Thursday, February 28

Kona Kampachi with Meyer Lemon-Thyme Butter

Meyer Lemons

When we were kids I used to drive my brothers nuts singing the "Lemon Tree" song over and over again.

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

Well not if it's a Meyer lemon. With their sweet-tart tang, they're bold enough to make you pucker slightly but sweet enough to eat a slice raw. That's because a Meyer lemon is a citrus hybrid -- a cross between a regular lemon and a sweet orange or a mandarin -- making it less acidic and much sweeter than regular lemons.

Meyer lemons are rotund and have a soft, thin rind that almost glows golden orange when fully ripe. Their flavor is quite complex with brush strokes of bright lemon, shades of tangy lime, and hints of sweet orange.

I buy my Meyer lemons at local farmers' markets, but fortunately most supermarkets carry them seasonally from December-April. Now's the time to buy them while they're at their peak.

Then cook them with some exceptionally flavorful Kona Kampachi,® a sushi-grade Hawaiian yellowtail that is sustainably raised off the coast of Hawaii. Since it has no detectable levels of mercury and has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids -- which have been linked to a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease -- Kona Kampachi is also healthy for you.

If you can't get to Hawaii to eat some Kona Kampachi, then consider buying some online from Kona Blue. I received my thick, snowy white, incredibly fresh fish fillets courtesy of Hannah.

Though it can be eaten raw, I quickly pan seared the fillets, which because of their high fat content, rendered the fish crispy on the outside and moist and flaky on the inside. Everyone knows that fish and citrus are beautiful together, but eating this succulent Kona Kampachi with browned, buttery Meyer lemons elevated this weeknight dinner to something truly special.

That's why I'm sending my Kona Kampachi with yellow Meyer lemons to Zorra of the beautiful Kochtopf for her International Women's Day event. Celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women this year on March 8th by sending Zorra your yellow food submissions.

I still find myself singing the "Lemon Tree" song when I'm cooking with Meyer lemons, but since my brothers are in RI, now I drive only Jeff nuts.

Kona Kampachi with Meyer Lemon

Kona Kampachi with Meyer Lemon-Thyme Butter
Serves 2
Print recipe only here.

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
the flesh of 1/2 de-seeded Meyer lemon, minced until pulpy
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 sprig of fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 ounces Kona Kampachi fillets
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil

1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon butter or olive oil

Combine all ingredients for the citrus butter in a small bowl and mix with your fingertips, ensuring that the fruit and seasonings are incorporated into the butter. Set aside.

For the fish, melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub fish fillets on both sides with half of the citrus butter and place in the hot skillet. Cook fillets for 3-4 minutes, then flip once and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until opaque and slightly browned. If you'd like the fish more rare, then reduce the cooking time by half.

Meanwhile, melt 1/2 teaspoon of butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add a whole sliced Meyer lemon, and cook for about 1-2 minutes, flip once, and cook an additional 1 minute, or until lightly browned.

Melt remaining half of the citrus butter in the microwave or on the stove top and drizzle on top of the cooked fish before serving. Garnish with additional fresh thyme, if desired.

P.S. This morning I saw Jaime's comment mentioning Elly's (of elly says opa!) Eat to the Beat event. Elly's looking for your music-related recipes (by March 2nd), and this one seems just right, especially since I can't get the darned lyrics out of my head.

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Anonymous said...

Your lemons are so fresh, bright and beautiful! I saw the Kona Kampachi fillets when I visited my sister in Hawaii, but didn't order them when I had the chance. :(
Since then, I have been unable to find them anywhere else, until now on your blog. The meyer lemon -thyme butter sounds lovely too. Thanks!

Elly said...

Wow, this looks so light but so flavorful. Mmm. I love meyer lemons but the ones you can buy around here just aren't that great, sadly.

glamah16 said...

Beautiful fish bursting with the flavor of Meyer Lemon. I have to check out that site.

wheresmymind said...

I do wish we had access to myer lemons out here

Deborah Dowd said...

I love lemons and while I have never had Kona Kampachi, I love fish and your description of the crisp crust and tender flesh makes me want track some down!

Elle said...

I can almost TASTE mouth is watering just thinking about the combination of meyer lemon, orange, ginger, butter, thyme and fish...yum.

Anonymous said...

I love that song and I love the sound of this recipe. Beautiful pic!

Sig said...

You are my single source of citrus trivia Susan... :) I didnt know that meyer lemons were a cross b/w lemons and mandarins! Those look sooo beautiful, and I have never had the kona kampachi, looks very pretty!

Jaime said...

beautiful presentation. i love fish :)

this would also be perfect for elly's eat to the beat blogging event!

Simona Carini said...

Very nice recipe Susan. I have never tasted this kind of fish: it looks delicious.

Indonesia Eats said...

Never heard Kona Kampachi before, but I googled and I found it's yellowtail. aha :)
I bet I would love this

Anonymous said...

this is another tasty-looking recipe but oh did my eyes pop when I read fish tacos or the Fiery Shrimp with Avocado-Pomegranate-Tangerine Salsa!!


Manggy said...

That looks just beautiful and fresh. I hope you tried eating it raw too :)
Thanks also for informing us of the event and the blogging event :)

Peter M said...

Way to go Susan, this fish is killah!

I'll be on the lookout for kampachi to make it's way east.

Chibog in Chief said...

oh i love all the flavors in here..lemons and thyme!! i'll try this recipe using a local white fish in here im sure hubby will love this :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

whiteonricecouple-I'm so glad to have helped! I hope you order them. Course I hope you go to Hawaii again to enjoy them with your sister!

elly-Oh, no, you can't find Meyer lemons? Maybe a trip to sunny San Diego is in order? :)

glamah16-It makes a sunny dish for a gray winter day.

jeff-Have you tried Trader Joe's?

deborah-I tried to describe it well since it was remarkably good, so thanks for mentioning it!

elle-It's really quite refreshing and flavorful.

ronnie-It is a fun song, isn't it?

sig-Hmmm...maybe I should add a sub-title about citrus... ;)

jaime-I just added the link to Elly's event. Thanks so much for mentioning it!

simona-It's really was exceptionally good.

andaliman-It's just so much more fun to say "kona kampachi."

diane-They'll really pop out when you taste it!

manggy-You're quite welcome. Cooking that supports a good cause--how can you go wrong with that?

peter-Wicked cool comment, paisan!

dhanggit-It's so simple yet flavorful and works with just about all types of fish.

Gretchen Noelle said...

This looks just delicious! No Meyer lemons here though! :(

Veron said...

Your meyer lemons looks sooooo beautiful. Yes, I got my kona kampachi to sample too. They are the most amazing fish - quite like no other!

Anonymous said...

I envy your citrus :) haha

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

That's everything I want my fish dinner to be...

Deeba PAB said...

Hey Susan...thanks, now I can't get the words out of my mind. Loved Elly's idea & love the fact that most of the numbers that are being belted out are the ones we remember from childhood. Lovely full of flavour, it's amazing!! Thansk a ton for it!! lol Deeba

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Susan, I don't know when I've seen a better presentation. That looks incredible!

Pixie said...

I've never heard of the song- am thinking that could possibly be a good thing? lol not sure...Your dish looks wonderful and very tasty. Thanks for sharing.

Mandy said...

I love fish and of course meyer lemon. Kona Kampachi sounds like a good excuse for us to go Hawaii for vacation. :p

Mansi said...

that smells refreshing even through the pic Susan! and that Lemon Tree song...I kept hearing it all year at work and just couldn't get it out of my mind!:)

funny how some things stick with you na!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Looks awesome! Meyers were available here oh so briefly, and now I can't find them. I only live in FL... :-/

Never had/heard of Kampachi before. Sounds like something I should try!

Cakespy said...

This looks great! I'll bet though, that while it would be wonderful coming out of my Seattle kitchen, it would be even better eaten in a warm coastal spot! Mmm.

Anonymous said...

That picture of the lemons is lovely. Like sprintime sunshine itself.

(Hey, the fish looks pretty good too!)

kellypea said...

I love how you combined the two -- so smart! And the recipe looks and sounds delicious. I just happen to have some meyer lemons I was going to preserve, but maybe...

Annie said...

I've always wanted to try meyer lemons, but still haven't yet. I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Your dish is beautiful and it looks so light and healthy. I can almost taste it from here!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Today I'm discovering a new fish. I love the blog world. Also I never used Meyer lemons before. I don't know if I can find them around here. Your dish looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are so beautiful! I didn't know this fish but it sure looks delicious with the lemons.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That dish looks delightfully summery and tasty! Magnificent!



Cakelaw said...

Hi Susan, This fish looks so good! I love citrus-flavoured anything, and this looks a treat.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Gorgeous! A beautiful combination. I too am now stuck with that song in my head, but I thought it was the jingle for Lemon Pledge! :-)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

gretchen-So when are you coming to San Diego?

veronica-They're fabulous, aren't they?

maryann-Lemon envy has been going around.

aforkfulofspaghetti-me too. :)

deeba-It's amazing how those songs from our childhood stay in our memories.

tanna-I really appreciate that.

pixie-It is a good.

mansi-At work? That's funny.

mandy-I'm still trying to convince Jeff we need to go to hawaii for "blogging research purposes."

mike-Have you tried Trader Joe's? They always have them.

cakespy-Why not come and see for yourself? ;)

julie-Makes you forget about winter, at least for the time being.

kellypea-I have yet to make preserved lemons.

annie-Please, stop what you're doing right now, and go buy some Meyer lemons.

helene-I'm so happy to have introduced you to them.

linda-Thank you so much!

rosa-Ooh, thanks!

cakelaw-It was a treat.

tw-I knew someone would end up with it stuck in their head. Sorry. ;)

Anonymous said...

This looks so seriously good!
Just the name of the recipe gives me lemony spasms. :-)

Emily said...

Now I want that Hawaiian fish, too.

Guess what? I just bought some Meyer lemons from the store. I had never seen them before. I'm really excited.

sunita said...

Susan, that sounds like such an awesome combination...however, I haven't tried kampachi before...and yes, some lyrics are really hard to get out of your system :-D

Wendy said...

My mouth is watering like crazy just thinking of this. Seriously. It's a little distressing - I may dehydrate. ;)

Elizabeth said...

This fish looks delicious!


P.S. Augh!!! Now I have an audio virus and can't get that Lemon Tree chorus out of my head!

Anonymous said...

I'd do almost anything to lower cholesterol. Although eating such a dish doesn't sound so much of an effort ;)

RecipeGirl said...

I'm late to the party here but I just had to pipe in and say that I LOVE Kampachi. We had it at a Hawaiian dinner party that we went to recently. Good stuff.. and with Meyer Lemons- oh MY!

NĂºria said...

Hola Susan!
Your lemons look so shinny and fresh... mmmmmm My niece loves eating them, but not only meyer lemons, she could eat any!!!! ONly thinking about it makes my face go funny :D
Great dish!!!!

Gattina Cheung said...

what a gorgeous photos and recipe! Everyone should go to Hawaii getting the fish just for this dish!
Thanks for mentioning the two events, will look into them later.

Stella said...

I've never seen prettier lemons...!
I've no doubt that this taste heavenly!

Eve Fox said...

Sounds delicious! We have a Meyer lemon tree outside our house and I'm always looking for new ways to use them.

Katy said...

what a great dish! I fell in love with meyer lemons in risotto, but I am definitely all for branching out! That looks just wonderful.

Unknown said...

I have never had a meyer lemon but that fish looks good and sounds pretty tasty.

Anonymous said...

so beautiful! i'm not sure how i feel about having fish shipped halfway around the world to get to me, but that's a great-looking dish.

i love the "yellow" theme of the int'l women's day event!

Lisa Johnson said...

Those lemons look so good! It reminds me of summer. *sigh* Just a few months to go. ; )

Susan from Food Blogga said...

zenchef-That's not serious is it? ;)

emiline-Yay! Another Meyer lemon convert!

sunita-I hope you don't catch the lyrics now.

wendy-Got any Gatorade in the house? ;)

ejm-Just wait. It could be days before the virus clears up.

lore-It is pretty easy. ;)

recipegirl-Now, that's an idea-- a Hawaiian dinner party....

nuria-My teeth ache just thinking about it too.

gattina-Great! I hope you check them out.

valentina-They bring a smile to my face.

eve-Ahh, an entire lemon tree?

katy-I made a risotto with them just last week.

kevin-Well, I hope you try one soon.

michelle-I really like the yellow theme too.

anali-Get the bathing suit and flip-flops ready!

Meg said...

The blood orange, arugula and prosciutto salad looks amazing, but the photograph of the fish is mouthwateringly appealing (I like the contrast of the blue surface the plate is on, too). It looks like a particularly tasty variation on meuniere, one I wouldn't have ever thought of.

zorra said...

I don't know "your" lemon tree song, but another one, and now I can't get it out of my mind. ;-)

Thank you for your participation in IWD, I love fish and lemon.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

meg-Thank you so much for the compliments.

zorra-That's a good thing. Otherwise, you'd have two lemon tree songs in your head.

Jade said...

Love the plating - the lemons look gorgeous on that plate!

Jomomma said...

I just bought kampachi at Central Market in Austin, TX. yuuummmm.