Hawaiian Kanpachi is the premier member of the Amberjack family, prized by Japanese itamae and top chefs everywhere. The species is marked by a dark blue-green upper body with a lavender-tinted belly and elongated fins.
When young, the distinctive bands centered over the eyes look similar to the Japanese symbol for the number 8 (“pachi” or “ハ”), giving the fish its name “kan pachi” or “center eight”.
Kanpachi raised in marine net pens is a "Good Alternative" because a significant amount of wild-caught fish is used to make feed for the farmed fish. The industry operates on a small-scale, and other environmental impacts are considered low to moderate.
With its rich, buttery flavor, and a firm, clean-crisp texture, Kanpachi is delicious raw as sushi, sashimi, crudo or carpaccio. Cooked however, the flavor of Kanpachi blooms, offering thick, juicy fillets that stand up well to open coal roasting, and other high heat applications that allow the natural sugars to caramailze on the surface.
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