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Kanpachi with Sesame & Chile Oil Recipe

This refreshing amberjack kanpachi is slightly buttery and topped with a sesame and chile oil dressing.
November 3, 2015, 8:05pm
a tray of raw kanpachi topped with a sesame and chile oil dressing

"Kanpachi, or amberjack, is a buttery, delicious fish and it's perfect raw when superfresh. I like to cut thicker, 1⁄4-in [6-mm] slabs for this preparation and grill them lightly with a butane torch. This cooks just the top layer of flesh, but loosens up the oil in the flesh, making it extra buttery."

Servings: 4


1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 dried espelette or guajillo chile
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound kanpachi or Hawaiian Kona Kampachi fillet
1/2 lemon
flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives



1. In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

2. In the same pan over medium heat, toast the chile until fragrant, with a few brown spots, about 3 minutes. Let cool. In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, process the chile to a fine powder.

3. In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, ground chile, and olive oil. Let stand at least 1 hour so that the oil takes on some of the heat from the chiles. (This condiment can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.)

4. Slice the kanpachi fillet into two pieces by cutting along either side of the pin bones. Remove the skin. Cut each piece against the grain into 1⁄4-in- [6-mm-] thick slices. As you work, lay the slices on a platter in several straight lines.

5. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto each slice of fish. Crumble a few flakes of sea salt over each piece. Stir the chile–olive oil mixture and drizzle over the top of the kanpachi. Garnish with a line of chives down the center of each row of kanpachi. Serve immediately.