Add a Little Polynesian Spice to Your Memorial Day Barbecue


Add a Little Polynesian Spice to Your Memorial Day Barbecue

May 22, 2015

Bring the flavor of French Polynesia into your own backyard with our delicious Mango BBQ Sauce recipe from Paul Ellis, Paul Gauguin Cruises' Corporate Exeuctive Chef. With the official start of the barbecue season upon us, we wanted to share our signature recipe for our barbecue chicken and ribs that are served at our lunch barbecue at our private islet of Motu Mahana.

This barbecue sauce is great with all varieties of grilled meats, fish and vegetables.



4 large onions chopped

1 head garlic chopped

1 bunch ginger chopped

4 each bay leaves

5 each star anise

1 lbs. brown sugar

5 each ripe mango

3 cup mango puree

1 cup mustard (Guldens)

1 cup ketchup

½ bottle rum

1 gallon barbecue sauce (Your favorite brand)

In a sauce pot over medium heat sauté onion, garlic and ginger until translucent

Add the bay leaves, star anise and brown sugar

Cook until brown sugar is dissolved

Deglaze pan with rum

Bring to a simmer and cook until rum is reduced by half

Then add the ripe mango, mango puree, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and bring back to a simmer

Once simmering, allow to cook until mixture is reduced by half

Remove the bay leaves and star anise

Puree until smooth refrigerate and use as needed

When grilling, use a light glaze over the top of your meats, fish or vegetables before turning.

Looking for the perfect side dish? Try one of French Polynesia’s most famous dishes -- Poisson Cru.

POISSON CRU (serves 4)


1 ¾ pounds fresh tuna or similar fish (sashimi-grade tuna is best), cut into small cubes or thin strips

4 fresh limes

½ cucumber, peeled and cubed

1 tomato, seeded and diced

1 carrot, grated

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

2 spring onions, finely chopped

salt and pepper

4 Tbsp. fresh coconut milk

lettuce leaves

Wash the fish thoroughly and dry it with a paper towel. Place the fish in a small bowl and squeeze the limes directly over it. Let marinate in the lime juice for 5 minutes. Spoon out half of the juice and add the cucumber, tomato, carrot, and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, add the coconut milk and mix well.

To Serve: 
Arrange lettuce leaves on individual salad plates or bowls. Place a mound of Poisson Cru in the center of the leaves. Another great way to serve this dish is on a half of a coconut shell.

No barbecue is complete without fresh, colorful fruit. For a festive look, plate your fruit by color – or serve your fruit salad inside a hollow watermelon.

Every great barbecue needs a signature drink. Elmo recommends a refreshing Lava Flow. 


1 oz light rum

1 oz Malibu® coconut rum

2 oz strawberries

1  banana

2 oz pineapple juice

2 oz coconut cream


Blend banana, coconut cream, and pineapple juice in a blender and set aside.

Blend the 2 rums and the strawberries (fresh or frozen) in a blender until smooth and pour into a tall glass (hurricane glass if you have one). Turn the glass as you pour in the mixture, coating the sides of the glass.

Now pour the banana/coconut cream/pineapple mix slowly into the glass.

The strawberry/rum mix should creep up the sides of the glass to make a wonderful looking (and tasting) summertime cocktail!

To Serve:

Garnish with a pineapple wedge or orange slice.


We hope you enjoy our recipes and that they bring a little taste of Tahiti into your backyard.

Paul Gauguin Cruises wishes everyone a very safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to all who have served in our military forces.