Purchasing sashimi quality fish from the Honolulu Fish Company will have you hooked at first bite
Some of the freshest, hooked-at-first-bite, sashimi grade fish in the world comes out of the pristine waters that surround the Hawaiian Islands. For the past 28 years the Honolulu Fish Company (HFC) has been at the forefront of providing the highest quality daily catch to restaurant professionals as well as home chefs.
The Auction House
The Honolulu Fish Auction, located at Pier 38, starts with a frenzy of activity hours before the crack of dawn as dozens of boats pull up to the docks to deliver their catch. In the early morning chill weary-eyed captains and their crews offload tens-of-thousands of pounds of big eye tuna, wild caught swordfish, opah and barramundi along with many other species. Once offloaded the fish are weighed, tagged and for health and safety reasons, their temperatures are taken.
After being properly inspected the fish are placed on pallets, iced and rolled into the giant temperature controlled warehouse where the bidding starts at 5:30 sharp. Included in the early morning mix of buyers, brokers, chefs and a handful of visitors (Saturdays only from 6:00-7:30) are a team of expert buyers from the Honolulu Fish Company.
Our first visit to the Honolulu Fish Auction came on a dark and chilly September morning long before the days when visitors had to pay for a guided tour. We arrived around 4:00 am, just in time to watch the last of several boats offloading their catch. Not ones to set our alarm while on vacation, this was an experience that we absolutely did not want to be caught oversleeping for, so we did.
After several minutes on the docks we stepped into a shallow pan of bleach infused water at the entrance to the warehouse and entered a world completely unbeknownst to us. And what a fascinating world it was as we watched over 70,000 pounds of fish be sold in a matter of hours.
Honolulu Fish Company was founded in 1995 by Wayne Samiere, a trained marine biologist and lifelong lover of all things fish. Wayne launched his successful seafood company in his garage with a computer and a fax machine (remember those?). It has since gone on to become one of the nations premier seafood distributors supplying more than 30 varieties of eco-friendly fish from Pacific waters as well as the only direct distributor to offer over 14 species of sashimi grade fish. At last count HFC currently ships to over 3000 restaurants and consumers nationwide.
In 2018 HFC began partnering with several sustainable, high quality mariculture farms on the islands of Kauai, Kona and the Big Island. These farms supply HFC with scallops, Kanpachi and Hybrid Sunfish along with salmon. These partnerships have allowed HFC to expand their portfolio while maintaining the same stringent standards set by government regulations along with best practice monitoring by fishery observers.
Hawaiian fisheries are among some of the most tightly regulated in the world and HFC is deeply committed to the protection of the environment along with promoting sustainability in its fishing practices…not just for the years ahead but for decades. It is with this focus and dedication to the natural world along with superior quality seafood that HFC has built a loyal following among their growing clientele.
In keeping with the highest standard of quality each fish that HFC sells is inspected and individually hand selected by their team of sashimi experts. Once inspected, the team then sorts and packages the daily catch and ships via UPS to arrive in restaurants or on the dinner tables of home chefs within 24 to 48 hours. Compare that to purchasing a piece of fish in the supermarket and HFC’s process is hands down a faster, fresher and more nutritious way to purchase fish. Like any product you put on your table, freshness is king when it comes to seafood.
We placed our first order of fish from HFC came after reading an article about them in a food magazine. Being that we had a great local fishmonger (60 years in business) while living in Southern California we never gave a thought to flying fish in from Hawaii. Now that we live in Coastal Georgia the luxury and convenience of driving less than three miles from home to buy high quality fish no longer exists. That’s not to say that there isn’t great seafood here…it just takes a lot longer to drive to a store that carries it. Thus, we took a chance on Honolulu Fish Company and have never looked back.
As advertised, our first three pound order of Kanpachi (aka :: Kahala in Hawaiian) arrived at our doorstep 2 days after we placed it and the packaging was exactly what HFC claims. The filets were individually wrapped and surrounded by several cold packs along with a reflective mylar blanket that was wrapped around the entire order. All this was contained in a styrofoam cooler within the box. It was like receiving a mini-fridge at our doorstep!
From the first slice to our last meal the word delicious could barely describe the freshness and flavor of the fish. Being that we had ordered three pounds we had every opportunity to prepare the Kanpachi in different ways yet we could not bring ourselves to eat it any other way than sashimi. Perhaps we’ll sear some with the next order.
As the world’s population continues to grow at an exponential rate companies involved in the “blue revolution” of aquaculture and mariculture will play an increasingly outsized role in providing healthy, sustainable, high quality, protein rich seafood and shellfish. It is suppliers like Honolulu Fish Company, among many others, that are at the forefront of bringing the freshest ocean-caught and ocean-raised seafood to tables around the world.
If you are hesitant to purchase seafood online then let Honolulu Fish Company change your mind. You will not regret it!