Amberjack (Yellowtail Kingfish) is a bit of a generic name used for a number of different fish in the Jack family. In the US, Amberjack is generally the name for either the California Yellowtail which is wild caught off the California and Baja coast, or the Greater Amberjack which is wild caught off the US Atlantic coast and and southward to Brazil. However, Amberjack is also farmed in Japan and Australia, using 3 or 4 different species of the Jack family. Wild Amberjack have the tendency to have parasites. Hiramasa from Japan is also an Amberjack but does not have a parasite tendency.
Amberjack Flavor Profile
Amberjack has pale pink flesh with firm, large flakes and a sweet flavor. Hiramasa is a sashimi grade farmed Amberjack which has a higher fat content, firmer texture and cleaner flavor than wild Yellowtail Kingfish (Amberjack).
Typical Cooking Methods
Yellowtail Kingfish, Yellowtail Amberjack, Yellowtail, Hamachi (sushi), Kanpachi (sushi), Hiramasa (sushi), California Yellowtail, King Amberjack, Japanese Amberjack, Buri, Racing Tuna, Kahala 'opio (Hawaiian), Great Amberjack, Atlantic Amberjack.
Note about sushi: technically speaking, Hamachi is the Seriola quinqueradiata species, Kampachi is Seriola dumerili, and Hiramasa is Seriola lalandi. However, all three names are frequently used for Yellowtail irregardless of species.
Amberjack Tuna - this is a misnomer, perhaps as a marketing ploy. Amberjack is not a Tuna, although it has been marketed as Amberjack Tuna.
Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.
California Amberjack Yield Percentage and Recovery
|Item||To Skin/On Fillets||To Skin/Off Fillets||Notes|
|Whole Head/On gutted||63%||54%|
|Whole Head/Off gutted||74%||62%|
|Skin/On Fillets||--||84%||If you have yield info on this fish please comment below.|
Range & Habitat
Amberjack are found in subtropical regions around the globe including the Indo-West Pacific, Mediterranean Sea, and both the Eastern & Western Atlantic. Farmed Amberjack is rasied in Japan, Australia, and Mexico.
Typical Wholesale Products
H&G, Fillets, Loins
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch|
|Yellowtail, Kampachi, Kingfish||Farmed||Australia, Japan||no|
|Yellowtail, Kampachi||Wild, Handline||US South Atlantic||no|
|Hamachi, Kingfish, Japanese Yellowtail||Farmed, Open-net Pen||Australia, Japan||no|
|Coronado, Yellowtail, Yellowtail Kingfish, Hiramasa||Farmed, Open-net Pen||Australia, Japan||no|
|California Amberjack, Coronado, Hiramasa, Yellowtail, Yellowtail Jack, Yellowtail Kingfish||Wild, Gillnet, Hook & Line||California||na||no|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.|
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended
Farmed Amberjack from Japan & Australia have sustainability issues with feed and pollution, though Australia ranks better than Japan. Although wild caught Amberjack are in good supply and are reproducing at a sustainable level, they are down-graded on sustainability due to bycatch from Gillnets.
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.
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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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