This Hamachi Crudo recipe features buttery yellowtail covered in a soy and yuzu-infused marinade. Garnish it with fresh toppings like sliced jalapeños for a vibrant, refreshing, and bright appetizer. Enjoy it as-is, or customize the sauce and garnishes to suit your preferences!Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Elegant: Impress your dinner guests or family with this restaurant-quality dish made at home. From the presentation to the flavor, everyone will be left speechless!
- Healthy: Hamachi crudo is low in carbs and high in protein, making it suitable for most dietary preferences. Plus, yellowtail fish provides brain-healthy omega-3s.
- Simple: While this dish may look extravagant, it’s extremely quick and easy to prepare. All you need is 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes.
Watch How To Make Hamachi Crudo
What is hamachi crudo?
Hamachi crudo is a popular Japanese dish that showcases raw yellowtail fish. It’s intended to be quite light, so it’s usually served as an appetizer.
The fresh yellowtail is sliced thinly, then elegantly arranged on a plate. Typically, hamachi crudo is seasoned with a simple-yet-vibrant marinade. In this recipe, I opted for a salty, citrusy, and toasty sauce made of soy, yuzu, and sesame oil.
The flavors are light and refreshing from the sauce but rich and buttery from the yellowtail. While it’s great at any time of the year, there is nothing better than a chilled plate of hamachi crudo on a warm summer evening!
Crudo vs sashimi
Crudo and sashimi are very similar dishes, but there are a few subtle differences. Here are the basics:
- Crudo: Made from raw, thinly sliced fish. Typically seasoned with a citrus-based sauce and fresh garnishes like spicy peppers, radishes, herbs, etc.
- Sashimi: Also made from raw, thinly sliced fish. The fish is the true highlight of this dish, so it’s often served plain with a side of soy sauce or wasabi.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Hamachi: Also known as yellowtail fish or amberjack, hamachi is a fatty fish. Since this dish is served raw, it’s important to source sushi-grade fish from a reputable fishmonger. Make sure to specifically ask them for sushi grade, and you can also ask them to remove the skin. If you can’t find hamachi, use sushi-grade tuna instead.
- Soy sauce: For a savory, umami-rich element that balances the freshness and vibrance of the dish. You can also use tamari or liquid aminos for a gluten-free option.
- Sesame oil: Adds a toasty, nutty element. The flavor characteristics of sesame oil vary based on the brand, so look for 100% pure sesame oil.
- Yuzu juice: This Japanese citrus tastes like a mixture of lemon, mandarin orange, lime, and grapefruit all in one. It’s slightly less tart than lemon, so it adds a balanced acidity. You’ll typically find it next to other Asian ingredients at the grocery store. If you don’t have access to yuzu, just use fresh lemon or lime juice with a touch of orange.
- Jalapeño pepper: Optional, but thinly sliced jalapeños add a garden-fresh kick. For even more spice, try sliced serrano peppers! Not a fan of spice? Omit the spicy peppers altogether.
How to make hamachi crudo
- Using a freshly sharpened knife, cut the yellowtail into thin strips. Make sure you are cutting against the grain. If the fishmonger has not removed the skins, you will also need to do this.
- Arrange the sliced fish on a chilled serving plate. Note: If you are having a difficult time thinly slicing the hamachi, place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes to stiffen it up. It will make your life a whole lot easier!
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and yuzu (or lemon juice). Drizzle the fish with the sauce, then top everything off with thin slices of jalapeño pepper.
Extra hamachi crudo garnishes
In addition to the sliced jalapeños, hamachi crudo pairs beautifully with flavorful garnishes like lemon or lime zest, wasabi, sesame seeds, cilantro, thinly sliced red onions, green onions, watermelon radishes, or mini cucumbers.
Frequently asked questions
Hamachi, also known as yellowtail fish, can be found at most grocery stores in the seafood section. If you’re having trouble finding it, the best place to check would be at Japanese or Asian markets. Don’t forget to mention that you’ll be eating the fish raw, and only buy sushi-grade or sashimi. This grade is given to fish that are considered safe to consume raw.
Raw fish can be safe to eat if it’s stored, handled, and prepared properly to reduce the chances of foodborne illness. Eating raw fish always carries a slight risk since it could be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Always purchase fish from a reputable fishmonger and follow safe handling and storing practices to reduce the risk level.
When it comes to raw fish, it’s always best to eat it immediately. This means you can enjoy the best flavors and textures while reducing any risk of illness. You can safely store raw fish for up to 24 hours in the fridge, but I suggest eating it at the time of serving.
- Sever over rice: If you want to turn this appetizer into a main, try serving it over rice as a poke bowl or sushi bowl.
- Different fish: Try making hamachi crudo with tuna, salmon, or scallops instead for a change in flavor and texture.
- Citrus: If you can’t find yuzu, replace it with lime, lemon, or orange (or a mixture of them all).
- Spicy: If the spice of jalapeños doesn’t quite cut it, add serrano or Calabrian peppers.
- Fresh fish: If I wasn’t clear already, using high-quality, sashimi-grade fish is crucial in this raw recipe (not just for flavor but for food safety reasons).
- Sharp knife: Use a sharp knife to cut the fish thinly and evenly. If it’s too thick or too thin, it can result in a chewy texture.
- Chill the fish: Make sure the fish is cold before serving it. You will achieve the perfect temperature by chilling it for about 30 minutes and chilling the plate.
- Serve it right away: Hamachi crudo is best eaten immediately as the texture and flavor tend to deteriorate the longer it sits. Wait to prepare it until just before you’re ready to serve.
- Safety: Ensure you’re washing your hands, knives, cutting boards, and surfaces thoroughly with soap to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Looking for more raw food recipes?
If you enjoyed this hamachi crudo recipe, be sure to check out some more of my favorite raw appetizers like these:
If you try this Apple Cider Braised Beef Roast let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
- 4 ounces sushi-grade yellowtail thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons yuzu juice or use fresh lemon juice
- ½ jalapeno pepper thinly sliced (optional)
- Using a sharp knife, cut the yellowtail into thin strips.
- Arrange the fish on a chilled serving plate.
- In a small bowl mix soy sauce, sesame oil, yuzu, or lemon juice. Drizzle the fish with the sauce and then top with a thin slice of jalapeno pepper.
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