Kampachi – The Fish of the Moment


King Kampachi farm’s ASC-certified fishery now provides their much-desired kanpachi to home chefs as a tasty alternative to more commonly seen yellowtail or amberjack varieties.

Kampachi (Seriola rivoliana), commonly referred to in sushi restaurants as Hamachi, Buri, or Hiramasa, is farmed Kampachi that can also be called Amber Jack due to its similar appearance to wild counterparts but makes for easier preparation.

Whole Fish

Home chefs may find preparing and serving an entire fish daunting, but with preparation and patience, it can become one of the most satisfying dishes you can ever create. Branzino is an excellent example: its thin layer of fat keeps the flesh moist while adding flavor; bones can easily be removed. Meanwhile, Kampachi presents more challenges: its distinct bone structure requires additional time and care in preparation, but its delicate flavor and firm texture more than makeup for the effort!

Hawaiian Kanpachi is an exquisite yellowtail family member that has taken the culinary world by storm. Renowned for being pure, fresh, and subtle in taste, Hawaiian Kanpachi makes a delicious crudo or can also be cooked on the grill for maximum versatility.

Seriola rivoliana is commonly referred to as Kampachi in Hawaii and Amberjack in the wild; however, unlike its wild counterpart, it has been humanely raised from hatch to harvest, producing higher quality meat with enhanced flavor, richer texture, and firmer consistency than wild counterparts. Furthermore, Seriola rivoliana provides Omega-3 fatty acids with significantly lower mercury levels than other fish species.

At the Polynesian Cultural Center, our chefs prepare Kampachi with vegetables and spices in a banana leaf wrap as an honoring tradition for Hawaii culture and the islands from which this delicious fish hails.

Wild Kampachi fish is also available. However, the vast majority of our Kampachi sold here is farm-raised by Blue Ocean Mariculture in pristine waters off Baja California and Hawaii using their sustainable open ocean aquaculture system that utilizes high-quality non-GMO feed, solid currents, and humane Ikejime methods to ensure healthy and happy fish.

Next time you order Kampachi at the Polynesian Cultural Center, ask your server whether it has been certified as ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council). This certification imposes stringent requirements on our partner farms that ensure employees enjoy safe working conditions that allow for fair living wages and that farmers demonstrate respect for employees by treating them with dignity.


If you prefer not to tackle whole fish, most grocery stores and fishmongers sell fillets of various sizes. A fish fillet is effectively the lengthwise half of an entire fish that has been cleaned, boned, and further divided into smaller parts; often thinner than whole fish fillets are available for purchase.

Fish have spines running down their center, and fillets are created by cutting away from either side of this spinal column and trimming off two long, thin, flat pieces called fillets – although these might also be known as steaks or sashimi cuts.

When purchasing fillets, select fish with a firm texture and an appealing hue; their skin should also be healthy without becoming slimy over time.

Avoid buying fish with an offensive smell, as this could indicate it has been refrigerated or frozen for too long, as well as watery or cloudy appearances, which could show poor water quality or unhealthy fish.

When buying filets, be sure to inquire about the cutting technique used. A V-cut is often employed, producing evenly-sized fillets suitable for grilling, sauteing, and being pounded, stuffed, battered, and deep fried.

A J-cut fish fillet can make for an excellent option when used for sashimi or sushi, producing evenly-sized fillets while simultaneously sculpting away pin bones to achieve a cleaner, more precise cut.

Kampachi fish is versatile enough to withstand various seasonings and cooking methods, from Cajun blend to garlic pepper or smoked paprika for extra zest, or drizzle with butter before sprinkling with fresh herbs like lemon zest for a new twist. When it comes to frying, it’s best to remember the thickness of the fillet will determine how long you need to fry it, and keeping an instant-read thermometer handy is invaluable in ensuring a successful outcome without burning or becoming soggy.


Presenting Kampachi in a skirt can make an appealing presentation when serving large or small groups. This versatile dish offers layers of flavor with its combination of sashimi-style slices of fish, roasted cherry tomatoes, and salad greens topped with an abundance of tasty salad greens.

A refreshing salad ingredient tossed with a delicious citrus zest-scallion-mint-chives vinaigrette. Each portion is drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil before sprinkling with fresh cracked pepper (optional salt).

Kanpachi, closely related to hamachi, is called Almaco Jack in the wild or Hawaiian yellowtail in restaurants and sushi bars. Depending on how it’s prepared, kanpachi can range from lean and light to rich and buttery depending on its preparation method. Kanpachi thrives well under captivity conditions, making it an excellent candidate for aquaculture production.

Most kampachi available today is farm-raised and not caught wild, as previously. Instead, most kampachi farms today support sustainable seafood production with forward-thinking strategies for our planet’s health and sustainability.

Blue Ocean Mariculture’s farm-raised kampachi are raised in unique submerged pens that allow them to swim freely, feed naturally, and develop healthy body fats naturally. Furthermore, these fish are free from internal parasites and do not have detectable mercury levels.


Kampachi has recently become one of the most trendy fish, making an impactful statement about sustainability and being healthy through high levels of omega-3, low mercury content, and versatility – such as being served sashimi style, baked/grilled/ceviche. Kampachi also stands out as an environmentally friendly choice as its production is free of hormones, prophylactic antibiotics, or any residue from past use – creating exciting culinary innovations across various cuisines. Guest blogger Braxton Davis (BSM-Marketing/Minor in French) writes more on Kampachi as one of its vital sustainability features: it contains high levels of omega-3 with low mercury content while giving birth to new dishes in many cuisines around the globe.

Kanpachi (Seriola rivoliana) is an almaco jack species commonly consumed by wild and farm populations worldwide, serving as a food source for both species (the Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerili). Furthermore, “kampachi” may also refer to both varieties.

At the center of compact bone lies an intricate network of soft tissue called cancellous bone that resembles a sponge. Here lies bone marrow containing stem cells, which produce red blood cells, platelets, and specific white blood cells that help heal wounds in our bodies.

At the Polynesian Cultural Center, our chefs specialize in crafting delicious kampachi and other Polynesian specialties for our guests to enjoy. At Gateway Buffet and Alii Luau, for instance, their chefs use traditional Hawaiian methods to serve their grilled kampachi on banana leaves to preserve its fresh flavors and juices – which our other locations follow suit with.