Fresh Opah Fillet (Top Loin)
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Also known as moonfish, opah (Lampris guttatus) is an exceptional tasting fish with good fat content. It provides multiple cuts that range in color from very light pearl pink to deep dark red. Both in flavor and texture, some cuts are what you would expect of a dense fish, while others could easily stand in for beef.
Typically cut from the tender top loin of the fish, opah fillet presents light salmon-orange to pink-rose in color. Its lean texture and distinct yet mild, sweet flavor fall somewhere between tuna and swordfish. And similar to both species, its dense meat turns white when cooked. If you've never eaten opah fillet, this is an absolute must-try. Feel free to bake, broil, grill, pan sear or poach for outstanding results!
We work directly with U.S. fishermen who offload opah in San Diego. Rated a "Good Alternative" by Seafood Watch, opah have been caught incidentally by Pacific longline fisheries for years. Because they don’t swim in schools, they are typically caught one at a time. Fishermen once thought that this unusually colorful fish brought good luck, and would give it away as a goodwill gesture rather than sell it. There also wasn’t much of a market for it. In the late 1980s, the state of Hawaii started promoting opah to build a market among U.S. consumers for this underutilized species. Today, opah's tasty and versatile meat is in high demand, particularly among restaurants and chefs.
Watch Tommy the Fishmonger break down a whole opah: