Notable Nosh- Yellowtail Three Ways
There are quite a number of different fish known as ‘Yellowtail’, but one, also known as the ‘Amberjack’, features regularly in Japanese cuisine, where it is called ‘Hamachi’. I had dinner with a friend at Wasabi, in Ottawa’s Byward Market not long ago and I saw the above dish listed on the menu. We had already ordered at that point but I made a point of going back by myself for lunch the next day so I could try it.
The dish featured Yellowtail prepared three different ways: The first was the grilled ‘collar’; the second, a sort of wrap described as a ‘Taco’; and the third, a marinated Sashimi. All three were delicious and if you wish to see them in more detail, read on…
Grilled Collar – I have written (raved) elsewhere about the ‘collar’ of fish (notably Grilled Salmon Collar) but this effort was the best I have ever had. I didn’t ask, but I am fairly sure this was prepared ‘Shioyaki’ or ‘Salt-grilled’ style. Even the fin was edible and it a lovely crispy texture with a taste very much like that of Indian ‘Bombay Duck’. The skin was also delightfully crispy and the flesh beneath had a sweet unctuousness that was very rich. As an appetizer, this really left me wanting and I could easily have made a whole meal of it.
Fish Taco – This consisted of cooked yellowtail wrapped in a tortilla with avocado and tomato. The fish was very delicately flavored but it wasn’t overwhelmed by the other ingredients and the whole was delicious, if a little messy to eat. There was a little cilantro in it, which I don’t much like, but not enough to spoil the taste for me. I’d really like to try making these myself sometime.
Sashimi with Garlic Chip, Jalapeno and Yuzu Dressing – Actually, this was more of a ‘Ceviche’ than a Sashimi as the acidity of the Yuzu juice lightly ‘cooked’ the exterior of the fish slices, leaving the interior still raw, rather like a Tataki preparation. The dressing was actually quite mild, and complimented the fish very nicely, but I found that eating some Jalapeno and Garlic at the same time came close to overpowering the sweetness. That being said, the garlic was really very good and didn’t have the bitterness I often find with fried garlic chips. Again, this part of the dish was a winner.