Pan Fried Wahoo W/Prawn & Chilli Salsa & Vanilla Coconut Sauce


Poached prawns:
  • 600g prawn cutlets
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Tblsp citrus peel
  • Tblsp salt
  • (*bring half a pot of water to the boil, add all ingredients EXCEPT prawns, simmer for one-minute then throw prawns in and turn pot off immediately. Let sit for 3-minutes then strain prawns and plunge into ice-water to cool.)
Prawn & pawpaw salsa:
  • 2 hot red Chillies
  • 600g cooked prawns (as above), cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced – white only
  • 4 tsp Rito virgin coconut & chilli oil
  • Handful of coriander sprigs
  • 1 avocado, diced (if available)
  • 1 pawpaw, peeled and diced
  • 1 lime, juice
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Virgin Avocado oil
  • (*Cut the chilli lengthways & scrape out the seeds then cut into thin slices. Mix with the rest of the ingredients except the pawpaw, avocado and coriander. Adjust the seasoning. Add the pawpaw, avocado and coriander when plating, then finish with some virgin avocado oil).
Coconut & vanilla sauce:
  • 2 Vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 2 cups dark rum
  • 1Ltr  Coconut cream (Kara)
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped salt and white pepper to taste
  • 100ml coconut water
  • 1 tsp lime juice for seasoning
  • (*Put the vanilla, rum and lemongrass in a pot and reduce until almost no liquid remains. Add the coconut cream and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat. The sauce should now be thick and rich, so thin down with the fresh coconut water. Season with the lime juice, add salt and white pepper, then strain into a clean pot. Bring back to a simmer before use.)
Pan Fried Wahoo:
  • 1.5kg fresh wahoo fillet
  • 2 Limes, juice
  • Sea salt
  • Splash of cooking oil


  1. Cut the wahoo into 8 even sized pieces across the fillet. For each portion, turn on its side and cut down the middle of the fillet parallel to the skin.
  2. Meanwhile, warm an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Rub some salt on the skin of the wahoo, and place in the pan, skin side down. Repeat with the other piece of wahoo without the skin. Lightly season the top side of the fish while still in the pan.
  4. Allow to cook until golden, then flip over and take off the heat.
  5. Squeeze over the lime juice and place in the oven for 3-5 minutes.
  6. The flesh of the fish should spring back firmly when pushed.

Plating Up

Pile a good amount of prawn salsa onto a warm plate. Top with fish and drizzle with coconut vanilla sauce.

Chef Mike Fosbender

Originally from New Zealand, Mike began training as an architectural designer while working in a kitchen. His love for food soon took over, and after completing a Cooking Diploma he found himself in hot demand working and teaching cooking classes around the world. He’s travelled everywhere from the Caribbean, to a Japanese Restaurant in Brazil, and now he’s back to the small South Pacific Island of Rarotonga. Mike’s passion always comes back to simple quality ingredients and discovering great local combinations with a strong emphasis on visual appeal.

Wine Match

Yealands Riesling
Peter Yealands Riesling 2018
Lifted lemon and lime aromas, mixed with a hint of jasmine and elderflower.  This lush off-dry wine, offers honey flavours with a crisp citrus zest finish all while being vegan friendly.

The Nautilus, Rarotonga, South Pacific

The Nautilus is an eco-friendly 4.5 star boutique beachfront resort, with a world class restaurant. Set against a beautiful mountain backdrop which melts into a crystal clear lagoon,  the resort is a true tropical escape that looks out over a stunning lagoon with ocean views beyond.