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I know this may not be the best category to post this subject HOWEVER I think most view this category most frequently-I wanted to post my experience w a new source for my beloved opihi. On my last trip back home to the Islands I was quite dismayed to find no opihi in most of the places I normally would have found them so I googled the subject and lo and behold-Opihi from of all places: Ireland! I am currently on my third shipment and must say I am very pleased with the quality and tastes of what I have been receiving. I generally order a few lbs. and freeze them in zip lock bags for consumption when the mood hits. I have found them to be a little less salty to what I am used to so occaisionally I add a dash of shoyo and sliced jalepenos-da bugga broke da mouth!!!! Try it-you'll love!


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  1. Never heard of Opihi before. Went to the site you listed and saw that, in the shell, it looks like bottlecaps. Must taste good. Is it usually eaten alone, or in more complex dishes?

    1. Interesting. Do you get the cleaned in shell or cleaned? Do you just defrost and eat raw? I'm unclear of the frozen factor of shellfish. To me you pluck the opihi from the ocean, shuck it and eat it, and toss the shell back into the ocean.

      Edit: I also enjoyed the story of the man from Ni'ihau on the website. I've always found a certain arrogance and sense of entitlement by the current residents of the forbidden isle. Although the spirit of the Robinson family preserving the hawaiian culture is admirable, it has become out dated, when the residents can come and go and visit the other islands, but native hawaiians cannot visit 'their" island. Many are on welfare, but offer nothing to fellow hawaiians.

      1. whenever I want opihi I just go to Tamashiro's Market. they usually have some, although it's much easier to find on the Big Island. dwindling size & harvest yields are leading to proposed legislation restricting the collecting of opihi here.

        8 Replies
        1. re: killersmile

          LOL!!! whenever I want opihi, I have to either get on an expensive plane for at least 12 hours. I like that there is another option. I'm just not understanding the frozen aspect.

          1. re: Bellachefa

            it's probably much more difficult to ship the opihi fresh (since that would mean it is still alive) than it is to ship it frozen. it would keep better frozen and wouldn't really suffer from delays in shipping. also, a lot of the opihi I have seen recently in the supermarkets even on the big island were frozen/previously frozen.

            1. re: killersmile

              but how do you prepare frozen opihi?

              1. re: Bellachefa

                you defrost it before you use it. obviously fresh is best, but it doesn't really suffer as far as taste/texture from the freezing.

                1. re: killersmile

                  You're toying with me. I cannot imagine eating a previously frozen oyster on the half shell in its raw state, or a littleneck or cherrystone thawed and raw. So I am serious about the prep. I guess I will have to contact them to get an answer.

                  1. re: Bellachefa

                    Frozen Oysters on the half-shell is very common and you'll find them typically from New Zealand in our local fish markets in Honolulu. Same goes for Abalone along with the live version available.
                    Most FRESH Caviar from Europe has been frozen then defrosted.

                    1. re: russkar

                      I feel like I am beating a dead horse here. My question is:

                      Do you thaw them and eat them raw?

                      Or is there another preperation?

                      1. re: Bellachefa

                        yes, thaw and eat raw. or thaw and prepare however you wish.

        2. So it's shipped from Ireland? Wow! Last time I had fresh opihi was at a backyard luau, there was a huge bowl filled with it, hadn't seen that much in years. Was so ono with poi and beer. Will have to give this a try.

          1. now you got me craving opihi....hopefully i can convince my boyfriend to go pick some for me!!!

            but $12 a pound is a pretty decent price, of course i didnt look at shipping. we freeze opihi all the time and just let it defrost without a problem. dethawed def are not as good as fresh. sometimes we grill them and sometimes we cook them in the microwave with some shoyu- but, i only eat them raw. one time my friend cooked them in a white wine sauce like clams and tossed it with some spaghetti. the options are endless and we are lucky to get lots over here to enjoy!

            Ive worked in quite a few restaurants and its not all that uncommon to serve previously frozen oysters raw....

            1. the opihi is shipped from Ireland to San Diego then distributed throughout the US. It arrives w a cold pack-might be frozen before shipping but arrives very cold. Since I buy several lbs at a time I simply divide into zip lock bags and freeze. Taste great every time I take out a batch and consume. For those of you who never had opihi-I usually get shelled ones. The taste is like a mouthful of ocean in a good way. Something you either aquire or had as a kid. I absolutely love opihi even though I could not stomach it as a kid-sort of like oysters for some. Best to eat raw w hot steaminh rice or better yet bland poi which of course it goes well with. It is a little on the slimey side but dont let that deter you. You can always rinse some of the ocean flavor off (which I would never do!) Ask any local-and they will drool at the sound of opihi! It's not traditional but occaisionally i jazz it up w hot peppers and shoyu. btw I am local from Hawaii residing in NYC and absolutely love this new found source!

              2 Replies
              1. re: UES Mayor

                I've never been a fan of clams, oysters, mussels, etc.; but I do like Opihi. It has a clean ocean flavor as you described, but without the overwhelming bitter flavor that I get from most of the others. Is the Irish Opihi sold as Opihi, or does it have an Irish name?

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  yes-sold as opihi-click on link in original post

              2. `HI Ues mayor.
                I have been trying to get onto the website for a while now and i cant seem to have any luck. Its down. What company did they send with.? I live in ireland and there are loads all over the rocks here i would love to send some opihi out to a mate in Hawaii. But i don't know how to do it. Any info would help.

                1 Reply
                1. re: irishRhino

                  They have a Facebook Page, too:

                  35 Shore Street
                  KW14 8BN Thurso, Highland
                  Phone 011-44-750-184-1037
                  Email opihipickerz@hotmail.com
                  Website http://opihi4sale.com

                2. Thanks for posting this. Haven’t had too many opportunities to eat opihi. Most recent were Helena’s last year and at a baby lu’au on Kaua’i about three weeks ago, where I probably had more than my share. Do you know where in San Diego it’s shipped to from Ireland? It’d be nice if I could just drive over and pick it up when it arrives in the US.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: beantowntitletown

                    Oops. Didn't pay attention to how old this thread is. Facebook page says website is shut down.

                    1. re: beantowntitletown

                      Judging from the Facebook comments, the site has been down for a few months now...ouch. The owner did say this:

                      "Aloha Jaun: I temorarily shut down site at request of big seafood distributor I am negotiating woth to get back into the seafood markets in Hawaii. Please call my brother Mitch at 858-342-5175 He still has some of our Opihi in stock. Mahalo and thank you for your interest in our Opihi."