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Opah Fish

Opah Flavor Scale
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Opah Flavor Profile

Fresh Opah, also called Moonfish, has translucent pinkish flesh and beautiful multi-colored skin. The tender top loin of Opah is a light salmon-orange or pink-rose color and is often used for sashimi.  The flavor of the top loin is sweet & lean with a texture somewhat like tuna. 

The side and lower flesh of Opah is the same light salmon-orange color at the top but fades to a paler color at the bottom and is too fibrous to be used for sashimi but still becomes very tender after cooking.  With a robust flavor similar to tuna or swordfish, the lower loin is higher in natural oil than the top loin and has a fat content which can be higher than Salmon.

The cheek meat is dark red.  And the breastplate flesh is bright red.  All the flesh turns white after cooking except for the breastplate which turns brown.

Alternate Names

Moonfish, Havaiian Moonfish, Sunfish, Kingfish, Redfin Ocean Pan, Jerusalem Haddock

Description (Lampris guttatus)

Opah have large disc shaped bodies with blue and a deep red-orange upper body fading to a rosy color on the belly, with white spots covering the sides and bright redish-orange fins.  Opah can weigh 150 pounds.

Opah
picture (Lagut_ua.jpg) by Mincarone, M.M. 

Opah-raw
photo by www.honolulufish.com

Typical Wholesale Products

Whole, Fillets, Loins.  The top loin is used for sashimi.

Fresh Opah Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
                                                                                               

 

Opah Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery

ItemTo Skin/On FilletsTo Skin/Off FilletsNotes
Whole Head/On gutted 38%   If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.

 

Range & Habitat

Opah are often thought of as being a Hawaiian fish.  But they are also found from southern California to the Gulf of Alaska, eastern Australia and New Zealand.

Opah Range & Location
AquaMaps     Data sources: GBIF OBIS

Opah Sustainability Info

NameAlternate NamesCatch MethodCatch
Region
Seafood
Watch
Blue
Ocean
Ocean
Wise
Sea
Choice
Mercury
Concerns
Opah Moonfish, Jerusalem Haddock Wild, Longline Hawaii Yellow-icon_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Elevated
Opah Moonfis, Jerusalem Haddock Wild, Longline Imported Red-Dot_20.png n/a Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Elevated
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.

 Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended
 
       
Updated
August 2013
 

Opah is generally not a targeted commercial species, but instead is usually a bycatch of other fisheries such as the tuna or mahi mahi fishery. The concern with Opah is the longline gear which is commonly used. There is considerably bycatch of unintended species (including Opah!) which is why it is rated "good alternative" or "avoid".

 

Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving

* Calories/Calories from fat 192
* Protein grams 40.5
* Fat grams 3.3
* Saturated fat grams n/a
* Sodium milligrams n/a
* Cholesterol milligrams n/a
* Omega-3 grams .69
 

 

 
 

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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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