A Guide to Hamachi: What is Hamachi?

what is hamachi

What is Hamachi – Hamachi is a delicious yellowtail fish sometimes served as unprocessed nigiri or sashimi-style sushi. Learn more about the traditional ways of preparing and consuming this beautiful Japanese specimen, as well as appropriate wine pairings.

Have you had “hamachi” or “buri” in your sushi recently? If not, this is the perfect spot for those who do not know what hamachi is. 

Hamachi is a vibrant, buttery, and flavorful Japanese fish, and this informative guide on hamachi covers everything you need to know. An omnipresent element of Japanese cuisine and a favourite star in sushi restaurants. This guide scrutinizes some of the names used in reference to hamachi, its delicacy, how, in past times, it was dished up, and where you can get it.

Hamachi is what type of fish?

Hamachi, commonly known as yellowtail or amberjack in Japanese, stands for Seriola Quinqueradiata, a member of the carangid family. The quality of this product is well known, and it is most popularly used in sushi and seafood places alike.

Depending on its maturity or period of capture yellowtail has various names:

Yellowtail: A bristling term under which wild and farmed specimens fall.

Buri: Representing a fully grown yellowtail reaching 31 inches/80 centimetres.

Hamachi: Define the juvenile yellowtail that weighs under 6 pounds.

Kanpachi: It looks and tastes similar to yellowtail, sometimes mistaken for the latter.

Distinction between farm-raised and wild-caught

When viewing hamachi differences in color and quality are readily seen whether it is taken from a farm or is caught.

In most dining places, farm-raised hamachi is widely practised because of the convenience of its acquisition. Farm-raised has a slight pinkish haze due to the high-fat content. This richness provides an enriching butter taste, which balances its natural sweet and sour taste.  Though importantly firm, the texture is perfect for the consumption of sashimi nigiri sushi.

On the other hand, wild-caught hamachi or yellowtail have unique features. It is naturally less fatty since it has more active behaviour in its natural environment rather than in a farm setting. Wild-caught yellowtail is lighter in colour and has a very firm texture with a strong umami taste. The tastefulness of wild-caught yellowtail is better during winter, although the product is available all year.

From where you can purchase yellowtail

Online wholesalers are a good alternative if you need to buy amberjack year-round. Concerning in-store availability, seafood markets and Asian grocery shops are the obvious choices for the rare occurrence of availability at Whole Foods.

Some wholesalers that stock amberjack include-

Anderson Seafoods

Browne Trading Company

Catalina Offshore Products

Giovanni’s Fish Market

Kai Gourmet

Preparation of hamachi

However, on the rare occasion that a seared hamachi dish is offered at a restaurant, the ultimate culinary experience is provided by the raw serving of this sushi-grade fish.

Given below are some of the ways to prepare Hamachi:

Hamachi Crudo: Sliced thinly, and the contour is soaked in a mix of citron juice and soy sauce.

Hamachi Sashimi: It was served with thin slices garnished with grated ginger, soy sauce, and wasabi, along with radishes, shredded daikon, cucumbers, and shiso leaf on the side.

Hamachi Nigiri: Toppled hamachi rice balls delicately decorated with slices of hamachi.

Hamachi Maki Rolls: Individual bite-sized pieces from a sheet of nori rolled by hand using rice.

Hamachi Donburi: It was served with rice in a bowl with several vegetables.

Nobu-Style Hamachi: Hot oil and sauce are poured over the top of the fish.

Serving ideas

Elevate your dining experience, whether with nigiri, maki, Crudo, or sashimi. Your guests will be amazed by the hamachi.

Enhance the feast by pairing hamachi with dipping sauces and a selection of these delectable tiny plates or main courses:

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Dan Dan Noodles

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

Thai Lettuce Wraps

Udon Soup

Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Hamachi Wine Pairings

Because of its fatty and oily character, hamachi pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chenin Blanc. 

A light and oaky Chardonnay complements the buttery taste of hamachi very nicely.

If you would like to go for the traditionalist option, try it with some sake. Fruity and dry types of sake such as Daiginjo pairs perfectly with this delicious fish.


Hamachi Guide has revealed the spirit of this truly unique fish and its traditional ways of preparation and consumption. Whether eating hamachi as nigiri, sashimi, maki, or Crudo, the options are wide and enjoyable. Learning the points of purchase for hamachi, either online from trusted wholesale suppliers or in person at fish markets and Asian grocery stores, contributes to its availability.

To enhance the dining, the wine accompaniment should feature sweet and citrusy white wines like Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or a light and oaky Chardonnay, as well as the classic combination of pairing hamachi with dry and fruity sake like Daiginjo. 


What can you eat with hamachi?

Hamachi sashimi: Sashimi is a Japanese presentation of raw fish or meat, sliced thin and eaten alongside an assortment of garnishes and condiments like freshly grated ginger and wasabi, shredded daikon radish, minty shiso leaves, and a dipping sauce like soy sauce or ponzu.

Can hamachi be eaten raw?

This fish is also particularly high in vitamins A, D, and calcium. Like all seafood/meat, it’s important to buy good quality (it makes a difference in the flavour, too!) and only consume raw hamachi if you know it is “sashimi quality”.

Is hamachi good to eat?

The meat is sweet, tender, full of rich flavor and especially juicy. Hamachi kama is also good for you, since you can cook it with no added fat whatsoever it tastes best simply grilled, with at most a sprinkling of salt, soy and citrus.

What is a fun fact about hamachi?

Hamachi is highly regarded for its ability to be eaten raw, and it commands a premium price in Japanese markets. These fish are raised in carefully monitored cages in Japan’s Inland Sea and are typically harvested at around 10 to 20 pounds.

Where do hamachi live?

The Hamachi, also known as the yellowtail amberjack, is a ray-finned fish belonging to the family Carangidae. Native to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, it is widely distributed in tropical and temperate waters from Japan to Australia.