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Hamachi and me.

There are certain fish that I think present themselves perfectly without being fancified, hamachi (yellowtail) being one of them. I went to my favorite local sushi place on Saturday night with my wife and my brother, who loves sushi, but is not nearly as crazy about as I, and ordered a huge platter with all our staples. The discussion du soir was the hamachi. My brother likes it in a maki with scallions, whereas I prefer it sushi or sashimi . It’s not that there was any problem ordering, but I was just wondering how much he really could appreciate the fish that way.

Don’t get me wrong, I know everyone has different preferences, and there is no one way to serve anything, but I always feel that the reason I eat what I eat is to really appreciate the fish. The taste. The texture. The mouthfeel and the lingering flavours. There is nothing wrong with pairing the yellowtail with scallions in a roll, in fact, the scallion (or green onion) does a good job complimenting the fish, but I just can’t help being a purist with this one particular fish.

It’s my favorite piece. Hamachi has a buttery flavor that I cannot find in the finest otoro, and a texture that rivals it as well. A good piece yields gently to the tongue, and has a subtle taste that is unique and familiar at the same time. Unfettered with additional flavors, hamachi is the purest example of why sushi is such a unique food; it is something special and something to tell your friends about. Hamachi is clean, consistent, and defined, and never interferes with it’s friends on your plate. It carries it’s own bags and makes the bed when it leaves.

I had my hamachi sashimi and he had his hamachi maki , and we were both happy at the end of the meal. The Gekkikan Black & Gold sake may have helped that, but I prefer to think it was the company 🙂 I’m not trying to be an evangelist, merely share my opinions, but I would suggest that anyone try hamachi sashimi or sushi at least once, if you are used to having it maki style with scallions. There really are no comparisons to this gentle and robust neta.

The Sushi Guy.

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4 Responses to “Hamachi and me.”

  • TheWienerman says:

    Yo sushi guy.
    I have already ordered from CatalinaOP once and am preparing to do it again.

    Are there any other places like that for online ordering of fresh fish?

  • war3rd says:

    I cannot comment on any other online sources, as I have only ordered from Catalina and like them a lot, so I have never had to order anywhere else. Perhaps for the sake of this blog, I should, just to test others, but until now I hadn’t though about it. When I make sushi at home, I don’t always order online though, I also buy ‘sushi grade’ fish from a local Japanese grocery store near me. If I find any other places, I’ll be sure to post, though.

  • TheWienerman says:

    Wow that was fast.

    So I am planning on ordering the 1.6lb hamachi along with lots of other stuff. Is the Hamachi there 100% SASHIMI ready?

    I called and spoke to Jeff and he sid that it comes from Japan and is essentially 1/2 a fish but that it is all cleaned.

    Do I remove the skin or trim it at all before eating?

    BTW, the escolar (White tuna) there is incredible.

  • war3rd says:

    I’m not sure how the hamachi in particular will arrive, but if the skin is still on, yes, you will need to trim it from the skin, which is tough and no fun to chew on raw. When you remove the skin, you may notice a white ‘residue,’ for lack of a better word, on the flesh. This is perfectly OK to eat and has no texture, removing it is impossible except by removing meat as well. As you slice the fish, you will see a small strip of white on the edge, which actually looks kind of neat, IMHO. You may have noticed this in restaurants as well when you have eaten yellowtail.

    As for the escolar, yes, it’s great stuff, but I eat it in moderation. For many people it can cause gastric distress due to the quantity fatty esters that are not digestible, and there are those who are particularly sensitive to this. I haven’t had any problems so far, but I don’t want to tempt fate 😉

    Good luck and report back if you care to. It’s always great to hear about other folks’ experiences.


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