Grilled Opelu

Opelu is the Hawaiian name for small mackerel. It is best simply grilled and served with salt and pepper. Opelu should not be overcooked mackerel. It is finished when its flesh becomes opaque but still moist, and can easily be pierced with a fork.

Grilled Opelu

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  • 4 opelu
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


Gut the fish if necessary and rinse well inside and out.

Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together is a small bowl.

Make ½‑inch deep slits about 1‑inch apart down both sides of the fish. Lay them into a shallow sided baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Let them marinate about 30 minutes. 

Prepare the grill and let it burn down to medium-hot coals. Remove the fish from the marinade and place them on clean well oiled grates set 4 to 6 inches above prepared coals or fire, and about 3 inches apart. Baste with marinade, and close the hood of the grill. Cook until fish is opaque and moist on the inside, about 6 to 8 minutes for fish less than 1‑inch thick, and 10 to 15 minutes for fish larger than 1‑inch thick. Serve warm.