Kampachi: Premium For A Reason

Summer is just around the corner, and that means many species of fish are going to become more accessible in the Pacific. Kampachi (Great Amberjack) is one of these highly sought-after summertime fish, with the rare wild-caught varieties regularly commanding hundreds of dollars per kilo in the marketplace. Farmed Kampachi is available year-round and averages $30-50 dollars a pound, and it is by far the most common variety of Kampachi. But there’s a good reason this species is so pricey: It is one of the most unique, flavorful, and versatile fish in the world.

Kampachi, served raw or cooked, has a rare combination of flavors that do not usually coexist in the same species. It is buttery, with a sweetness that has a nutty overtone. At the same time, it is mild, not fishy or briny, and it has a high fat content that makes it ideal for all kinds of sushi. Finally, its high level of oil, and especially omega-3 fatty acids, make it an incredibly healthy protein source.

Due to all these factors, Kampachi is commonly served raw as part of a sashimi dish, which allows its subtle flavors to shine through beautifully. In addition to this type of serving, the precise thickness of the cut can help emphasize the complex flavors at play: When preparing sashimi, many chefs cut the Kampachi about 3-4 millimeters thick – a standard cut that allows for full enjoyment of the higher fat and oil content of this succulent fish.

Kampachi from Japan, Hawaii, and the west coast of Mexico is regularly available at Martinez Produce and Seafood. To purchase sushi-grade Kampachi and other fresh and frozen seafood, call (773) 826-2840 or email inquiries@mpseafood.com.