If you haven’t tried Ika mata or Ceviche before, then you are in for a real treat! Ika mata has roots across the Pacific and is made by cooking fish with citrus juice. Ika mata as we know it in New Zealand is made with coconut milk to add a delicious creaminess, but across South America the dish is called ceviche and is generally made without the coconut.

Cooking fish in citrus juice may not seem like a legitimate way to ‘cook’ fish, but people have been doing it for a long time. Try to use fish as fresh as possible and marinate the fish longer if you want to be careful. Once you taste it you will know why this dish is always the first to disappear at a BBQ!

This recipe combines the delicious flavours of the ika mata with the freshness and spice of a salsa, creaminess of avocado and the crunch of a tostada. A perfect mouthful to keep you wanting more. Make it as an impressive entrée or put all the components on the table and make it a hands-on dinner.

Serves 4 

  • 500g White flesh fish (snapper, terakihi, trevally, kingfish)
  • ½ cup lime juice (4-6 limes), lemons will work just as well if you can’t get limes, but lime juice is tastier
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch chopped coriander
  • 2 red chillies (preferably jalapeno) de-seeded and finely chopped (use what you can handle!)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup diced pineapple, mango or melon (whatever one you prefer or is available)
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 pack of tostadas (tostadas are flat hard taco shells, if you can’t find any use salted corn chips, the corn chip cups, or break up some hard taco shells)
  • Salt and pepper
Ika mata (ceviche) tostadas with avocado and tropical salsa


  1. Chop the onion and salt generously in a bowl. Let it sit for 15 minutes while you chop everything else until some of the water (and bitterness) leaches out of the onion. Rinse in water and squeeze it out, then separate into to bowls (one for the ika mata and one for the salsa).
  2. Chop the fish into 2cm cubes. Add into the ika mata bowl with the garlic, one of the chopped chillies and 1/3 cup of lime juice (save the rest for the salsa bowl!). Season with salt and pepper and mix. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes – 4 hours mixing occasionally to make sure all the fish has a turn in the citrus mixture. Generally if your fish is fresh it should be fine after 45 minutes, but if you are nervous, leave it for longer. When it is done the fish should be milky white on the outside and only slightly transparent on the inside.
  3. While your fish is marinating chop the tomato, cucumber and pineapple. Add these to the salsa bowl along with the rest of the chilli, the rest of the lime juice and half of the chopped coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Give it a taste and add more lime/salt/chilli. Leave to sit while the fish is marinating.
  4. Once the fish is done, add the rest of the chopped coriander and the coconut milk and stir through. Taste the mix and season again if needed.
  5. Chop up a Bayfarms avocado so it’s fresh for serving.
  6. Assemble by placing a spoonful of the ika mata and a spoonful of salsa on your tostada and topping with plenty of avocado. Enjoy!