145. Nauru: Coconut Crusted Fish with Mango Salsa and Miso Cauliflower Puree

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When I told my boyfriend that Nauru was the next country I was going to write about, his reaction was “Na Who?” But who am I to blame, I had never heard about Nauru either several weeks ago. Also not that strange considering it’s the least visited country in the world. The name Nauru is derived from the Nauruan word Anaoero which means “I go to the beach”. Nauru get’s roughly 200 visitors a year, that doesn’t mean it isn’t special, because it is. It is just so hard to get there from the other countries, for instance it’s impossible for large commercial ships to harbour in the island because it’s surrounded by sharp coral reefs, that could damage the ships. Another reason why it’s not chosen as holiday destination more often is because everything is so expensive!!!! Not that strange considering everything has to be imported mostly by plane from Australia.

The island is shaped like a kidneybean and so small you could easily take walk around the island in the morning and be back before noon. Nauru is famous for its notorious weightlifters.

Once upon a time, Nauru was not only the world’s smallest island nation but also the richest per capita, richer even than the Gulf countries. Why was this BIRDSHIT! Yes, you read correctly birdshit! The discovery of phosphate in birdshit in 1968 has changed the country forever, phosphate makes the soil really fertile. For thousands of years, birds took care of their business all over the island. So you can imagine after this discovery the Nauruans, back then still a British colony start selling their extremely fertile birdshit infested soil. When they gathered enough money they gained independence from Great Britain. The mining companies rush to exploit the unusual natural resources. By 1980 they were the richest country per capita. The Nauruans weren’t yet used to having this amount of money, so they spend it all and they spend it quickly. For inhabitants of the island, almost everything was free: education, healthcare, dental services, public transport, even the newspaper was free. Even if you had a medical condition that was not treatable in the tiny hospital on the island you could fly to Australia at state expense to receive treatment. If you wanted to study abroad in Australia, the state would pay that too. They build state rental houses, whose rent was just $5 a month. As you can imagine this story is not going to end well. Eventually, they ran out of fertile soil to sell, and now the island is mostly barren, only coconut trees still grow on the island. They knew this was coming the minister of Finance said in an interview in the New York Times. They just didn’t care since they have a saying on the island “Tomorrow will take care of itself”

Things you didn’t know about Nauru:

  • A 3.9km stretch of narrow gauge railway was built in 1907 for the transport of mined phosphate, the lynchpin of the island’s economy for decades.  
  • In 2015 it banned Facebook on the pretence of protecting residents from pornography, but really – many claimed – to stifle political dissent.
  • Nauru is one of the 16 countries without an army. Australia is responsible for keeping Nauru safe and sound, although the island does have it’s own police force.
  • The first Westerner to visit Nauru was the British whaler John Fearn, who dropped anchor there in 1798. He was clearly impressed, calling it “Pleasant Island”. The island is ringed by coral reef, which prevents it from having a port but makes it a perfect for diving and snorkelling.
  • It is the only country in the world without an official capital.

Ok guys this one is really easy and child friendly if you leave out the the chilli in the mango salsa. Fruity salsa’s have special little place in my heart! I love the zinginess of the lime and spicyness, the Tilapia however is not my quite favorite fish, but hey that’s wat they got over there. You can definately substitute it for any other white fish like cod or halibut.

Ingredients

Fish

  • 6 tilapia filets
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • egg (whisked)
  • flour
  • sunflower oil
  • lime

Mango Salsa (all the ingredients are to taste)

  • Cilantro
  • Mango
  • Chili
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Miso Cauliflower puree

  • 2 tablespoons of miso
  • Cauliflower
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Pepper
  • veggie stock

Instructions

  1. Start by finely chopping up all those lovely veggies and fruit for the mango salsa. Mix them.
  2. Put together the shredded coconut with the panko.
  3. Bread you tilapiafilets : first dip them in flour, then in the egg, and lastly in the coconut panko mixture.
  4. Lay the breaded tilapias aside.
  5. Cook your cauliflower in veggiestock for 10 minutes, drain the cauliflower but preserve the cooking water.
  6. Blend you cauliflower with a nice big chunk of butter and miso! Add some cream make it smooth, flavour with a bit of pepper be care with salt (miso is already pretty salty)
  7. Heat up 2 tablespoons sunflower oil in a frying pan. Wait until the pan is hot.
  8. Fry your fish. Carefully!!!! You don’t want your coconut crust to burn.
  9. Sprinkle your fish with a bit of limejuice!
  10. Start plating and enjoy!!!!!

One thought on “145. Nauru: Coconut Crusted Fish with Mango Salsa and Miso Cauliflower Puree

    Miran said:
    August 31, 2021 at 19:55

    How special again , the food as well as the story!!

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