Opihi Recipe

Opihi, also known as Hawaiian limpets, are a popular shellfish in Hawaiian cuisine. We bring you a simple recipe here today.


Opihi is a type of marine snail or limpet that is found in the intertidal zone along rocky shorelines in the Hawaiian Islands. The opihi is an important traditional food in Hawaiian culture, and is enjoyed both raw and cooked.

There are several different species of opihi found in Hawaii, but the most commonly consumed species is the blackfoot opihi (Cellana exarata). This species is characterized by its round, flattened shell, which is typically black or dark brown in color. The foot of the opihi is large and muscular, allowing it to cling tightly to rocks and resist strong ocean currents.

Opihi are harvested by hand, and the practice has been passed down through generations of Hawaiian families. Due to overharvesting and habitat loss, however, the opihi population has declined in recent years, and the harvesting of opihi is now regulated to ensure sustainable practices.

In addition to its cultural and culinary significance, the opihi is also an important part of the marine ecosystem in Hawaii. As filter feeders, they help to clean the ocean of organic material, and their shells provide important habitat for other marine organisms.


Opihi recipes can vary depending on personal taste and preference. Looking for a delicious and unique seafood dish? Try this opihi recipe! This Hawaiian delicacy is traditionally served steamed with just a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Our recipe includes tips for selecting fresh opihi and cooking them gently to ensure they’re tender and flavorful. Get ready to impress your guests with this exotic and delicious seafood dish. Here’s a simple recipe you can try:


  • 1 pound fresh opihi
  • 1 teaspoon Hawaiian sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Method Instructions

  1. Rinse the opihi thoroughly in fresh water to remove any sand or debris.
  2. In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, add the water and Hawaiian sea salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Carefully add the rinsed opihi to the pot and cover with the lid.
  4. Steam the opihi for 5-10 minutes or until the shells open. Be careful not to overcook the opihi, as they can become tough and rubbery.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and use tongs to transfer the cooked opihi to a serving dish.
  6. Serve the opihi hot with lemon wedges on the side for garnish.

Note: Be sure to only harvest or purchase opihi from legal and sustainable sources. Also, be aware that consuming raw or undercooked shellfish can pose a risk of foodborne illness.

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Recipe Tags: Opihi, Opihi Recipe, Recipe


  1. Steamed opihi with lemon: This is a simple and traditional way to serve opihi. After steaming the opihi, serve them in a bowl or on a platter, with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top.
  2. Opihi poke: Poke is a popular Hawaiian dish made with raw fish, but it can also be made with cooked opihi. To make opihi poke, chop the cooked opihi into small pieces and mix with diced onion, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili flakes. Serve with rice or on its own as an appetizer.
  3. Opihi chowder: Opihi can be used in seafood chowders or soups, along with other ingredients like potatoes, carrots, and celery. Add the cooked opihi towards the end of the cooking time to prevent overcooking.
  4. Opihi pizza: For a unique twist, try adding cooked opihi as a topping for pizza. Combine with other toppings like sliced onions, peppers, and cheese for a tasty and unconventional pizza option.

No matter how you choose to serve opihi, be sure to pair it with a refreshing beverage like iced tea, lemonade, or a cold beer.


  • Choose fresh opihi: When selecting opihi, look for ones that are still alive and tightly attached to their shells. Avoid any that have already detached from their shells, as they may not be safe to eat.
  • Rinse the opihi thoroughly: Rinse the opihi in fresh water several times to remove any sand, debris or unwanted substances that may be attached to the shells.
  • Cook the opihi gently: Opihi can become tough and rubbery if overcooked, so it’s important to cook them gently. Steaming or boiling the opihi for just a few minutes until the shells open is a good way to ensure they are cooked through without becoming too tough.
  • Add seasoning sparingly: Opihi have a delicate flavor, so it’s best to add seasoning sparingly. A small amount of Hawaiian sea salt or a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice is often enough to enhance the natural flavor of the opihi.
  • Serve immediately: Opihi are best served hot and fresh, so be sure to serve them as soon as they are cooked. Pair the opihi with a side of rice or other traditional Hawaiian accompaniments for a complete meal.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Opihi: Unfortunately, there is no true substitute for opihi. If you are unable to find or harvest fresh opihi, you may be able to use another type of seafood, such as clams or mussels, in your recipe instead.
  • Hawaiian sea salt: If you can’t find Hawaiian sea salt, you can use another type of sea salt or kosher salt instead.
  • Lemon or lime: If you don’t have fresh lemons or limes, you can use bottled lemon or lime juice instead.
  • Seasonings: Opihi are traditionally served with just a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon, but you can also experiment with other seasonings such as garlic, ginger, or chili flakes to add more flavor to your dish.

Remember, substituting ingredients may alter the taste and texture of the dish, so it’s best to experiment with small amounts and adjust as needed.


In conclusion, opihi is a delicious and unique seafood that is popular in Hawaiian cuisine. While there are many ways to prepare opihi, steaming them with a pinch of salt and serving with lemon or lime is a simple and traditional method. When making an opihi recipe, be sure to choose fresh opihi, rinse them thoroughly, and cook them gently to avoid overcooking.

Experiment with different seasonings and serving methods to discover your own favorite way to enjoy this tasty and special seafood. With these tips and suggestions, you can create a flavorful and memorable opihi dish to share with family and friends.

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