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Which fish are the best to dine on?

Ask the Big Kahuna

“Answering the most common visitor questions”


Question:

We’re big fish-eatin folks from Montana. We’re coming to Hawaii and bringin our stomachs. Can you tell us the best tasting eatin’ fish in Hawaii?

Big Boy
Big Sky, Montana


Response:

Aloha, Mr. Big Boy,
Like many things, the best tasting fish is in the mouth of the diner. Here’s a list of fish in Hawaii you may wish to savor:

ISLAND FISH/SEAFOOD
Ahi – Tuna; raw in sashimi or poke, also seared, blackened, baked or grilled; good in fish sandwiches. Try painting ahi steaks with mayonnaise, which completely burns off when BBQ ‘d but seals in the moisture. Generally most plentiful April through September.

Hapu’upu’u – A grouper not usually available during the summer; best served baked or steamed.

Kona Crab – An elusive sand burrowing crab that can reach 8″ and can only be caught by baited nets and traps.

Lobster – Hawaiian spiny lobster is quite good; also called “bugs” by lobster hunters.

Mahimahi – Deep ocean fish also known as a dolphin fish; very common in restaurants.

Marlin – Tasty when smoked, otherwise can be tough; the Pacific Blue Marlin (kajiki) is available almost year round.

Monchong – Excellent tasting deepwater fish, available year round. Usually served marinated and grilled.

Onaga – Also known as a ruby snapper; excellent eating in many preparations.

Ono – (Wahoo); awesome eating fish and can be prepared many ways; most plentiful May through October. Ono is also the Hawaiian word for delicious.

Opah – (Moonfish); excellent eating in many different preparations; generally available April through August.

‘Opakapaka – (Crimson snapper); great tasting fish generally cooked several ways. Common Oct.-Feb.

‘Opihi – Using a specialized knife, these must be pried off rocks at the shore-line, which can be hazardous. Best eaten raw mixed with salt.

Poke – Fresh raw fish or octopus mixed with seaweed (limu), sesame seed and other seasonings and oil.

Shutome – Swordfish; dense meat that can be cooked several ways. Most plentiful March through July.

Shrimp – Kekaha shrimp or prawns are farm raised on Kaua’i and are excellent.

 Here are a few places to find such delicacies: Big Island | Kauai | Maui | Oahu

Happy dining,

Big Kahuna