Okay I’m just really excited about this one. And have been telling everyone in earshot about Opah. Have you ever had it?? Me neither! It’s like opening brand new exciting toy at Christmas when I find a new food I haven’t cooked with before. And it’s even more exciting when I take it and make a recipe that turns out totally ahhhhmazing!
Get excited guys!
Okay, so, Opah… Let’s talk trivia. It’s the only known warm blooded fish. That’s cool, right? It’s also known as moonfish because of it’s rounded shape and circular pattern on it’s scales. They can be incredibly large – according to wikipedia they can grow to be up to 600lbs. They’re not particularly common in San Diego, but are definitely a Pacific Ocean fish.. probably more common near Hawaii. With the El Niño weather patterns and San Diego water temperatures being way higher than they should be, we are getting all sorts of interesting fish around these parts.So if you think about that, it might not be so shocking that my favorite fishmonger said they caught 25,000 lbs of local Opah just outside San Diego. And as a result they were trying to get rid of it and selling it for $7.99/lb!
(Or maybe I’ll just settle for a meager 2lbs)For anyone that might be interested, Catalina Offshore Products is where I get most of my seafood and that is where I got this great price on Opah. It’s one of the best suppliers of fresh seafood in the area and they sell to many of the local restaurants, but also sell to individual home cooks too. Such as me!Regarding the flavor- Opah is a dense, meaty, and somewhat fatty fish. It holds up well to cooking at a high temperature. It has a mild flavor, but due to the dense texture would hold up to a marinade. However, I did not use any extra flavoring for the fish and just seared it with salt and pepper to let the true flavor shine through.
If you do not have access to Opah, but also want to make this recipe, I’d recommend using Tuna or Swordfish. Tuna you can sear exactly the same amount of time as the Opah. For swordfish you might want to give it another minute per side.
Opa! for Opah!
Seared Opah with Asian Greens