How to Make Firi Firi: a Tahitian Donut




Introduction: How to Make Firi Firi: a Tahitian Donut

Whether you are looking for something new to bake or just love donuts, Firi Firi will not disappoint. For those of you wondering what Firi Firi is, let me explain. It originated in the islands of French Polynesian. It has a delicious coconut aroma and tends to be a little firmer than the average American donut, which is more fluffy. Having lived there for two years, I grew to love Firi Firi. It is a preferred breakfast choice, but it can also be eaten as dessert. No matter what level of baking you are at, you can make this!

The purpose of this instructable is to show you how to prepare the Tahitian donut, Firi Firi, which is very popular throughout all of French Polynesia.

Required Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of white flour
  • 2 tablespoons of active yeast (yeast packet)
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • optional (2 tablespoons of sugar or powdered sugar)

Required Materials:

  • mixing bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • 2-quart pot (can use a bigger one, but must adjust the amount of oil used - see step 8)
  • measuring cups (1/2 cup and 1 cup)
  • measuring spoons (tablespoon)
  • sharp knife

Total time of preparation and cooking: 3 hours.

Safety Information:

Warning: You will be cooking with hot oil in this set of instructions. This can potentially cause harm to you. When placing dough in the hot oil, place gently to avoid splashing.

Warning: When using the sharp knife, cut slowly and watch out for your fingers.

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Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Have all the ingredients (see image) ready to make the Firi Firi. You don't want to be in the middle of baking and realize you don't have one of the ingredients.

Step 2: Add the Flour, Water, and the Yeast Into a Mixing Bowl

Mix the ingredients until the dough starts to get firm (see images). Try to mix it as well as you can. You will be adding more dry and wet ingredients in the next step, so don't worry if you aren't sure it is fully mixed.

Step 3: Add Coconut Milk, Sugar, and Salt to the Dough and Mix

Upon adding the ingredients mix again (see image) until you can't mix anymore. It should look like it is of one consistency.

Step 4: Prepare Your Working Surface to Knead the Dough

Sprinkle the surface of your choosing with some additional flour so the dough does not stick (see image).

Step 5: Roll the Dough Into a Ball

You want the dough to be soft, pliable, and slightly sticky. If your dough is too wet (sticking to your fingers), continue to add a little flour (see image). When it is the right consistency (not sticking to your hands, but not too dry), roll it into a ball and place aside.

Step 6: Cover and Let Rise

Covering the dough keeps it from drying out.

Allow the dough to rise for about 2 hours. It should double in size (see image).

Step 7: Slice the Dough Into Pieces and Shape Into a Figure-8

In French Polynesia, they make the Firi Firi into the shape of a figure-8 (see image). It allows the oil to cook the dough more efficiently. Other shapes are possible should you choose.

Step 8: Heat the Oil to Medium Heat

1 cup of oil is to be used in a small-sized pot (like a 2-quart, see photo). If you decide to use a larger pot, especially one that is wider, you should use more oil. The oil should be approximately 1.5 - 2 inches deep in the pot.


  • Do not set the heat too high! This will cause the outside of the dough to cook too fast and leave the inside uncooked.

Step 9: Cook Until Golden Brown

Both sides should be a nice, crisp, golden brown color (see images).

When fully cooked, place on paper towels to allow excess oil to drain off.


  • Don't leave the stove unattended. This may cause you to overcook the dough.

Step 10: Sprinkle With Powdered Sugar

This is an individual preference. Should you not want the powdered sugar, you can finish without it. Sprinkling it with powdered sugar (see image) is great when eating Firi Firi for dessert. You may also sprinkle it with white sugar, which I recommend if you are eating Firi Firi for breakfast.

Step 11: Serve Hot and Enjoy

Congratulations! You have successfully baked Tahitian Donuts (Firi Firi). The Firi Firi is best served hot and eaten soon upon completion. For breakfast, it goes well with hot chocolate (This is how it is eaten in French Polynesia). As a dessert, it goes great with Nutella!

Pass along to your friends and family! Allow them the chance to experience the popular pastry of French Polynesia.

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    Those look really good. And if you don't need a dedicated fryer, I could actually make that for myself at home. Thanks for sharing.