What Does Yellowtail Taste Like?

You’re out to eat at an expensive sushi restaurant with your significant other. You want to impress them with your knowledge of Japanese cuisine, but there are many different kinds of sushi here to choose from. Yellowtail catches your eye, but how do you know if it’s any good? 

Yellowtail can be consumed raw or cooked. Raw yellowtail is mild and has a buttery texture, cooked Yellowtail is firm and somewhat sweet, with an oily texture. The buttery/oily texture of this fish is attributed to the fat content of its meat.

What is Yellowtail?

Yellowtail comes from the Japanese amberjack fish. Because Yellowtail steaks are firm, they are good for many different kinds of recipes because they hold up well to cooking. Yellowtail is often used raw in various types of sushi rolls. 

Yellowtail fish is often used in Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian cuisines.

The Taste of Yellowtail

Yellowtail can be consumed both raw and cooked:

Raw Yellowtail

Raw yellowtail is typically washed, and cut, according to need in sushi restaurants. Whether thinly sliced to create sashimi (fish with rice) or sushi rolls, this fish is easy to distinguish. It has a lighter pink meat and is firm to the touch. 

Raw yellowtail will melt in the mouth when thinly sliced and eaten alone. It has a buttery, sweet and mild flavor that easily complements any sushi roll or delicate raw fish recipe. 

Cooked Yellowtail

Cooked yellowtail becomes a firm and slightly sweet meat. It is a milder tasting meat and can be great for any dish that uses cooked tuna, salmon, or tilapia. Yellowtail can be added to soups, made into salad (akin to tuna salad), or baked. 

Yellowtail is oily in texture when cooked and does not hold well when fried. Avoid frying this type of fish as the breading will quickly fall apart and the fish will become goopy. 

How to Prepare Yellowtail

If you get your yellowtail frozen, keep in mind you know how to store any that’s leftover. Wash your Yellowtail thoroughly, especially if eating raw. It is best to eat Yellowtail raw when it has been caught fresh within a few hours, however freezing techniques used to get it to the grocery stores inland does a fair job of preserving the fish. 

Always cook yellowtail thoroughly, otherwise. Yellowtail can be put aside as a leftover if cooked in a dish, but it is not recommended to save any leftover raw yellowtail as bacteria can start to grow on it. 


Yellowtail fish comes from the Japanese amberjack fish and is used in Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian cuisines. This fish can be consumed either raw or cooked and has a mild, sweet, and buttery flavor. If consumed raw, the meat also has a melt-in-the mouth quality. 

When eating cooked yellowtail one can appreciate its firm texture in just about any dish one would use tuna in. Yellowtail is not best as a fried dish, but carries its weight in gold in dishes such as sushi. This is a mild and sweeter flavored fish that can be used in a multitude of ways.