Seared Hamachi with Carrot Salad and Yuzu Dressing

This type of jackfish is greatly appreciated in Japanese cuisine.

Total Time:
45 mins

Hamachi, a young fish from the Jack family found in Pacific waters, can be difficult to find on the East Coast, but Douglas Keane still thinks it is well worth seeking out. Raw, the fish has a lovely, firm texture; seared, it becomes buttery and practically melts in your mouth. Mahimahi is a fine substitute.


  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground star anise

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into batons

  • 1 teaspoon very finely grated orange zest plus 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon very finely grated yuzu or lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh yuzu juice or fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger, minced, plus 2 tablespoons pickled ginger juice from the jar

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives

  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded mint leaves

  • Six 6-ounce hamachi or mahimahi fillets

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. In a small skillet, combine the ground cardamom, coriander, star anise, allspice, cayenne and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and cook over moderate heat until the spices are fragrant, about 10 seconds. Transfer the toasted spices to a plate and let cool completely.

  2. Fill a medium bowl with cold water and ice cubes. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the carrots just until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the carrots into the ice water bath to cool. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.

  3. Transfer 1/3 cup of the carrots to a blender. Add the toasted spices, orange zest and juice, yuzu zest and juice, the 2 tablespoons of pickled ginger juice and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Puree the carrot dressing until smooth. Season the carrot dressing with kosher salt.

  4. In a bowl, toss 1/3 cup of the carrot dressing with the chopped pickled ginger, shallot, chives, shredded mint leaves and the remaining carrots.

  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Cook over moderately high heat, turning once until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Spoon the carrot salad in the center of 6 plates and set a fish fillet on top of each plate. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the fish and serve with lemon wedges.

Make Ahead

The dressing and carrots can be refrigerated separately overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Sonoma's cool climate pushes the Pinot Gris toward a more medium-bodied, spicy Alsatian style (as opposed to the lighter Italian Pinot Grigio style), making it an ideal pair for this complexly seasoned hamachi.

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