What Is a Yellowtail Fish?

Last Updated on February 15, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Yellowtail fish is a popular seafood delicacy enjoyed around the world. It is highly prized for its mild flavor and firm texture, making it a favorite among seafood lovers. But what is yellowtail fish, and where does it come from? 

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about yellowtail fish, including its origin, preparation, health benefits, and how to cook it.

What Is a Yellowtail Fish?

Yellowtail fish, also known as hamachi in Japan, is a type of fish that belongs to the jack family. It is a saltwater fish that is found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The yellowtail is a fast-swimming fish that can grow up to 40 inches in length and weigh up to 40 pounds. It is characterized by its long, slender body, and a distinctive yellow stripe that runs the length of its body.

Where Does Yellowtail Fish Come From?

Yellowtail fish is commonly found in the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, including the coast of California, Mexico, Japan, and Australia. The fish is often caught using commercial fishing methods, including trolling, longlining, and gillnetting.

How Yellowtail Fish Is Prepared?

Yellowtail fish is a versatile fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, broiling, or even raw in sushi. It is often served in Japanese cuisine, where it is commonly known as hamachi. The fish is also used in other cuisines, including Mediterranean and American.

Health Benefits of Yellowtail Fish

Yellowtail fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to numerous health benefits. These healthy fats are essential for brain health, heart health, and may even help reduce inflammation in the body. Yellowtail fish is also high in protein, making it an excellent choice for those looking to increase their protein intake.

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Yellowtail Fish?

Yellowtail fish can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, depending on your personal taste. Some of the best ways to enjoy yellowtail fish include:

  • Sashimi: Yellowtail fish is often served raw in sushi or sashimi, where it is thinly sliced and served with soy sauce and wasabi.
  • Grilled: Grilled yellowtail fish is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy this fish. Simply season the fish with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then grill until cooked through.
  • Baked: Baking yellowtail fish is another great way to enjoy it. Simply place the fish in a baking dish and season with your favorite herbs and spices, then bake until cooked through.

Is Yellowtail a Tuna?

preparing yellowtail

No, yellowtail fish is not a tuna. Although yellowtail fish and tuna share some similarities, they are different species. Tuna is a larger fish that is found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, while yellowtail fish is smaller and found mainly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

What Does Yellowtail Taste Like?

Yellowtail fish has a mild, sweet flavor that is often compared to tuna or salmon. It has a firm, meaty texture that is perfect for grilling or baking.

Difference Between Yellowtail and Yellowfin

Yellowtail fish and yellowfin tuna are often confused due to their similar names. However, they are different species of fish. Yellowfin tuna is a larger fish that is found mainly in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, while yellowtail fish is smaller and found mainly in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

How to Cook Yellowtail Fish?

Yellowtail fish can be cooked in a variety of ways [1], depending on your preference. Here’s a simple recipe for grilled yellowtail fish:


  • 2 yellowtail fillets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, sliced


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Pat the yellowtail fillets dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the fillets with olive oil and place them on the grill, skin-side down.
  4. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the fish is cooked through.
  5. Remove the fish from the grill and serve with lemon slices.

Tips and Tricks

  • When buying yellowtail fish, look for fresh fish with clear, bright eyes and firm flesh.
  • To remove the skin from yellowtail fish, use a sharp knife and slice between the skin and flesh at a 45-degree angle.
  • Yellowtail fish can be marinated in a variety of flavors, including lemon, garlic, and herbs.
  • When cooking yellowtail fish, avoid overcooking as it can make the fish dry and tough.
  • To check if the fish is cooked, insert a fork into the thickest part of the fish. If it flakes easily, it is ready.


Yellowtail fish is a delicious and healthy seafood option that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. From sashimi to grilling, this fish offers a mild, sweet flavor that is perfect for seafood lovers. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice cook, yellowtail fish is easy to prepare and can be a great addition to any meal. So next time you’re at the grocery store, consider picking up some fresh yellowtail fish and try out a new recipe today.


Lauren Beck
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