Fiji Vacations Kitchen Spotlight: Kaibu Vatuvara’s Mango Salad
This article is the third of four in the mini-series, Fiji Vacations Kitchen Spotlight. Check out other articles in the series here and here. Melissa—link to first, second articles in series
Kaibu Vatuvara Resort is located in Fiji’s pristine northern Lau group on Kaibu Island with secluded, unspoiled paradise for the traveler to explore. This resort is so remote that it’s only accessible by the resort’s private airplane.
Kaibu Vatuvara Resort’s Head Chef Osea Moko is originally from Nadi, Fiji and has worked with many international chefs during the 40 years of his career at many of Fiji’s luxury resorts. Chef Moko began his career when he was 19-years-old at a hotel in Nadi.
Kaibu Vatuvara Resort focuses on Pacific Rim cuisine, gathering inspiration from the vast experience the Chef has gained and blending this with the farm fresh, organic produce gathered daily from the resort’s on-site gardens.
Jim’s Bar & Grill at the resort is a favorite spot among guests offering casual breakfast and lunch, beachside dining, wood fired pizza, BBQs, and Fiji’s traditional island dance meke performance.
For an elegant evening, Valhalla Restaurant & Bar is the ideal location to witness the beautiful sunset. The restaurant features a hand-carved native timber bar, coconut lounge, and both indoor and outdoor dining.
Chef Moko enjoys preparing Shrimp Summer Rolls with Chili Jam and Grilled Mahi-mahi with Mango Salad. The fresh seafood and exotic mango evoke a romantic tropical paradise.
Check out two of Chef Moko’s recipes below.
Mango Salad by Osea Moko, Kaibu Vatuvara Resort
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 red Thai peppers (seeded and minced)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 ripe but firm mangoes
1 red bell pepper
1 medium carrot (coarsely grated)
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 shallot (thinly sliced)
1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1⁄3 cup chopped peanuts (toasted)
Once the mango salad is combined, top it with your favorite fish. Cut fish fillet into desired portion. Salt and pepper, olive oil both sides and grill. Serve with Mango Salad. Garnish with fresh lime quarter.
Shrimp Summer Rolls by Osea Moko, Kaibu Vatuvara Resort
4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
12 spring roll skins
24 cooked medium peeled deveined shrimp, halved lengthwise (about 1 pound)
1 cup Thai basil leaves (or Italian basil leaves)
1 packed cup finely shredded napa cabbage
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
The trick to summer rolls is to use a damp tea towel to lay the pre-soaked rice paper sheet when ready to fill and roll. This stops it from drying out.
Chili Jam by Osea Moko, Kaibu Vatuvara Resort
10 red capsicum chopped
12 chili chopped
6 onions chopped
3 heads garlic chopped
1 knoz ginger chopped
3 cherry tomato chopped
100 ml oil
20g palm sugar
150 ml fish sauce
1 cup tamarind water (thick)
Blend capsicum, chili, onion, garlic, ginger, cherry tomato, and oil. Bring to boil and simmer on low heat until thick about 3-4 hours. Make sure you stir regularly. Add palm sugar and caramelize, add fish sauce, cook for about 10 minutes then add tamarind water and reduce heat slightly. Chili Jam is always served cold.