Available both wild-caught and farmed. It is a free-swimming marine fish found alone or in small schools mainly near the coast and around offshore islands and reefs in warm temperate waters from Rockhampton (Queensland), south to Shark Bay (WA), including Bass Strait and around the Tasmanian coast.
Mainly caught off NSW (November-March) and Queensland (April-August), with some off south-western WA, by handlines with lures or live bait and occasionally by droplines and demersal trawls.
Also farmed in Spencer Gulf (SA), mainly Port Lincoln and Whyalla, and most often marketed under its Japanese name ‘Hiramasa’. The yellowish tail distinguishes it among related fish and gives it its name.
Albacore, Bandit, Hoodlum, King Amberjack, Kingfish, Kingie, Silver King, Southern Yellowtail, Tasmanian Yellowtail, Yellowtail, Yellowtail Amberjack.
Available year round.
Size and Weight
Commonly 6-10kg and up to 100cm, but can grow to 70kg and 190cm. Farmed fish are typically 3-5kg.
Medium-high priced, with the smaller farmed fish commanding a higher price than larger wild-caught fish.
Trevallies (including Bigeye, Black, Bluefin, Bluespotted, Diamond, Giant, Golden and Silver Trevallies), Black Pomfret, Darts, Jack Mackerel, Queenfishes, Samsonfish, Turrum, Yellowtail Scad.
Sold whole (gilled and gutted), as cutlets, steaks and fillets.
In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for white-dark pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Small fish are more flavourful, moist and tender, and are considered the best eating, as are those from colder waters, making farmed fish from SA ideal.
Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets and cutlets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.
Average yield is 55%. Has a medium-strong flavour (increasing with the fish’s size), medium oiliness and dry-medium moisture, with medium-firm textured flesh (which can be coarse and soft in larger fish) and few large bones, which are easily removed.
The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity. Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh and cut thick fillets into serving-size portions and score to allow even heat penetration.
Deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi), pickle. It can be wrapped in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing, to prevent it drying out. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.
Goes Well With
Basil, caraway, chilli, coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, garlic, ginger, herbs (such as coriander, dill, French tarragon, parsley, sage, thyme), lemon, lime, olive oil, onion, oregano, sesame oil, soy sauce, tamarind, teriyaki sauce, tomato, vinegar, wasabi, white wine.
Grey Mackerel, School Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Tuna.
Chilled whole fish are imported from New Zealand.
Char-grilled Fish Kebabs
Char-Grilled Yellowtail Kingfish Fillets with Parsley Salad & Tahini Sauce
Seared Chermoula Yellowtail Kingfish with Moroccan Salad