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Name variations

  • moonfish

About Opah

Opah is also known as the moonfish and it is considered to be one of the most colorful commercial species in Hawaii. Opah belongs to the small family Lampride that comprizes to main species in only one genus. One of these species lives in the tropical areas of the oceans and the other is limited to a circumglobal distribution in the Southern Ocean. The body of the opah is very richly colored with silvery-grey color shades on the upper body and with a rose red with white spots on the belly. This fish has large eyes that are encircled with gold. The Opah or the moonfish weighs from 60 to over 200 pounds and it is often seen around tunas and billfish. The popular name “moonfish” may have its origin in the fact that the fish body profile is large and round. Opah feeds itself with squid and euphausiids, but small fish are also an important part in the fish’s diet.

A fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, having a large round profile with raw flesh that is multi-colored. Behind the head and along the backbone is orange, the belly is pink, inside the breastplate is bright red, and the cheeks are dark red. When the fish is cooked, all the flesh turns white except the bright red breast area turns brown. The moonfish's flesh has a firm coarse texture. Tuna or pompano can be used to substitute if moonfish is not available. To check the fish for doneness, use the tip of a sharp knife and cut through the thickest part of the fillet. If the fish has been properly cooked, the meat will appear opaque but will still be moist.

Opah Recipes