Yellowtail Collar Is The Cut Of Fish You May Have Been Missing Out On

While yellowtail is a classic fish featured in sushi or sashimi dishes, it has huge potential in other contexts, too. Yellowtail collar, also known as hamachi kama, is arguably one of the most underrated items available at Japanese sushi joints. This cut comes quite literally from the collar of the fish, which sits between the head and the gills. It is shaped kind of like a boomerang and is particularly tender and flaky; you can liken it to a particularly succulent cut of chicken, though its flesh is even softer since it's a fish.  

If you're not familiar with collar, it's likely because this part of the fish is frequently discarded after one has taken out a majority of the meat in the body of the yellowtail. But that's a shame; If the grocery store's filet of hamachi is like chicken breast, the collar is like dark meat, meaning it tends to have way more juice and flavor. Among the non-raw foods available at a sushi restaurant, yellowtail collar is by far one of the best appetizers or entrees you'll find on the menu. The collar offers a hot, charred exterior with fatty flesh on the inside that you pick right off the bone.

How yellowtail collar is prepared

You'll often find the flesh of yellowtail served raw, but yellowtail collar, specifically, is usually grilled or broiled, giving the skin a deep brown char. Because it's the fattiest part of the fish, it is arguably more delicious than other commonly sold fillets. The collar is always cooked thoroughly, giving it both crispy skin and moist flesh.

At Japanese restaurants, hamachi kama or yellowtail collar is typically served with a wedge of lemon and a simple soy and yuzu dipping sauce. The lemon brings a bright contrast to the smoky flavors of the skin, while the soy sauce brings flavorful saltiness to an otherwise plain fish. You can enjoy yellowtail collar with a bowl of steamed rice for a simple, yet satisfying meal. Or include it in a more elaborate breakfast set up with other classics of Japanese cuisine, like miso soup and pickled vegetables.