Opakapaka Flavor Profile

Opakapaka Flavor Scale

Opakapaka has lean, light pink flesh with a translucent sheen and firm texture. It has a clean, delicate, sweet flavor and a reputation of being Hawaii’s premium snapper. It is often used as sashimi and fish caught during the winter months are better for this application due to a higher fat content in the flesh during the winter months than fish which are caught in the summer.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Crimson Snapper, Hawaiian Pink Snapper, King Snapper, Rosy Snapper (Australian Name Standard AS5300 SSA), Vivaneau (French), Schnapper (German), Lutiano (Italian), Huachinango (Spanish), Kinme Himedai; Ohimedai (Japanese).

Description (Pristipomoides filamentosus)

The color of Opakapak varies from brownish to lavender or reddish-purple, it can grow up to about 18 pounds, but average market weights are between 3 – 12 pounds. Maximum lifespan is about 18 years.

Opakapaka fish jpgphoto by NOAA Opakapaka jpgphoto by www.honolulufish.com


Fresh Opakapaka 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


Opakapaka Butchering Yield Percentage to Fillets

Item To Skin/On Fillets To Skin/Off Fillets Notes
Whole Head/On gutted 10-up fish 44%
Whole Head/On gutted 10-down fish 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.

Whole Opakapaka in the Round (Head/On ungutted) yield about 45% to Skin/On fillets.
Whole Head/On gutted 10 Lb & Up Opakapaka yield about 44% to Skin/On fillets.
Whole Head/On gutted 10 Lb & Down Opakapaka yield about 38% to Skin/On fillets.

Range & Habitat

Opakapaka range jpgAquaMaps Data sources: GBIF

Opakapaka are found throughout the tropical Pacific at depths between 180 and 600 feet. The largest fish are caught around the Hawaiian Islands. Opakapaka which inhabit areas with rocky bottoms have brighter colored skin than those which inhabit sandy bottoms.

Typical Wholesale Products

Whole, Fillets


Opakapaka Sustainability Information

Name Alternate Names Catch Method Catch
Opakapaka Crimson Snapper, Hawaiian Pink Snapper Wild, Hook & Line, Handline US Hawaii Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png n/a
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

There isn’t sufficient information on the life cycle of Opakapaka to determine its population and reproduction rate compared to its catch rate. For this reason it is rated “good alternative” by the Seafood Watch Program. Fish from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are considered more sustainable than fish from the Main Island. Opakapaka are caught primarily by vertical hook-and-line gear which has minimal impact upon the habitat and very low bycatch.


Nutritional Information

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

* Calories/Calories from fat 165/15
* Protein grams 37.5
* Fat grams 1.5
* Saturated fat grams 0
* Sodium milligrams 113
* Cholesterol milligrams 67.5
* Omega-3 grams .4


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