The foods of Tonga The traditional diet of the Tongan people consisted mostly of taro, yams, bananas, coconuts and of course seafood - the staple of any island nation. As Westerners began to arrive in the 19th and early 20th centuries, so to did new foods.
Some popular dishes include:
Topai: these doughballs are dropped in a kettle of boiling water to cook and are then served with syrup and coconut milk.
Lú: this is a meal prepared for special occasions. Chopped meat is prepared with coconut milk and wrapped in taro leaves which are then wrapped in banana leaves and put in an umu (a traditional underground oven) to cook. There are many varieties of Lú including Lú pulu - made with beef, Lú sipi - made with lamb, Lú moa - made with chicken and Lú ho’osi - made with horse meat.
‘Ota ‘ika: ‘Ota means raw and ‘ika means fish, and that is basically what this meal consists of - raw fish that has been marinated in citrus juice and coconut milk served with mixed vegetables. (For the fish portion, a wide array of seafood can be used such as mussels, prawns, crab, lobster, octopus or squid, sea urchin or eel).
Feke: grilled octopus or squid prepared in coconut sauce.
Kapisi pulu: corned beef and cabbage in coconut cream.