Kanpachi (間八 / Great Amberjack)

Category: Shiromi (white fish). Season: Summer.

The origin of this fish's name comes from the kanji for the number eight ("hachi") which looks like this: 八 - and resembles the dark coloring over the eyes of the fish when viewed from above. Kanpachi is one of the largest shiromi fish and is related to buri and hiramasa. Indeed, this fish can grow to six feet in length and can weigh up to 150 pounds, although specimens that are best suited to sushi are much smaller and usually weigh no more than six pounds.

Much like hiramasa, kanpachi is best in the summer months, especially in June and July. These days the fish is often farmed, but if available, wild kanpachi is best, although very expensive. You can expect a firm flesh with good, balanced fat content, and a simple but exquisitely sweet taste. Aging the fish for a few days softens the texture and intensifies the sweet and umami flavors.