Ginger Crusted Opakapaka
with Plum Chili Sauce


Lomi lomi salmon recipeOpakapaka, or Hawaiian Pink Snapper, has light pink flesh (turns white when cooked), a firm texture somewhere between mahi mahi and ono, and a delicate flavor. It is caught with hook and line method in the deeper waters off Hawaii (30-100 fathoms). The stock in the North Western Hawaiian Islands considered a healthy and sustainable stock, making okapakapa one of the more popular fish offered in Hawaii restaurants these days.

This is a I discovered this recipe through the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council website. The Plum Chili Sauce makes the dish suitable to impress even the most hardened mother-in-law, but the crusted filet on its own is amazing.


  • 4 opakapaka filets (6 oz)
  • 1/8 cup fresh* ginger, grated
  • 1/8 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix together ginger, scallion, cilantro and panko. Season filets with salt & pepper. Press one side of filets into panko mixture, making sure that the crust is even across the filet (If you're gonna forgo the plum sauce below, then bread it both sides. Heat oil over medium heat. Pan fry fish, panko side down. When golden brown, flip and continue cooking until fish is cooked through.

*TIP FROM THE COOK: Always use fresh ginger. If you usually use it grated, then there simply freeze the root and take it out when you need it. Wrap it in a small piece of newspaper first, and then stick it in a baggy (the paper and double-wrap method helps prevent freezer burn). Then, just shave away the skin and grate as needed while still in the froen state. I've used the same root for over 6 months and honestly do not notice any quality difference.

Plum Sauce

  • 2 cups plum wine
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp chopped scallion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 Tbsp shallots
  • 2 Tbsp Lingham Chili Sauce
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1.5 cups unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a non-reactive sauce pot, add plum wine, rice vinegar, lime juice, scallion, shallots, ginger and gingham chili sauce. Heat over medium high heat to reduce by half. Add cream and reduce until cream starts to thicken. Whisk in butter slowly till all the butter is incorporated. Strain through a fine sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle 2 oz od sauce onto centre of plate and place filet onto sauce with crust size up. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.