108: Kiribati: Crab and Tuna Curry

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I’ll be honest… I had never heard of Kiribati! Kiribati is an island nation and consists of 3 island groups: The Gilbert Islands, The Phoenix Islands, The Line Islands. Unfortunately, due to climate change, two small uninhabited islands disappeared underwater in 1999, because of the rising sea levels.

I always try to be positive about countries… but this has got to stop people! The sea level will have risen 50 cm by 2100 and then it won’t be just the uninhabited islands that will disappear in the ocean, most of Kiribati will be largely be submerged! So we really really have to change our lifestyle…Or this vacation paradise won’t be there for long.

Schermafbeelding 2017-07-29 om 12.34.09

Things you didn’t know about Kiribati:

  • Kiribati is the only country in the world to straddle all four hemispheres. The islands spread across both the equator and the International Date Line. In 1995, Kiribati changed the date for the easternmost islands, effectively creating an indentation in the dateline. This was done so that it would be the same date and day of the week across the whole country.
  • Dancing in Kiribati is more than a form of entertainment. It is used to tell stories and as a demonstration of endurance and skill. Therefore, smiling while dancing is considered vulgar.
  • Kiribati is known for a number of traditional martial arts, which were kept a secret within families for many generations. All of them are believed to have been given to humanity by an ancestral spirit. For example, Nabakai was given to a warrior of that name by three female spirits who would manifest in the form of a crab. Another is Tabiang, named after the village in which it originated. It uses speed and accuracy and its principle is “you give me one punch I give you four punches”. The spirit who taught it was called “Teraka”, and legend has it that this spirit also traveled to Asia and taught it to the people there, who gave it a variant of the name – “karate”

This recipe I honestly really went with my gut and sort of made up by myself, I read a lot online about the eating habits in Kiribati and read they use a lot of soy sauce, curry powder, coconut, fish and crabs, and lobsters but really no specific dish. So I heated up my pan and the dish came together, and let me tell you this is one of the best curries I ever made! Since crab is quite expensive (at least where I live) this is more of a weekend thing but it definitely qualifies as comfort food to me! I don’t know what it is about curries but they always have a tendency to make me instantly happy



  • Crab legs (cooked)
  • Tuna steak
  • 1/2 cup green beans (steamed)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Red bell pepper (diced
  • Sunflower oil
  • 1 can Coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons Curry powder
  • 1 Onion (finely diced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
  •  thumb size piece of ginger (peeled and minced)
  • 1 Chili (finely diced)
  • 2 table spoons of dark soy sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 20 grams of palm sugar
  • Salt
  • Cilantro
  1. Start by frying of the garlic, chili, ginger, and onion in the sunflower oil.
  2. Add the curry powder and let it fry until it becomes fragrant, then add the coconut milk, dark soy sauce, palm sugar, salt. Reduce until the curry becomes thicker. The more you reduce the spicier, so keep tasting! Add your veggies.
  3. Add the crab legs and tuna. Cook until the tuna is cooked but please don’t overcook or it will be dry…
  4. Finish with lime zest and cilantro

3 thoughts on “108: Kiribati: Crab and Tuna Curry

    amindfultravellerblog said:
    September 11, 2017 at 11:46

    Looks so delicious Margot. I will have to try this one. 🙂

      margotvangils responded:
      September 11, 2017 at 16:47

      you really should it is soooo yummy!!!

    […] is grown on the island. The meal I made to honor Kiribati was a crab and tuna curry. The recipe I used was made out of inspiration of Kiribati and not a “traditional recipe” but likely is […]

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