In Japanese sushi terminology, the amberjack is grouped as one of the”Big Three Yellowtails” which consist of yellowtail, yellowtail amberjack, and the amberjack. They are all considered luxury fishes. All are of the same genus, and only differ slightly.
The Amberjack is one of the few fishes that taste good throughout its whole life. The Shokko, which can be caught in Autumn is a seasonal delicacy. During the infant stage, it has a pattern similar to the symbol “8” in the middle of its face, therefore received the name kanpachi , or “center eight”.
The amberjack is considered best during the Summer. Compared to its cousins, it is lower in oil, and the flesh is a little softer. It has a pale white flesh and because of its delicate taste, it is sometimes aged in the refrigerator for about 1~2 days to intensify the flavors. It tastes refreshing when consumed with salt and citrus. It is also eaten either cooked or raw, and are a seasonal favourite in the colder months when the meat has a higher fat content.
Although it is frequently listed on menus as “Yellowtail tuna”, it is a fish of an entirely different family, the Carangidae, rather than the Scombridae family that includes tunas, mackerels, and bonitos.
Popular style: Nigiri
Popular condiments: Wasbi, or Salt and Yuzu