Recipe: Fijian Curried Corned Beef

Serves 6-8

I’ll be honest – I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding corned beef. It seemed messy, unwieldy, and way too, well,… meaty. Global Table has a way of taking me out of my comfort zone, though. Turns out this one pot dish is super easy and wickedly tasty. Today we’re making a Fijian version. Their special twist is a hearty helping of curry powder. If you’d like to make it even more Fijian, try swapping the potatoes with taro root and/or chunks of yucca. Also, Fijians would typically make this dish with canned corned beef – but I wanted to go the extra mile for Saint Patrick’s Day! Thanks Fiji.


4 lb piece of corned beef
1-2 Tbsp Homemade Curry Powder
water, to cover

2 onions, cut in large chunks
2 large carrots, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
6 medium potatoes (yukon gold), quartered


Get a pot large enough to hold your meat (and, eventually, all your veggies). If I had a big cast iron pot, that’s what I would use.

Next, unwrap and rinse off the brisket (this helps cut back on the salt content of the final dish). Place the meat in pot with the curry powder. I used 1 tablespoon and loved it, but 2 tablespoons would be nice if you like a heavy curry flavor.

Splash on the water – enough to cover the brisket.

Cover and simmer the corned beef for 1 hour per pound. Skim off the yuck (a.k.a. fat) that’s floated to the top.

For a 4 lb brisket that would be 4 hours.

After about 3 hours and 15 minutes, add the chopped veggies and more water, if necessary. I also flipped the meat over. Check the seasonings.

NOTE: If you’re water seems excessively salty (thanks to the corned beef), you may want to replace some of the salty water with fresh water. If you do, add a little more curry powder, to taste.

Return to a simmer. After the four hours are up and the veggies are tender, remove the corned beef. Trim off any big fatty pieces and slice thinly across the grain.

Look – the outside is a little yellow from the curry! Neato.

Ladle the veggies into bowls with a little broth. Add a couple of slices of brisket.

Dig in!

Or your daughter can feed you, if she’s so moved.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone.

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  1. I’m making a traditional corned beef with cabbage! Yummy! We love the extra saltiness. Pray tell, where can you find yucca in Tulsa? My favorite caribbean restraunt in Florida serves grilled yucca with garlic butter to dip it in and I LOVE it!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      You can find yucca at any of the hispanic markets – also, Whole Foods usually carries it. Grilled yucca sounds great! Do you have any tips on how to make it? Skinned? parboiled? Is the garlic butter melted or softened? I’d love to try it for a future Caribbean country. Anyway, enjoy the holiday :)

      • Theirs was definitely skinless. If I find some I’m going to have to investigate the correct way to grill it…It didn’t have actual grill marks on it, so I’m thinking they grill it in the skin and then peel it. They served it cut in strips similar to handmade french fries and the garlic butter was melted with some minced garlic in the bottom. The yucca texture reminded me of a baked potato but with such a mild taste that the garlic butter went with it perfectly!

  2. Fiji has 50% plus Indian population hence the curry in the diet throughout the Island

    • Sasha Martin says:

      What I think is fascinating is the misperception that we have only recently become a “globalized” world. The Indian influence was there, way before phones, computers, and the internet…and curried corned beef is the best proof there is. :)

  3. I love the combination of curry and corned beef, never would have thought of that combo. Agreed with your previous comment about Indian influence, stems back to colonial times and even before that! Isn’t it just fascinating how foods get transported to different places?

  4. Can’t wait to try this – maybe tonight! My husband lived in Fiji for three years and will be delighted to have some Fijian food!

  5. I tried to go Irish, but didn’t have the Corned Beef, so Beef Tongue was the next best thing, and it went great with the Colcannon. At the moment, we’re 60 miles from the closest super market, so the Fiji Corned Beef will have to wait until after the next shopping trip. I love curry and will follow your recipe to make it at home. Thanks!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Rike, you’re amazing. Sounds like a great meal – and 60 miles from a supermarket is a rare thing indeed. I wonder where you are…

  6. I never would have thought to put curry with corned beef, that’s for sure! so my question is: how did it taste? I am not fond of curry myself, but i am really curious about the combo!
    My daughter just returned from Ecuador two days ago…bearing Yucca Chips….tastes almost like straight Lays Potato Chips! I don’t know if they’re supposed to be any healthier or not.
    The comibination of Fijii (the island, right?!) and corned beef in itself seems really odd…i guess i just always associate it with Ireland…and Argentina, where the tinned corned beef comes from. Live and learn, live and learn!!! :-)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I thought it was great – I think curry goes well with any meat really – but if you’re not a fan you might want to steer clear :) Although, just adding a teaspoon would give nice dimension without possibly even being detectable. I do this with my homemade chicken soup – just a pinch. It is amazing how the corned beef has traveled the world. That could be a blog in itself, ha!

  7. I made this last night – so easy and yummy! Halved the recipe since there are just two of us and I wanted to shorten the cooking time. Substituted taro roots for potatoes and it was a nice change of pace (although the little buggers are kind of hard to peel). The taro roots I found at the grocery store were really small, so I used six of them with a just over 2 lb piece of corned beef. Also used store-bought curry since I don’t have a spice grinder (but have informed hubby that I *need* one!). My husband was excited that I made something Fijian and we both thought it tasted really good. He likes spicy food and thought it could be spicier, and I thought it could use more carrots. Looking forward to making the other Fijian recipes for his birthday next week! :)

    PS – Hubby says he only remembers having canned corned beef in Fiji (he lived in a very remote area) but that it was very common. The taro (called dalo in Fijian) brought back good memories for him, although he said the ones in Fiji were very large and purple-ish on the inside. A large portion of the population was Indian, so curry was prevalent in cooking.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Carrie, that’s great! Thanks for trying it out. Taro *is* hard to peel. Next time add some cayenne for the heat he’s after – start with 1/2 tsp and keep adding that much until you like the heat.

      Everything I read agrees with him about the canned corned beef being popular – I decided on doing it fresh for a few reasons – I could control the fat better (trimming off the fat makes a big difference), and it seemed like a fun nod to Saint Patrick’s Day. Anyway, thank you both for sampling the food!

  8. Like everyone I don’t think I would have paired curry and corned beef, but it sound appealing.

    I just stumbled about this site and…well I’m jealous…would SO love to be able to travel the world, sampling and making different dishes. How do you decide on you locations and how long do you stay in each place?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh, that’s the easy part! I’m traveling virtually, via my stovetop… you can do it, too. It’s a fun way to satisfy our wanderlust on a weekly basis :)


  1. […] Fijian Curried Corned Beef [Recipe] […]

  2. […] happen to love curried corned beef (you know, what with St. Patty’s day coming up this week) [Recipe] made with what else besides homemade curry powder […]

  3. […] Potatoes are also the traditional accompaniment to Corned Beef and Cabbage – which we (rather ironically) made when we cooked our Fijian Global Table, halfway around the world (except they use curry powder in their version – a nice change of pace) [recipe]. […]

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