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Mar 2, 2012 04:20 AM


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....