If you happen to find it on the menu, NEVER miss it. Hiramasa (Yellowtail Amberjack, or Kingfish) is one of the highest-end fishes. And they are difficult to find, because of the limited volume.
Some call them ”prince of the blue-backed fish”. Because of their less oily, not too heavy, refined taste with class. They swim at a maximum speed of 25-30 miles (40-50 km) per hour. So some call them “sprinters of the sea”.
The volume caught in the wild is limited. They are farmed in some areas, but the production volume is not stable. You can never find them at supermarkets. You might find them only at very expensive restaurants.
Hiramasa looks similar to its cousins, Buri (Yellowtail) and Kanpachi (greater amberjack). The adult fish is the biggest among the cousins. They say specimens less than 3 feet (1 meter) are the best for Sashimi.
Fig.1 Hiramasa filleted by Syosaku Deba Knife
The majority of Sushi and Sashimi connoisseurs would rank Hiramasa as highest in taste.
Buri comes into season in the winter, known as Kan-Buri (Winter Yellowtail). Just before the spawning season, they are very nutritious and rich in good fatty acids. But they lose the richness during the summer season.
Hiramasa is less fatty, and has a firm flesh. But their complex flavors and lovely umami are highly appreciated. Hiramasa’s spawning season is from spring to early summer. It’s similar to Buri. But Hiramasa recovers very quickly, and they have stable quality all year round.
The Hiramasa season is often said to be from June to summer. But it is partly because Buri is not appreciated during this season. And partly because the volume of the wild caught increases in summer. Actually, you can enjoy Hiramasa regardless of the season.
Similar to the cousins, Hiramasa is very rich in the omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are excellent for your health.
I hear Hiramasa Kingfish is popular among anglers in Australia, too. I’m very curious how they cook the fish and like the taste. If you have an experience with Hiramasa, please share it.
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Fig.2 Sashimi, Hiramasa (Yellowtail Amberjack, or Kingfish) sliced by Syosaku Sushi Knife on Syosaku Urushi Glass Flat Dinner Plate Pure White with Gold Leaf, Dishwasher Safe.