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

When it comes to fish dishes, there are so many varieties that the taste can vary quite dramatically, depending on the species.

Opah is the kind of fish which is also generally versatile anyway, and it is tasty but also really healthy. However, the reason opah is interesting is because it has four different types of flesh.

Each of these flesh types has its own color, so you could make a number of dishes using the colored flesh. This way, you can make the most of one fish and have it feel like you are eating completely different meals.

What Does Opah Fish Actually Taste Like Does It Even Taste Good

If you have never tried opah before, then you might be curious as to what it tastes like. Fortunately you are in luck! In this article you will find out all you need to know about opah so you can try out a new delicious fish (see also ‘What Does Amberjack Taste Like?‘). 

What Actually Is Opah Fish?

Opah fish, which is often referred to as a moonfish, is a particular type of fish that is a member of the genus Lampris and Lampyridae families.

It is referred to as a moonfish due to its shape. It looks quite similar to that of the moon when it is rounder in shape. 

The reason opah fish is so unique is because it has four different flesh colors, which also means that there are four different varieties of meat too. 

For example, the backbone which reaches from the tail to the eye is orange in color. It has a similar color to that of a salmon. The breastplate area of the fish is a bright red color.

The cheeks of the fish are red, and lastly, the side of the fish has a stringier texture and is pale pink in color. Once cooked, every single bit of this meat turns to white, apart from the breastplate area. This goes to a brown color. 

What Does An Opah Fish Look Like?

While the opah fish looks similar to a butterfish, they are not connected in any way. An opah fish can grow up to two meters in length, and weigh around 600 pounds. That is quite hefty!

This means that if you catch a large opah fish, you can have a few meals using the same fish. 

The opah fish is also warm-blooded. It has grills which are unique to it. They are a little like a radiator in a car, because even when they are in the cool depths of the ocean they can regulate their own temperature to stay warm. 

You will find this type of fish in the ocean, however sometimes they are washed to shore due to climate issues.

While in the ocean, the opah fish will feed on smaller fish, krill, and squid. However, they need to be careful. Sharks see them as prey and will eat them at the first chance that they get. 

What Taste Does Opah Fish Have?

Opah fish are quite delicious, and are perfect for those who like to taste that fishy taste without it being too strong.

In fact, it is said that they have a similar taste to swordfish and tuna (find more swordfish recipes here). So, if you like them, you will love opah fish. 

The opah fish has quite a cream-like taste due to its fatty flesh. While it has a firm texture, it is also quite oily. This makes it a really good fish to not only eat, but also cook with. 

However, despite its popularity now, back in the 1970s and before, people were not so interested in the opah fish. This was due to the fact they did not find the flavor interesting to eat.

Since the 1980s, people have been willingly choosing to eat opah fish. We now know it to be a tasty and delicious fish that has great health benefits.

So for this reason, you will see it on the menu at restaurants when you go out for dinner. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Opah Fish?

There are many health benefits associated with eating opah fish. Not only does it include the much needed essential fatty acid Omega-3, but it also includes vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, protein, phosphorus, and selenium.

All of these things are needed for a healthy body, brain and heart, and to help reduce certain diseases. 

The fish is also really low in sodium too, so will suit anyone who is on a specific diet – unless you are a vegetarian who does not eat fish. 

What Does Opah Fish Actually Taste Like Does It Even Taste Good (1)

What Other Names Does An Opah Fish Have?

Any opah fish has many names which are often due to their roundish shape. These are moonfish, kingfish, Hawaiian moonfish, sunfish, or a redfish ocean pan. 

What Is The Best Way To Cook Opah Fish?

You can actually eat opah fish cooked and raw, so no wonder it is often compared to a fish like tuna. Because it can be eaten raw, it is often used in Japanese-based sushi, as well as sashimi (see also ‘How To Serve Tobiko And What It Tastes Like?‘). 

This is due to the fact the flesh is different colors, so when it is put into sushi you will be able to see the different colors clearly. 

Also, the different parts of the fish have a range of textures and taste, so it makes sushi very interesting.

One of the simplest and easiest ways to cook opah fish is by pan-searing it alongside some seasonings of your choice.

To do this, you just need to pan-sear for 3 to 4 minutes on each side of the fish at a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Final Thoughts

Opah fish makes a really interesting choice of fish. Because it has different flesh colors which also means different textures and flavors, it makes this kind of fish quite unique.

Not only will you be able to make more than one meal from this type of fish, but it also has lots of healthy nutrients. So while you will have a delicious dish, you will be eating something really healthy as well.

It is also a really easy fish to cook, especially if you are using a pan. It can also be eaten raw, and is often used in things like sushi and sashimi. This way the unique colors of the flesh are kept. 

When the opah fish is cooked all of the flesh turns white. You will also notice that it has a very similar taste to tuna. 

So if you want an easy fish to cook and eat, and also one that is really unique, then opah fish is it!

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