Fresh, citrusy with a subtle hint of spice, this Fijian dish of Kokoda, a shrimp ceviche or raw fish salad is any seafood lover's favorite when paired with a chilled glass of Chardonnay to wind down a long summer day with.
15 years. That is how long it has been, that my husband and I have been together. We have been married for 10 glorious years and it was 15 years ago, in May, that we decided to be together. It wasnt a rest of the life kinda thing then, we were only 20 years old but it definitely was a start to something magical.
As we sat down on our deck on one of the rare sunny days in Seattle now, sipping a glass of wine, we talked about how we have been together for most of our adult life. It is something that is very impactful in ways you dont realize. We have of course, helped shape the kind of personalities each one of us is now.
I always loved cooking and feeding people and most of what I cook today is because of this guy in my life. I do not know anyone else who enjoys good food more. He is also my worst critic, but never in such a way that I felt bad about it. Nothing brings me more happiness than cooking something that he loves and waiting to see that smile on his face when he sees it and the longing for more when he eats it and again a smile of appreciation. It is for that happiness that I started cooking meat and seafood for this meat-a-holic in my life. It wasnt very easy and it took a lot to learn it right, with me having been a vegetarian all my life and still being one.
Even though we both love food and love trying out new things, we are a little different too - I am more traditional when it comes to food, I have my comfort zones and love to stay there whereas he is more adventurous. As I said before, I am a vegetarian and he loves to eat all things edible. I love red wine, he loves white. I am picky about food, he is not. But it is these differences that has helped up appreciate several other things in life as well.
To celebrate the 15 years of our lives together, to celebrate the love of the journey, to celebrate this special person in my life who has made me what I am - I opened a bottle of Wente Vineyard's Riva Ranch Chardonnay and made him a little something special to go with it. Kokoda or a Fijian style raw fish salad, has a special meaning to us. I learnt how to make this and got a recipe for it from the chef at the resort we stayed in at Fiji for our honeymoon. AJ enjoyed it a lot while we were there and I wanted to know how to make this, so I can make this for him to remember the wonderful time we had in Fiji. Afterall, food does bring in some special memories for all of us.
The traditional Kokoda is made with white fish but I used shrimp instead, as it is one of his favorite seafood.
We both sat down outside, poured us a glass of buttery smooth yet crisp Chardonnay and toasted to the life we have built together and to several more such milestones to celebrate together in the future. And I watched that little smile on his face as he enjoyed bites of the Kokoda with his wine.
Also, did you know May 25th is World Chardonnay Day! Now, that is day I would love to celebrate with a glass (or two) of chilled Chardonnay. Wouldnt you love that too? And maybe toast your love of the jouney while you are at it too. Which one of Wente Vineyard's Chardonnay's are you going to try? The estate grown The Morning Fog Chardonnay, the single vineyard Riva Ranch Chardonnay or the limited production The Nth Degree Chardonnay? Whichever one you choose, I am sure you will have a wonderful time! Here's to love!
- 12 oz shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 lime
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- ¼ red onion minced
- ½ green bell pepper chopped finely
- 1 roma tomato chopped finely
- salt to taste
- 1 green chilli
- 1 ½ cups coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon minced cilantro
- Wash the shrimp well and pat dry.
- Squeeze the lime in a bowl and add the vinegar to it. Toss the shrimp with it and some salt. Let it sit for 20-30 mins till the shrimp starts to turn color to pink.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and toss well.
- Serve immediately