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All About Moonfish (Opah)

Moonfish, also known as opah, is found in every ocean but is particularly plentiful in the fishing zones off the coast of Hawaii.


Moonfish is a bony fish, its flesh is rich, meaty and to the aficionado, as savoury as salmon. Its firm, pink-to-orange flesh turns white when cooked. The deeper coloured flesh is used in making sushi and the lighter flesh is ideal for grilling.

Sole representative of the lampris family, the moonfish is very unique-looking fish, not only because of its bright colour—steel-blue back and bright red belly, fins, mouth and tail—but also because it is almost perfectly round and flat. It has no teeth or scales.

The moonfish is large, generally weighing 100 kilograms and measuring 1 metre. Some may even grow as long as 1.5 to 2 metres and as big as 270 kilograms.

Culinary tips and advice

The colour of its fragrant and very tender flesh varies; the darker being ideal for sashimi while the lighter pink is generally best served grilled or smoked.

Expert Tip

Opah can be substituted for tuna or salmon in any recipe.

Nutritional value

Moonfish is considered a fatty fish. For the weight-conscious, steaming, poaching or cooking in parchment would be the methods of choice.

Like all fish, the moonfish is a good source of high-quality protein and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Storage life

Fresh fish should be prepared as soon as possible following purchase.

  Refrigerator 4° C (40° F) Freezer -18° C (-4° F)
 Fresh moonfish (opah) 2 to 3 days 4 to 6 months
 Cooked moonfish (opah) 1 to 2 days –––


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