Wild Recipes

Lemon Peppered Yellowtail with Sauteed Spinach


Recipe Contributed by Editor-in-Chief J. Townsend

The full name of this fish is Yellowtail Amberjack. They are more commonly known as Yellowtail (not to be confused with Yellowfin, which is Tuna. I get them mixed up sometimes). This particular fish is most commonly found hanging around kelp patties in the Pacific Waters of Mexico and Southern California.

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I plucked this fish out of the ocean on my last deep sea fishing expedition just a few weeks ago. You can read about the catch our the Deep Sea Fishing Article or watch it in the Deep Sea Hunters film.

The crew on our boat told us that this is his favorite fish to eat. He likes to grill it or put it in ceviche. Here is the grilled version which I decided to serve with some sauteed spinach and onions. The skin of the fish was left on the fillets and cooked off just like trout or salmon. Once cooked, you will find the meat very tender with a mild taste. I love citrus flavors so I seasoned mine with a homemade lemon pepper seasoning. I tossed in some crushed red pepper to add a little spice. Enjoy!

Grilled Yellowtail


  • 2 Yellowtail fillets
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat
  2. Coat the fillets with the coconut oil
  3. Mix the lemon zest, black pepper, sea salt, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Season the fish with the mixture
  5. Place the fish on the grill skin side down (do not flip)
  6. Cook until the fish is white and you can feel the meat “flake” when pressed with your finger. (Caution, the grill will be hot)
  7. Remove from heat and serve on top of the Spinach (see below)

Sauteed Spinach and Onions


  • 2 cups Spinach, washed
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • ½ White or Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh white black pepper


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter
  2. Add the onions and garlic once the butter has melted
  3. Allow to cook for 1 minute
  4. Add the Spinach and cook until all of the leaves have wilted.
  5. Carefully drain the liquid off of the spinach
  6. Stir in the Lemon Juice
  7. Season with Salt and White Pepper to taste.

We will provide a ceviche recipe soon!

Justin Townsend

Justin (Choctaw) is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passion for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, podcasts, print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard.

2 thoughts on “Lemon Peppered Yellowtail with Sauteed Spinach

  • Wow I’m a fan of spinach I will give it a try 🙂 healthy meal:-) 🙂

  • Jennifer FS

    Thank you for this yummy recipe! Everyone in the family loves it and is our go-to recipe for the yellowtail my husband catches in San Diego.


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