Oahu’s restaurants offer a variety of fresh fish on their menus, but often it is confusing because names of fish in Hawaii may be different than you are familiar with. With that in mind, we thought we would provide you with a guide for the types of fish and names they are known by, in an effort to help you determine which fish you would prefer when dining out or shopping in the markets.
- Mahimahi…. Other locales may call this dolphinfish, or dorado. It is very popular in Hawaii and found as a choice on most menus since it is available most of the year. It is a thin-skinned fish with a firm, light colored flesh and a delicate flavor.
- Opakapaka… Also known as pink snapper, this fish is also a favorite. It, like the Mahimahi, has a delicate flavor, a firm, light pink flesh, and is good baked or sautéed.
- Ono… In Hawaii, ono means “the best” and this fish, with its white flesh and flaky texture, is definitely a popular choice! Chefs have many ways of preparing it, and they are all guaranteed to be delicious.
- Onaga… This is another kind of snapper, also known as ruby snapper, and is often served raw as sashimi, but is good baked, steamed, or sautéed.
- Ahi… The quintessential “go to” fish for Sashimi and Poke, this is commonly known as yellow fin tuna. Its flesh is red and its flavor is almost steak-like! You will also see this prepared “blackened”, Cajun style.
- Uku… Another snapper, this time grey, this fish has a clear, pale flesh that is popular for sashimi, but is also often served the same ways as Opakapaka, although its flavor is slightly stronger.
- Swordfish… commonly known as Marlin, this fish is a favorite worldwide and is one fish many are familiar with. Hawaii’s swordfish is considered some of the best you can buy!
Certainly there are other fish which you may find in markets or on menus which we have not listed here, but this will give you a little insight to help you with your decisions when purchasing, preparing, or ordering fish in Hawaii. Find your favorite and enjoy!