robert bringing in the exotic flavours of Fiji and the South Pacific, travellers to Fiji can begin their culinary immersion the moment they step on-board.

So what are you waiting for? Book your flights at FijiAirways.com, and savour all that Fiji has to offer!

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TripZilla inspires travel with guides, tips and stories by our community of travellers in and around Southeast Asia.


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