"Not hard Yakka to eat bait?" (Tetsuya) - Yellowtail Scad

    Yellowtail Scad

    Scientific Name: Trachurus novaezlandiae
    Minimum legal size: nil
    Bag/possession limit: 40

    Tetsuya Wakuda said “People should try Yakkas, they are beautiful to eat. They are a very tasty fish”. If this world class master chef recommends this fish that has been for years regarded by the average fisherman as just bait for bigger fish such as Kingfish, Tuna and Shark, who am I to argue?

    The Yellow Tailed Scad is related to the Mackerel and Trevally species and can be found around Australia and New Zealand. Although predominantly coastal, schooling in inshore waters and can be found along the Port Phillip Bay shoreline. (This species has been located in depths up to 500 m).

    The Yellowtail Scad is a pelagic predator that takes a variety of small plankton and fish as its food source. Spawning time is March and October. A female can release 63,000 to 161,000 eggs per batch.

    The Scad are relatively long-lived, in some cases up to 15 years. Commonly caught around 30cm in length (300g) but can grow up to 50cm in length (1kg).

    For years they have been considered as bait but thanks chefs such as Tetsuya they are becoming a culinary delight.

    Storage & cooking tips:
    Need to be gutted, scaled and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap in plastic or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. The fish has a strong flavour, medium oiliness, few bones (easily removed) with firm flesh. Tetsuya suggests that the Yellowtails are “excellent eaten raw” or “served grilled with a dipping sauce”.