5 Awesome Samoan Foods That Will Tickle Your Taste Buds

In this lesson, we will learn about Samoan traditional food and how Samoan people cook it. Photo credit: Zibik

1/27/2021 3 min read

First, Samoan cuisine revolves around tropical fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood straight out from the ocean. You also have to know that most traditional Samoan food has coconut as its main ingredient.


Fa'alifu - Savoury coconut sauce

This is the easiest Samoan food you can make. Even cooking beginners rarely fail in making this dish. There are several root crops and fruit we can use in making Fa'alifu. It includes taro, ta’amu, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cassava, ulu (breadfruit), fa’i mata (green bananas)


Ingredients for the sauce :


Medium-sized onion

A can of coconut milk

½ - 1 teaspoon salt



Peel and wash the crops, and cut it to your preferred sizes. 

Mix coconut milk, onion, and salt in a bowl for the coconut sauce.

Simmer the root crops in a saucepan until it is partially tender.

Drain out the water and put the coconut mixture on to the pan. Simmer again until it’s fork-tender.


Alaisa fa’apopo – Coconut rice

Alaisa (rice) fa’apopo (cooked in coconut), as its name goes, is simply rice cooked in a coconut. So, let just dive into how it is cooked.



400-450g long-grain rice

480ml water

240ml coconut milk

½ - 1 tsp salt



Pour 480ml water in the pot of rice and bring it to a boil. 

When it boils, turn the heat down as low as possible. Leave it to cook for about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and then mix the coconut milk and salt to the rice. Leave it for about 10 minutes for the rice to absorb the coconut flavor.


Oka I'a - Fish salad

Oka I'a is a raw fish salad in coconut milk. You will need fresh fish for this dish. If possible, it's best to have a fish that was caught the same day. The citrus juice will “cook” the fish with its flavor. It’s up to you what vegetables you will put in this dish. The recipe below is how it’s usually cooked.



500g fresh fish

½ cup lemon or lime juice

¼ onion

2 spring onions

2 medium-sizedtomatoes


1 cup of coconut milk





Cut the fish into bite-sizes. Marinate it in lemon or lime juice for 1 minute to 1 hour, depending on how rare you want your fish.

Cut your vegetables into small dice.

After marinating, drain out the juice, then add your vegetables and coconut milk.

Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend well.


Palusami – Taro and beef dish

Palusami is a main dish consisting of taro leaves wrapped around the beef. The trickling coconut milk enhances the flavor, thus, making it more robust. If you don’t have any taro leaves in the kitchen, you can substitute it with spinach leaves.



10 ounce taro leaves

12 ounce ground beef

240ml coconut milk

Salt and pepper for taste



Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Place a layer of taro leaves in a baking dish then add the beef on top. Repeat the layer until you reach the top of the baking dish. Pour coconut milk before closing the lid of the baking dish.

Bake for 50 minutes or until the taro leaves wilted.


Moa Fa'Asaina – Samoan Chicken Recipe

Munch on some Samoan chicken recipe dripping with yummy dark soy!  Moa Fa'Asaina tender juicy bite that leaves you prepping for only 10 minutes. Some variants include oranges and lemons to add a strong, tangy flavor.



2 pounds of chicken

Soy sauce

½ apple cider vinegar

1 onion, sliced

3 to 5 cloves of garlic, diced

1 tbsp. ginger, minced

2 tbsp. starch

Salt and pepper for taste

For garnishing you can opt for green onions, sesame seeds, oranges, or lemons



Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. You can get creative with soy sauce, oranges, and lemons.

Brown the chicken in all sides.

Remove chicken and drain grease.

Sauté with onions, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. You can opt to add oranges and lemons.

Continue baking the chicken until cooked. 

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