Hawaiian Ono & Opah

Sustainably caught and responsibly managed.

That’s the only type of seafood that should ever make it to your (or anyone’s) plate. (Yes, still on the felxitarian soapbox.) Of course all food should be grown, raised and harvested with a “best-practices” mind set … one that not only preserves the nutritious integrity but also considers what’s best for the environment throughout the entire cultivation process. But, navigating the waters (pun intended) of the seafood market can be confusing for consumers. Good news, there’s a way to get delicious, sustainable and responsibly managed fish shipped straight to your front door.

“Most of our fish come from the Hawaii longline fishing fleet made up of about 160 boats,” says fishmonger and owner of Honolulu Fish Co., Wayne Samiere. “Every morning, our buying crew goes down to the dock to meet the boats, search through the catch and pick out the fish we want to buy. Our success,” and  adds, “has been our ability to select the fish we sell and (therefore) offer very consistent quality to our customers.

“Hawaii’s fishing industry is the most heavily regulated, monitored and managed fishery in the United States,” says Samiere. “ The guiding principles of Honolulu Fish Co. is to only work with well-known and well-managed fisheries. We don’t support fisheries in countries that practice damaging techniques and who don’t have a resource management plan. In general, good quality comes from good operators. And good operators hold resource management as the highest guiding principle.” 

Ono is more commonly known as wahoo and in Hawaiian literally translates to mean “good to eat.” 

Recently, we were lucky enough to sample some of ono and opah from the Honolulu Fish Co. and I can honestly report that it is nothing shy of pure perfection. First, the fish arrives meticulously packed—it could look more pristine. We took the large fillets, cut them into single serving sizes, and not being able to decide which to cook first, opted to try a little bit of both. I mean why wouldn’t we? Here’s how we (and by we I really mean Gastro Gabe) cooked and served the fish. And stay tuned, over the next few weeks I’ll post a few more in-depth recipes for cooking these divine Hawaiian fish, in the meantime, visit HonoluluFish.com to order today’s fresh catch straight to your front door.

How to Cook Fresh Fish

While there are a ton of recipes floating around (pun intended) for seafood, in all honesty you really don’t need a recipe to cook a great piece of fresh fish. So try this foolproof, simple method … First, start with a great piece of fish like ono (the longer of the two) and opah (the thicker piece) seen here. The fish—no matter the species—should be clear and bright, with no indentations.

Rinse fish, lightly pat dry and place on plate. Drizzle both sides with a touch of EVOO. Place fish, skin side down—if skin is still intact—in a heated pan and cook for 3 minutes. Optional, add a tablespoon of ghee (I don’t recommend butter as it burns too quickly). Turn fish every 2-3 minutes until each side has been exposed to the pan. Note, you will need to adjust your cook time for anything thinner, or thicker. Add some cracked pepper, sea salt and a fresh lemon if you like. Serve with whatever sides float your boat. We did both a small serving of ono and one of opah over black rice with sauteed Brussels sprouts, and then for an even lighter meal, grilled asparagus and Brussels sprouts with a nice chunk of opah. Oh, and don’t forget the chardonnay ; )

Babe … you forgot one really important ingredient: the “special someone.” Everything tends to taste a bit better when cooking for the one you love. Energy—good energy is key. So cooking for you, is the key to making dishes like this turn out so well.

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