|Yellowtail collar is one of my favorite dishes. I always sort of shake my head when I see people fillet a yellow, and toss out the head with the collar...it's the tastiest part of the fish in my opinion!
To follow is my simple, step by step method to prepare a decent yellowtail collar for yourself a a loved one.
1. Catch a yellowtail
2. Fillet the yellowtail, carefully cutting out the dark parts (the blood line). Before you throw out the head, cut out the collar, peel off the membrane inside, and remove any left-over gills, organ material, etc. Rinse, and then marinade in the following for a day or two:
MARINADE (note: I don't measure things, so all amounts below are approximate):
1- can Bud Light (pour it high to get the carbonation out)
1- cup of soy sauce
1- cup brown sugar
1- cup Dr. Pepper (really... Dr. Pepper. Don't get all cheap on me now, and use Dr. Skipper from Wal*Mart!!!)
A 4 to 6 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and sliced
A few squeezes of lime juice
A quick pour of sesame oil
A few dashes of sesame seeds
A few garlic cloves, diced
half a brown onion, sliced thick into rings
Put all of this into a big ZipLoc bag with the yellowtail collar, squeeze out as much air as you can. Close and shake to release some of the carbonation from the beer and Dr. Pepper... reopen the bag, release the CO2, and reseal.
3. While you're waiting for your fish to marinade, grow some beefsteak tomatoes, a few different types of squash, and whatever else floats your boat.
4. A few days later, light a nice mesquite charcoal fire, and remove the collar from the marinade (retain marinade for basting.) Fold the collar so it woll lay flat on the grill ("Opened Up"). Next, grill your collar, skin side down on the top rack. Occasionally pour marinade on the fish, but don't turn it. Instead, keep the lid closed on the grill with the vent open. In essence, you're high-temp smoking this collar. The brown sugar and Dr. Pepper in the marinade will make a nice glaze on the meat.
Cook until the "ears" flake off easily when you pull on them, but make sure the fish stays moist. The fish actually cooks insice the skin, and the skin acts like a bowl to keep the fat in.
About fifteen minutes before serving, throw on your tomatoes, veggies, etc.
5. Plate and eat. Watch out for bones, although most of the bones in a nice yellowtail collar are just as obvious as the bones in a piece of chicken!
Enjoy! I have a lot of hummingbirds visiting my yard this summer, so I recommend Red Nectar Ale to accompany this slightly darker fish. The sweetness of the ale is nice with the Ginger/Sesame/Teriyaki of the fish, and the tangy tomatoes.