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Complete Flavor Guide: What Does Opah Fish Taste Like?

Fish dishes can never get boring as there are so many varieties available.

Opah is one such fish that’s tasty, healthy, and pretty versatile.

It has four types of flesh, each one a different color.

Hence, you can make a separate dish with each color and feel like eating another item.

What makes the fish a popular delicacy? What does opah fish taste like? It certainly tastes excellent, that’s why it’s gaining popularity very quickly.

If you’re also curious like us to know, then hang on there, and we will learn some facts.

When you know about opah fish taste, you can check out lovely recipes and create unique dishes at home.

What is Opah Fish?

what is opah fish

Commonly known as moonfish, opah is a fish species that belongs to the Lampridae family and the genus Lampris.

It probably got the nickname because of its shape, which is almost round.

It’s distinct from other fishes as it has four kinds of meat in different colors, as mentioned earlier.

The soft flesh along the backbone from eye to tail is orange, pretty similar to salmon; the meat on the cheek is red, and the side flesh is stringy and has a shade identical to that of the loin but a little paler (almost pink) at the base.

When cooked, all the flesh turns white except the breastplate meat, a bright red that turns brownish.

Appearance-wise, opahs look like butterfish though they are of a different family.

The largest can reach up to two meters long or 6.

6ft and weigh 600 pounds or 270kg.

If you catch a big one, you can make different dishes with a single fish.

Opahs primarily feed on squid, krill, and small fish, while sharks hunt them for food.

The fish species live in the ocean, but climate change can be a cause to wash them ashore at times.

What Does Opah Fish Taste Like?

what does opah fish taste like

Opah fish is distinct in shape and color, and they’re delicious.

It’s one of a kind as it’s warm-blooded or endothermic compared to other fishes.

It employs a unique set of gills resembling a car radiator that allows it to regulate its temperature even in the deep and cold regions of the ocean.

What of its taste? Also called moonfish, sunfish, kingfish, Hawaiian moonfish, and redfin ocean pan, opah has a flavor similar to tuna and swordfish or a cross between the two.

It’s rich with a creamy, fatty, and firm texture and the oiliness of its flesh makes it attractive for chefs and cooking enthusiasts.

Though edible and delicious, opah wasn’t popular till the late 1980s, when more people found its flavor interesting.

Since then, the demand has increased, and you can find it on many restaurant menus these days.

Opahs are a rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, and phosphorous.

It also contains Omega-3 and has a very low sodium content.

So, it can be a suitable addition to your diet.

How to Cook and Serve Opah Fish?

Opah or moonfish is edible, both raw and cooked.

Hence, there are multiple ways to enjoy oily and delicious fish.

Since the opah has multiple colors in different parts of its body, it’s an ideal choice for Japanese delicacies such as sushi and sashimi.

Various parts of the opah yield different types and textures of meat.

So you can make a separate item with a specific part.

Grilled opah with papaya, mango, and avocado salsa is a popular recipe inspired by the tropics.

You can also pan-sear the fillets with your favorite seasonings.

Cook for 3-4 minutes on either side until it reaches 145F or 63C.

Mediterranean-style baked opah with veggies and herbs is another popular way of cooking the opah fish.

Steamed opah is delicious if you marinate it in white wine before cooking it to perfection.

Meat isn’t the only thing you can make steak with; you can make yummy opah steak too.

You can also make a curry with moonfish if you like Asian flavors.

There are plenty of recipes to choose from so give it a try.

If you want more variety, smoked opah sounds pretty delicious too.

When cooking the fish, see that you don’t overcook it, or it will become too dry, and the flavor can get spoiled.

The fish blends nicely with most herbs, veggies, and seasonings.

So, you can also make dishes using your favorite ingredients.


Opah is a tasty fish with different textures, so it’s pretty interesting.

It also contains plenty of nutrients, so it offers you goodness and lets you experience amazing flavors.

Since it’s edible raw and cooked, it gives you plenty of opportunities to create numerous dishes.

If you have never cooked it before, do not worry because you will find innumerable recipes with opah fish.

For a perfectly cooked fish, keep an eye on the time, or it can overcook and spoil the entire dish.

what does opah fish taste like

What Does Opah Fish Taste Like? Does It Taste Good?

Wondering about the taste of Opah fish? Opah has a unique flavor profile that's often described as rich, mild, and slightly sweet. Its texture is firm and meaty, similar to tuna or swordfish. Opah's taste is generally well-received, appealing to seafood lovers with its savory and slightly sweet notes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


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