Clean Seas' yellowtail kingfish: the new culinary star of Europe's Michelin-starred restaurants

May 16, 2011 11:31

When Clean Seas Tuna commercially launched its Yellowtail Kingfish (Seriola lalandi) five years ago it took the bold decision to export to Europe the same time as it unveiled the species in its home-grown Pacific markets. Clean Seas has seen its faith and determination repaid in spades and today the fish graces the menus of many of Europe's finest restaurants, often being listed specifically as Clean Seas Yellowtail within the menu descriptions, reports with reference to Clean Seas.

Yellowtail kingfish, widely known in Europe as just 'yellowtail' or 'hiramasa', is a species long-prized in Japan as one of the great sashimi fish. The yellowtail is endemic to the sub tropical and temperate waters of Australia and New Zealand, along with the waters surrounding Japan, and yet Clean Seas believed from the outset that it had huge potential beyond these markets - even in Europe where the fish would be largely unknown and where consumers traditionally favour a small number of domestic species.

The impact and status the fish has achieved in Europe in a short space of time is unprecedented. Initially, the product wowed chefs and diners alike in many of the region's leading Asian restaurants, where the sweet flavour and unctuous texture in both raw and cooked presentations made it a genuine culinary star. It then infiltrated high-end western-style dining, impressing some of the region's most demanding chefs with its versatility, firm white flesh and unique eating experience.

Although still distinctive in colour and taste, the yellowtail is similar to tuna in culinary terms and cooking techniques, which has given European chefs a good understanding of the best application for the fish within their individual cooking styles.

It has also been picked up by many restaurants as an alternative to large line-caught seabass, because of its large fillet portions and the consistent supply available from Clean Seas.

"It's an extremely hard task introducing a new fish to any market that has a wide range of more recognised species, but our vision and persistence has proved a top-quality, unique product can open doors, while more and more professionals are actively seeking out species that are sustainably produced and consistently available," said Clean Seas managing director Clifford Ashby.

Ashby is quick to point out this fish isn't a commodity species; the focus is on producing only the best quality product possible rather than volume.

"From the outset, we have worked with the best importers and distributors in each market who believed wholeheartedly that this fish could achieve great things in Europe's culinary capitals. The success it's now enjoying in Europe is as much testament to their confidence and investment as it is to our unparalleled, best-practice production techniques," he said.

Clean Seas' research estimates there are some 1,300 Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe today and, despite its strictly capped production, the company's yellowtail is being menued within 10 to 20 percent of these depending on the city - a feat not achieved by any other non-European farmed fin fish.

Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck of Bray, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the UK, and Shane Osborn's Pied a Terre are among the luminaries working with the fish.

Most recently, Clean Seas' yellowtail has won over Parisian fine dining with listings at esteemed restaurants including L'Atelier de Robuchon Champs Elysees and Alain Dutournier's Pinxo.

The fish is well represented on the menus of the most avant-garde restaurants in Spain and Italy, as well as on the Mediterranean circuit of Ibiza, Formentera, Sardinia and Mykonos. The premier sushi chains throughout Europe are also using the fish, including the highly innovative Stix n Sushi in Denmark, which is expanding to London later this year.

"Some of the best chefs in the world have told us Clean Seas' Yellowtail brings confidence to their menus. They can source it year-round and it offers incredible quality. It is, they say, a joy to work with, and so we hope that even more European-based chefs will put it on their menu in the coming months," said Ashby.

Chefs interested in Clean Seas' yellowtail are being given the opportunity to assess the fish and learn more about the company's state-of-the-art production at the annual European Seafood Exhibition, this year running 3-6 May 2011 at the Parc des Expositions de Bruxelles, in Brussels, Belgium.

About Clean Seas' yellowtail kingfish

In Japan, where kingfish is popularly known as 'hiramasa' it's regarded as one of the world's finest sashimi fish, while the translucent pink flesh and sweet rich flavour makes the yellowtail kingfish a popular choice with international gourmets.

The fat content of Clean Seas' farmed kingfish is superior to that of wild kingfish as is its flavour and texture firmness, making it more consistent, versatile and delicious.

Each and every element of Clean Seas' kingfish farming practice is designed with the primary aim of delivering the perfect fish. They are produced from carefully-nurtured broodstock, and then hatchery fingerlings are grown in an open water environment located in the Spencer Gulf, South Australia.

After transferral into the water it takes the fingerlings around 18 months to reach a market size of 3.5kg to 4kg.

And with the use of natural feeds, low stocking densities and site fallowing practices, the company delivers a product that is highly sustainable. The fish are grown in compliance with ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 requirements and are certified as a sustainable seafood choice by Friend of the Sea.

The feeds are carefully formulated from sustainable sources and contain no GMO ingredients.

Clean Seas' yellowtail kingfish is available in the following formats: fresh or frozen whole, gilled and gutted, and as fillets.

About Clean Seas

Clean Seas is a company with a long and proud history of excellence and innovation within the seafood industry. Operating from Port Lincoln on South Australia's Eyre Peninsular, the waters in which the company produces its fish are amongst the most pristine in the world.

Fed by cold, nutrient-rich Antarctic currents from the great Southern Ocean, Clean Seas' farms are located in areas of high tidal movement, consistent flow and temperature.

Clean Seas has evolved into a fully-integrated operation, covering all aspects of premium table fish production.

In addition to yellowtail farming, Clean Seas has led the way in the research and development of sustainable solutions for Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii), recently reaching another critical milestone with its pioneering efforts to produce juvenile aquaculture-bred fish from the company's facility on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

Proudly certified with exacting standards, Clean Seas' farming activities conform to world's best aquaculture standards. The company is also at the forefront of environmental sustainability, which it believes will see its premium seafood enjoyed well into the future.

For more information about Clean Seas' yellowtail kingfish and its availability in Europe, please contact Jemma McCowan, tel: +44 (0)7971170731, e-mail:

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