Grilled Opah with Asparagus

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grilled opah quick recipe
Grilled opah with asparagus

The sun has finally returned after a miserable rainy week. It is May already and I could not believe it when the temperature dropped back to the 40s at the beginning of this week. Since it is finally sunny and warm again today, my partner and I decided to celebrate by firing up our grill.

We both love grilling when the weather is nice and doesn’t everything taste good on the grill, whether it is meat, seafood or vegetables? Grilling also requires little preparation time as well as easy clean-up.

Tips for grilling fish

The trick for grilling fish is to make sure your grill is hot enough and the grates are well oiled.

Besides, you should flip the fish only when it has released itself from the grill, otherwise it will stick. This applies to both grilling fish fillets and whole fish.

What is opah?

I did not know there is such a thing until about a month ago when our fishmonger introduced it to us, saying it is his favorite fish for grilling.

Opah, also called moonfish, is very popular in Hawaii. It has translucent pinkish flesh, which turns white when fully cooked. I like both its flavor and texture and I think it is like a hybrid of tuna and Chilean sea bass.

grilled opah
Opah has translucent, pinkish flesh

Opah has high fat content and when fully cooked, it is still moist, firm but not dry, with mild and buttery flavor.

I used very simple seasoning in this recipe, mainly salt and pepper, because the fish itself is already buttery and delicious and the asparagus is so tender and sweet. Salt and pepper help to enhance instead of masking their flavors.

Here’s the fun fact: opah is the first warm-blooded fish ever found. This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, selenium and phosphorus.

However, some articles say it also has a moderate to high level of mercury, so opah should be eaten in limited amount and pregnant ladies may want to avoid it.

Some great grilling recipes you may want to try are:

Grilled opah with asparagus

Grilled opah and asparagus with lemon sauce

Grilled opah has a mild and buttery flavor. It takes only 20 minutes to have this grilled fish and vegetables plate ready for dinner.
Author: Sophie
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 6 oz opah fillets
  • 2 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the lemon sauce

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of a quarter of a lemon
  • a pinch of salt


  • Preheat your grill and oil the grates.
  • Use 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to season the fillets on both sides.
  • Coat the asparagus with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Set up the grill for direct cooking and place asparagus directly on the grill over medium heat, let it cook for 4 - 5 minutes.
    grilled asparagus eaten with grilled opah
  • After asparagus has been cooked for 4 - 5 minutes, turn the asparagus to cook the other side. Place the opah fillets on the other side of the grill over medium high heat. Let the fillets cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
    grilled opah
  • After the opah has been cooked for 2 - 3 minutes or until it releases itself easily from the grill, flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes.
  • Remove both opah and asparagus from the grill, drizzle the lemon sauce all over and enjoy.
    grilled opah with asparagus

Prepare the lemon sauce

  • Mixed juice of 1/4 of a small lemon with 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a tiny bit of salt thoroughly to combine. Adjust with more salt and lemon juice to your liking.


Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1715IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled opah
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  1. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious!! We just returned home from Maui and already miss the fabulous fish dishes. I found Opah at the store today but had no idea how to prepare it. Now I have a go-to recipe for sure!! Thanks so much:)

  2. Just bought some fresh Opah at my local market, was so excited to see they just received it in from the Hawaii. Opah is always one of my favorites when I am in Hawaii. Being that it is cold and raining in San Diego, I was thinking I could do this on a sheet pan in the oven and have the same results as when I get with my Salmon, any suggestions?

    1. Hi Carrie,
      I haven’t cooked opah in the oven so I’m sorry for not being to make any suggestions. Do you have a grill pan? When the weather isn’t nice outside, I sometimes use my grill pan on the stovetop and the result is often pretty good.

  3. 5 stars
    I was thinking of just searing the Opah but after reading your intro I grilled the asparagus I had gotten at farmers market & took a lemon from my tree cut it in half & grilled that too. The fish was the star, that first bite was sublime. Thank you!!
    I always get opah when I see it, this was special.

    1. Hi Sue,
      I’m glad to hear that you also like opah. I wonder when this fish will start to be more popular. Only one grocery store in my town sells it. And asparagus from farmers market, lemon from your own tree sounds wonderful.
      Thank you so much for the comment!

    2. 5 stars
      This was the first time trying Opah. We loved the recipe. The fish turned out great. Will definitely do this again

  4. This was on sale in my local Whole Foods today so I bought some to try and came across your recipe once I got home.
    I can’t believe this isn’t a more popular fish – great tasting and your simple method of prep is perfect for the flavors of this fish.
    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Mark! Thank you for leaving me such a kind comment and I’m happy to hear that you like the simple prep method for this fish. I personally like it for grilling more than other firm white fish such as swordfish and mahi-mahi. If my fishmonger hadn’t recommended it, I would probably have never tried it.
      Thanks again :)!

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