Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles + Free Kampachi Drawing!

Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles

You will LOVE this free drawing, my friends…read on!

Also in the Tampa Tribune

Buying fish at the supermarket is one of those things that make me nervous. First off, the only thing I can ever afford is farm-raised tilapia from who-knows-where and whatever the fishmonger has on sale. Secondly, cooking fish is finickier than chipmunk in heat – 60 seconds is all that separates a moist, tender fillet from a dry, tough, overcooked rain jacket. Do I risk $16.99/lb for a grouper or $24.99/lb for monkfish? If the fish isn’t sushi-grade, is it ok to cook medium-rare? What if the recipe I found in the cookbook sucks and I end up with an inedible dinner? What if I misjudge my timing?

The poor fishmonger watches as I stand in front of the glass case, wringing my hands, calculating the price/risk index for each fish on display. Most days, I’ll opt for nice hunk of salmon, as my pocketbook is comfortable with the ratio of $9.99 per pound x high-fat content that it almost impossible to overcook.

A couple of weeks ago, a company called Kona Blue, overnighted to me a few pounds of a fish called kampachi to try. It’s Hawaiian yellowtail, sustainably raised off the coast of Hawaii at their farms. Like salmon, it’s chock full of Omega 3 oils, so it’s succulent, firm and rich. The best part is that it’s raised in a clean, controlled setting and it’s sushi-grade.

The kampachi fillets were one of the most beautiful, moist fish I’ve ever cooked at home. The true test was that I even accidentally overcooked the fish, because the moment the timer went off, something called, “sibling rivalry” screamed from the other room and demanded my immediate attention.

The price/risk ratio? Well, it’s expensive if you mail order from Kona Blue. $17.00/lb for fillets plus $35 for FedEx. Ouch. But some of the best restaurants in town and a handful of markets carry the fish. Here is a partial list of retailers and restaurants.

Tampa & Sarasota Readers: Tampa, FL restaurants are not listed there, but you can find Kona Kampachi at Roy’s, Bern’s, Sidebern’s, Mise en Place, Lakeland Yacht Club, Grand Hyatt Tampa and the Tampa Yacht Club. I just visited Whole Foods in Sarasota and they LOVE Kona Kampachi. Call or visit them and tell Ryan the fish manager that you want him to order! They have it sometimes, but the more people who ask, the more available the fish will be!

It’s certainly a fish that I’d beg or bribe my local fishmonger to carry.

Free Kampachi Drawing

But, my dear friends, I’ve got a surprise for you. Kona Blue has graciously given me some prizes to give away – packages of super-fresh Kona Blue Kampachi overnighted to 3 randomly chosen lucky winners. The fish is packed with tons of ice packs, and will arrive on your doorstep fresh as ever. I don’t know how much they are sending to you, but I have a feeling it will be more than your entire family can eat in one sitting.

Oh, and since it’s sushi-grade, you can eat it like sashimi with some soy and wasabi.

All you have to do is comment below! Accepting entries until Saturday morning after my morning coffee lunchtime…whenever that will be. Oh, and for my international friends, I don’t think Kona Blue can ship overnight internationally, but enter anyways, and if you win, I’ll personally ship you something nice….a box full of Steamy Kitchen goodies. Maybe some wonderful American spices, sauces, gadgets, books? Dunno yet, but I’ll send something extra special.


Citrus-Soy Fish Fillet with Soba Noodles

While I used kampachi in this dish, you can certainly substitute with any fish fillets – your timing will be dependent on how thick your fish is. For thin fish like sole, fry 2 minutes, flip and then turn off the heat and let the residual heat finish the cooking. For thicker fish like salmon and kampachi, follow recipe below. Salmon fillets would work wonderful in this dish, as the bright citrus pairs perfectly with the fattiness of the salmon.

A note on the soba: when you boil the water for the noodles, generously salt your water, as you should any pasta. If the soba is well seasoned during cooking, you shouldn’t need much sauce. I don’t like my noodles drowning in sauce – the sauce should just lightly coat the fish and noodles, like in my photo. Now, if you do like a saucy noodles, just double the Citrus Soy Sauce recipe.

serves 4

4 fish fillets
salt & fresh ground pepper
6 oz. dried soba noodles

Citrus Soy Sauce:
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbl lemon juice
2 tbl honey
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp lemon zest

Boil soba noodles according to directions on package, remember to generously salt your boiling water. Drain, set aside. While soba noodles are cooking, combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. The sauce should be bright, sweet and slightly tart. Season fish fillets generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large, non-stick pan with 2 tbl cooking oil over med-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add fillets and fry 3 minutes. Flip fish and fry another 2 minutes, take a quick peek by poking the thickest part of the fish and add another minute if needed. Serve fish over bed of soba noodles. Pour Citrus-Soy over fish.


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Comments 594

  1. Shirlie

    As much as I love your photography & writing, I think I would love free sushi-grade kampachi even more! Thank you for another great post!

  2. Margie Parker

    Wow.. was amazed to read so many responses to your article in the Tampa Tribune. I would be thrilled to win the Kampachi fillets,but would love to have them sent to my son and new daughter-in-law who “eat healthy”…. I sure don’t!

  3. Margie Parker

    How very kind of you to allow Tribune readers more than one opportunity to win. Was pleased to read that you drink coffee on Sunday morning…. I’m not able to function with it… well, I actually can function, but my brain isn’t in the game.

  4. Jennifer

    Ooohhhh, I keep hearing about this fish but didn’t know how to get ahold of it on my grad student budget. Please put my name in the drawing!!

  5. bruce

    hi Jaden, as always, enjoyed your article in todays trib.You have a natural gift for writing. kids running around and a recipe that may suck? real talk. maybe you should try politics. a real person would be nice. anyway, i used to be in the seafood business. alot of fish from Asia. Vietnam mostly. love to try the kampachi. anyways,please keep up the good work. makes me look foreward to thursdays. best to You and Your Family, bruce emerson

  6. Sean

    Loved this recipe! The sauce was delicious with the tilapia I prepared. Question: does anyone know if soba noodles have a short shelf life? I say this because the soba I bought a couple of months ago smelled slightly off when cooked though it tasted OK. Just wondering…

  7. Maple

    I have the same dilemma at the fishmonger’s and end up w/ a lot of tilapia too. I hope your boys pick me!

  8. Elaine

    OMG, now i know the reason why I’ve been having insomnia tonight! Something is nagging me to leave a comment for this wonderful free gift!

    Where I live (montreal) it’s hard to find fresh fresh fresh fish – either they’re too exorbitantly priced or they’re not fresh 🙁 Plus the fact that I got food poisoning from a piece of fish last week surely warrants me a chance? *puppy eyes*

    Throw me a fish, please! 😀 *fingers and toes crossed*

  9. Wendy

    Kampachi sounds delicious! I love fish but also find it an intimidating ingredient to work with.

  10. Nancy

    Wow! Sounds absolutely delicious. I’ve never been good at cooking fish and because its so expensive, I rarely do it. But when an expert chef cooks it, I’m always happy to eat it! 😀

  11. Tracey

    I promise to make that recipe the second the fish arrives if I win!

    (Steamy Kitchen goodness as well? Be still my heart! :D)

  12. Harmony

    The article on the kampachi fish was great and I am so curious about how it tastes compared to my other favorite fish (trout, arctic char, and that old, easy standby, tilapia). Thanks for giving us a chance to win some fish!

  13. Harmony

    Here I am again! Well, you did say you were granting us 2 entries if we are East County Observer readers! Jaden, you are so right about the delicacy of fish and how easy it is to overcook it. I often overcook wild salmon by accident, because I forget how much leaner it is compared to farmed salmon. The extra fat in farmed salmon keeps it moist even if I leave it in the oven too long. Of course, if the fish is really overdone, some ketchup and mustard can do wonders. I know, I know, my family thinks that is disgusting as well, but I can eat almost anything as long as I’ve got the right condiments!

  14. Tommy

    I’ve always wondered what I could possibly do with soba… seeing it all the time makes me hungry. That picture of course is no different, and it looks nothing short of amazing. Kona blue seems to like to give their fish away to bloggers, I remember reading someones about them awhile ago. I wish I had a fish monger closer to me, maybe I should go searching for one sometime.

  15. Maya

    HI Jaden:

    The Kampachi looks lovely. Good luck with the cookbook. I am sure that you have an army of volunteers to test your recipes. What the heck, I will throw in my hat as well.

    Take care!

  16. Lai

    The chance to potentially win truly fresh fish is irresistible. I’m always wary of buying fish (frozen or unfrozen) as am never sure how fresh it actually is. Thanks for running the contest.

  17. Karen

    I am a TAMPA TRIB READER and thank you for your article. Now I know what Kampachi is. I can’t wait to WIN so that I can try your recipe. Your site is really cool. Definitely coming back. I hope you write more articles in the future to educate us.

  18. KristinaYellow

    I have to admit–I am a fish-over-cooker. But–I know how good it is for me and I’m trying to get my husband and I to eat more of it (other than the shrimp and stuff that is easy to cook but not as good for us anyway!). I’d love to try this at home–last time we went to HI we had some a local place and it was DELICIOUS!! Talk about happy memories…sigh, thanks!

  19. SteamyKitchen

    # 432 Karen Says:
    April 4th, 2008 at 9:32 am e

    I am a TAMPA TRIB READER and thank you for your article. Now I know what Kampachi is. I can’t wait to WIN so that I can try your recipe. Your site is really cool. Definitely coming back. I hope you write more articles in the future to educate us.

  20. Donald

    Great recipe.

    I have to win the kampachi. Well, if I don’t I still think I’ll definitely try it. Good fish isn’t expensive, that’s just what it costs. 🙂

  21. SteamyKitchen

    # 1 Sue bonus entry

    April 2nd, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Here’s my comment: I just read your article in the Tampa Tribune, and I hope I am one of the lucky winners of the Kona Blue kampachi!
    Thanks in advance!


  22. Steamy Kitchen

    # 10 Beverly Pack Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I read your article about Kona Kampachi in the Tampa Tribune. I’m from Seattle (Home of Uwajimaya, a retailer that sells the Kampachi) If your readers want more recipes, the can go the and search for Kona Kampachi, they’ll find several. I’ve never entered a contest like this before, but I, too, would like to win.
    Thanks for the nice article AND the contest.

  23. Steamy Kitchen

    # 15 Richard Kent Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:27 am


    Would love to surprise my wife with a 9th anniversary Kampachi gourmet meal! Nice article in the Trib today. As a subscriber, I look forward to the Wednesday Flavor section for new ideas. Hope to see the Kampachi in the stores in the Tampa area soon even if I am not a winner.


  24. Steamy Kitchen

    # 25 Jeanie Bo Beanie Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Tampa Trib has it all! Been reading it since I came to Florida four years ago. I would love to try your Citrus-Soy fish with the Kampachi. Would you consider picking me as a “fish-dinner” (fish-winner).
    jeanie bo beanie

  25. Steamy Kitchen

    # 31 Dana Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:50 am


    I saw your article and recipe and the Tampa Tribune and had to rip it out and try it. It looks delicious! So hopefully I can win some of the Kona Blue fish! Also, I see you are reading “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch” I have that book and have the original “Skinny Bitch” book. Have fun cooking and thanks for sharing.


  26. Steamy Kitchen

    # 35 John Densmore Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:56 am

    It’s 9:51 and I’m trying not to think of lunch reading the Trib and thinking of fish. Cosco”s salmon runs about 6 bucks and they’re bring in haddock from Iceland. It makes great fish and chips and I like to bake it smothered with diced spicy tomatoes. Kampachi seared on the grill. If there is enough demand maybe Whole Foods or Castellano and Pizzo would carrly it. Maybe we could get a big order and split the freight.

  27. Steamy Kitchen

    # 36 Monica Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I read your article in the Tampa Tribune this morning and I have to say that you had ME at Aloha! My husband and I honeymooned in Hawaii almost 14 years ago and we LOVE any fish from Hawaii. Every year we go to Roy’s for our anniversary to have some delicious Hawaiian fish and to imagine we are there again! Oh please, pick me for the Kampachi! Oh yeah, my birhtday is this month too. What a nice present!

  28. Steamy Kitchen

    # 46 Mike Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:11 am

    I am a Tampa Trib subscriber/reader. I can’t wait to taste my super fresh Kona Kampachi prize.

  29. Steamy Kitchen

    # 53 Bill Zwald Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Dear Jaden,
    Love you column, look forward to it every Wednesday in the Tampa Tribune. Tried your recipe for garlic brandy shrimp, yummy, yummy. Would sure like to try the Kampachi fish recipe.



  30. Steamy Kitchen

    # 55 Mary Beth Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Enjoyed your article in the Tampa Tribune. Look forward to winning that fish. Don’t linger over your coffee too long!

  31. Steamy Kitchen

    # 57 Sharon Harrison Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Missed tasting the kampachi while in Hawaii, hope I don’t miss it this time. Love the recipes in our Wednesday Tampa Trib. Waiting for your e-mail.



  32. Steamy Kitchen

    # 64 Juanita Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:39 am

    I’m a daily reader of the Tribune and I can’t wait to try your Citrus-Soy Fish recipe. We love fish in our household!

    Keep the recipes coming

    Juanita Y.

  33. Steamy Kitchen

    # 67 JERRY Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 10:44 am


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