Hamachi Kama: Osushi vs Fish Market

Let me present to you a Hamachi Kama Restaurant Throwdown!

A hamachi-wha?? If you’ve never heard of nor tried hamachi kama, then you are missing out. Hamachi kama is the most tender cut of the yellowtail tuna. It is the jaw/neck/collar of the fish, and is most often served grilled, seasoned simply with some salt and pepper, and finished with a splash of lemon.  It is very succulent, and in my opinion, one of the most under-appreciated seafood dishes.

The throwdown contenders: Osushi, a chic Japanese outpost at Boston’s Back Bay, vs Fish Market, a casual little sushi bar in Allston. When it comes to hamachi kama, will the cool Copley Mall resident sock the Allston standby in the jaw (sorry, can’t help it) or will Fish Market prove its worth as a hidden gem?

I ordered the hamachi kama as my entree at both restaurants. Asian Insider tip: the hamachi kama is often listed in the appetizer menu of Japanese restaurants and sushi places. Sometimes it’s not even listed, but you can always ask your server if they have it (most places keep it on hand for regulars and diners in the know).

I first tried it at Osushi:

Collar Number One

The hamachi kama looked dry, but was actually moist inside. I like how it came with three little grilled peppers, but missed the squeeze of lemon. Lemon always brightens up a dish, and goes very well with seafood; I’m surprised this didn’t come with a small wedge. The fish tasted fresh and went well with the slightly sweet dipping sauce.

Osushi on Urbanspoon

Then I tried it at Fish Market:

Collar Number Two

One bite and I knew this is the clear winner. The hamachi kama was tender and meaty. It was also seasoned perfectly. And yes, I was swayed by the three little lemon slices on the plate (instead of grilled peppers). It was sumptuous, and while I don’t usually like the charred portions, I ate every last bite of this dish.

The throwdown is over – Fish Market wins!

Fish Market on Urbanspoon

Hamachi kama is another one of those cuts that is usually taken for granted, with most people throwing it away. While it is not very attractive to look at, its appearance belies the sweet, fatty, tender meat of the fish. This cut, called panga ng tuna, is actually pretty popular in the Philippines and it took me a few years of living in the US to realize that it is also commonly served in Japanese restaurants here.

Have you ever had kamachi kama? What’s the weirdest fish part you’ve eaten? Fish eyes? Belly? Skin? Collar? (I’ve eaten them all!)

   

10 Responses to “Hamachi Kama: Osushi vs Fish Market”

  1. #
    1
    MelissaNibbles posted February 12, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    This sounds like something I’d love. I love tuna!

    • Bianca Garcia replied February 12th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

      Yeah you should definitely order it when you can! Have fun with your date tonight, looking forward to our date soon ;)

  2. #
    2
    Michelle posted February 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I’m a huge fan of fish cheeks but I’ve never tried this part of tuna before. I’ll have to give it a try!

  3. #
    3
    Megan posted February 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I’ve never tried this part of the fish before, but I usually order hamachi rolls from the sushi place down the street from us. This sounds like a dish I need to try! (I’m not sure I could ever eat fish eyes… did you like them?)

    • Bianca Garcia replied February 13th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Hehe no I actually did not enjoy the fish eyes. I just wanted to know what they tasted like – they ere very squishy :p

  4. #
    4
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) posted February 13, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I love love love tuna! Hamachi is the best!

  5. #
    5
    Mark posted February 13, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Thanks for the comparison. Kama is such a sleeper appetizer item, so satisfying flavor/portion-wise, especially when someone like myself tries to limit my white rice consumption =)

  6. #
    6
    Dan posted February 14, 2011 at 12:17 am

    YEA! Brighton ave in Allston, best food in Boston.

  7. #
    7
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted February 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Never had hamachi… actually didn’t even know it was a dish! I think the most interesting fish I’ve had recently (maybe ever) were the cod cheeks at Craigie!

  8. #
    8
    Meghan@travelwinedine posted February 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I love hamachi! When I first tried it, I was amazed at how rich and satisfying it is.

Leave a Comment





Current day month ye@r *