Thursday, November 16, 2006

Escolar Fish/Oil Fish

Not my kind of Dish

So, I tried a simply grilled meal of what was described on the menu as Escolar for the first time on Tuesday night. It was buttery, succulent and totally delicious. However, I shall not be eating it ever again. A quick read of this document, should give you a clue as to why. I am not going to repeat it here. This is a food blog afterall, I am meant to make you hungry, not the opposite of.

After doing some research on the net I discovered that Escolar is sometimes sold in restaurants as other types of fish such as Chilean sea bass. But the confusion doesn't end there. Beyond Salmon pointed me to an article that suggests Escolar is not actually the problem, but another fish called Oil Fish, that parades itself as the sorry Escolar. I remain unconvinced, and shall be eating neither from hereon in.

I don't want to deny you the pleasurable side of trying this fish, but if you choose to do so, please bear this caveat in mind. Don't say I didnt warn you.



PS Update - I just read that Escolar is what the Fijian's call Walu. I ate a lot of Walu in Fiji and didn't have any problems. So there has to be some kind of distinguishing difference between these fish types.



| |
Escolar Fish/Oil Fish

71 Comments:

  • At 16/11/06 14:22, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Sam,

    Oh, I am sooo familiar with this. One in every three people are unable to digest the oil in Escolar, and my dear husband J is one of them. I've never had a problem, but it's happened to him three times- the last two because he did not know the fish he was consuming was Escolar. The first time, we were both very frightened and had NO idea what was going on. Now we know!!!

     
  • At 16/11/06 16:16, Blogger Shauna said…

    Good lord, I had no idea. I have to say, my Chef likes to use escolar for his fish special when the seafood market we use here in Seattle offers it at the right time. It has always been fabulous, and no one has those complaints! He knows how to make it, though. I'm not going to attempt it by myself.

     
  • At 16/11/06 16:24, Anonymous Sean said…

    OMG, some day I am going to have to give up on fish altogether. Between the mercury levels and the overfishing and now this, it's hard to figure out whether any little fishie is properly edible anymore. Sigh!

     
  • At 16/11/06 17:08, Anonymous Diane said…

    I've heard of this before and stay away from it myself...

     
  • At 16/11/06 18:16, Blogger Del4yo said…

    I think like Sean that even if I love sushis and sashimi, I feel so guilty about overfishing that I might myself stop eating fish altogether soon.

     
  • At 16/11/06 18:44, Blogger wheresmymind said…

    We so need to cook more fish 'round here

     
  • At 16/11/06 19:03, Blogger Palette said…

    In Chicago, Escolar is often passed off as some kind of heavenly combo of tuna and swordfish, but my years of smelling it raw in kitchens around the country told me it was garbage fish. Something nasty like the cat dragged in. I will not eat it. We will drive 30 miles north to a Japanese market for our fish, sometimes paying upwards of $22/pound for good salmon & tuna, less for shellfish. but other than that it is poultry and vegetables for us. I miss the west coast for fish availability but honestly will hardly ever order finned fish in a restaurant, unless I know the chef, and I know he/she has taken the time to butcher it properly, and more importantly actually smelled the damned thing.

     
  • At 16/11/06 19:16, Anonymous Jennifer said…

    Oh Sam, I feel your pain! Once was enough to make me swear off escolar.

     
  • At 16/11/06 22:09, Anonymous farley said…

    I have to say, one restaurant where I worked had a crab-crusted escolar, which was one of my favorites. Normally, I have a pretty sensitive stomach, but I never had any issues when I had that dish. Hmmmmm....

     
  • At 17/11/06 08:09, Blogger Lydia said…

    A woman in one of my cooking classes, who has a compromised immune system, bought escolar at a highly-regarded fish market. She didn't know anything about the fish, and the fishmonger did not caution her about its possible side effects. Sure enough, she brought it home, cooked it up, and then tossed it up, sick as can be. Since then, I haven't worked up the nerve to try it myself.

     
  • At 17/11/06 08:09, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    eek i've never had escolar but this scares me. so how can you tell if what you're eating is actually escolar or chilean sea bass (which is actually a patagonian toothfish)? do they flake differently? what's up with all the name switchin...

     
  • At 17/11/06 08:18, Blogger Sam said…

    Update - I have to say this fish did fascinating intriguing things to my body that I didn't know what it was capable of.

    And I will give you one other thought: Having seen what this fish caused my body to expel, I really pity the two thirds of the population who CAN ingest it - really - if you could see what your body was absorbing, you would never put this fish any where near your fork, let alone your mouth.

    I have seen the results of eating this fish described as 'diarrhea' in online articles. But really, that is misleading, it is not like that at all. It isn't uncomfortable, it doesnt hurt or make you feel sick.

    Your body just expels masses of yellow oil.

    No siree - I am never eating this fish or anything that might be it ever again.

    I went to the restaurant last night and told them what happened to me. They were shocked. They still had it on their specials menu.

     
  • At 17/11/06 08:26, Blogger Alice Q said…

    Oh my goodness! I have never tried this, and now I certainly never will. That much oil in fish? Blech! I'd rather have a steak. I also wanted to say that I am so pleased and flattered that your mom has linked me on her blog!

     
  • At 17/11/06 09:17, Anonymous johng said…

    They should raise the price to $200 and call it a cleansing treatment.

     
  • At 17/11/06 12:00, Anonymous Jake T said…

    Isn't it ironic (don't you think..) that quite a bit of fuss arose here over the traumatic side effects of Escolar, leading to such statements as "I shall not be eating it ever again", whereas the fact that, for instance, the Chilean sea bass is close to extinction does not seem to cross one's mind when reading descriptions of its "succulent, tender white flesh". Who knows, maybe if enough restaurants would disguise their Escolars as Chilean sea bass, it would be saved.

    Escolar, the fish protector!

     
  • At 17/11/06 12:06, Blogger Sam said…

    to the contrary Jake, the research into this problem, imprinted the fact I should not be eating Chilean Sea Bass either into my brain.

     
  • At 17/11/06 12:35, Blogger Acme Instant Food said…

    Yikes! I've not heard about this and I do indeed thank you for the tactful warning.

     
  • At 17/11/06 16:29, Anonymous Brett said…

    Eewwwww! Thanks for sharing. I'll stick to sardines.

     
  • At 17/11/06 16:38, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    I'm saddened. I didn't ever think that in my lifetime I'd have to stop eating fish. And I mean for all the reasons: collapsed fisheries, mercury contamination, and now -- expelled yellow oil!!
    I'm sounding jokey, but I'm truly concerned.

    (Ooh, Sam described her poo! Wait, what is this, another episode of South Park? Go to bed, Cookiecrumb.)

     
  • At 17/11/06 18:30, Blogger Sam said…

    Actually I am not, not poo. Its just oil on its own schedule. It waits for no one.

     
  • At 17/11/06 22:49, Anonymous zoe said…

    point, Jake T.. when I read the post, noting the disguising as chilean sea bass, I was thinking "right on, Sam, overfishing is certainly a serious enough issue to never eat a species of fish again!"

    tho' an enforced 'clense' is certainly not a nice experience too!

    anyway, get the word out - maybe if people are avoiding CSB thinking it could be Escolar, maybe they'll stop fishing it illegally (and hurting the *poor dolphins!*)

     
  • At 18/11/06 09:56, Blogger Monkey Gland said…

    Maybe so Zoe, though I have to say that the only bit of a dolphin worth eating are the cheeks.

    Anyway, I thought Escolar was a Colombian drug lord, but it appears he is disguising himself as a Chilean sea bass. Canny bloke.

     
  • At 21/11/06 16:03, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this blog. I thought I was a complete freak until now. I too have experienced what Sam experienced. Sudden unexpected and completely uncontrollable evacuations of yellow oil 12 hours after eating this fish.

    In Australia, it is sometimes misleadingly marketed as "butterfish". Suffice to say, it causes me to produce copious amounts of melted 'butter'. I was caught unawares both times and it was EXTREMELY embarrassing. Other people like my wife can laugh about it, but I still can't. Still traumatised about it.

    I remain a fish-lover but will not touch anything resembling swordfish, escolar or this "butterfish" ever again.

     
  • At 22/11/06 12:23, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, I've had a couple of bad days. I bought Dover Sole at Stater Bros and cooked it Monday night. I never buy Dover Sole because it is very expensive. This was only $6.99/lb. I should have been worried. I have suffered two days with the exact (graphic) symptoms you describe. Do you think the grocery store really thinks they have Dover Sole? I am now sure it is Escolar. This is the second time this has happedned after eating Sole from them. This is awful.

     
  • At 22/11/06 13:25, Blogger Sam said…

    Hmmm - did it look like Dover sole?
    I know what dover sole looks like and it is much ore delicate than the fish I had the problem which looked more like a whiter swordfish steak.

    hope you feel better soon.

     
  • At 27/11/06 23:59, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you for the warning - just by accident, I happened on to your blog - I have a slice of escolar in my freezer and was thinking of having it for dinner tomorrow - bc of your warning, it will go to the garbage. Up to now, I've eaten anything and everything that swims - but I will check on the internet, as to it's safety from now on.

     
  • At 29/11/06 18:33, Blogger Helen said…

    Hi Sam,

    Oh, you poor thing. So sorry to hear about your bad experience with Escolar :( I think that many people simply have an allergic reaction to it. Swordfish and shrimp are one of those fish too, but since they are so widely available people know if they are allergic to them and simply don't order them. Since escolar is so rare, most people are tasting it for the first time and if they have a bad reaction, they want to warn everyone not to eat this terrible fish. Of course, knowing how much name confusion there is in the fish industry (black cod vs. sable, striper vs. rockfish, etc), I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't escolar at all.

    By the way, did you let the restaurant know? What did they say? Maybe it will encourage them to check into their seafood sources.

    Well, I hope you feel better soon and never have to experience side effects of escolar again.

    Cheers,
    -Helen

     
  • At 11/12/06 16:50, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am online doing some research as I was a "victim" of this fish on Friday night - sold as Walu. That one out of three didn't hold true in our group - 3 people ate it and 3 people were up all night expelling. The waiter described is as like a white tuna, but never mentioned the oiliness nor potential effect. No restaurant should be able to sell this fish without a warning.

     
  • At 25/2/07 15:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know I'm a bit late with this, but saw this article and thought I recalled reading about Escolar on your blog. I've never eaten this stuff, but my husband grew up on the BC coast and describes it as a "nasty bottomfeeder."

    In the interests of total disclosure: I work for CBC, but didn't have anything to do with this story

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/02/23/oilfish.html

     
  • At 9/4/07 16:16, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Better late than never...

    4 of us had a sushi plate of Oilfish...it was delicious, tasted similar to bocconcini actually.

    Nobody got sick (against all odds!). Then again, it seems that oilfish and escolar are somewhat different:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escolar

    Don't know if the menu was right in calling it oilfish, but I would try it again, in moderate portions...

     
  • At 13/4/07 12:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just wanted to contribute from what I know.

    'Escolar' or 'Oilfish' has been banned from commercial trade by Health Administration in Japan since 1981. I hear Italy has a similar rule. Some Japanese fisherman (commercial and hobbist) still consume it today by limiting the amount.

    I am Japanese, and we came across Escolar sushi labeled as "White Tuna" in a local greater-Seattle restaurant. As we'd never eaten it before (naturally), I looked into this later and was surprised at its popularity in other parts of the world including US.
    (When Japanese refer to White Tuna, or Shiro Maguro, it refers to Albacore tuna)

    To set the record straight, it is the Ester Wax in Escolar's meat (used as floatation material) that is not digestible by human that causes this known problem.

     
  • At 31/5/07 11:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Went to the best sushi restaurant in town last night and at 9:00 a.m., I went to the ladies room and to my horror, realized I had expelled, as they say, "masses of yellow oil" all over my new white pants. I don't think more than one co-worker saw, but that was enough. At least she is my friend - and coincidentally, my dining companion from last night. It was sold in Orlando as "White Tuna Carpaccio." Beware.

     
  • At 1/6/07 20:18, Blogger Sam said…

    I am so sorry - I can totally sympathise - unless its happened to you - you can't really explain to anyone else quite what its like. The worst thing is you dont really even feel it happen.

     
  • At 5/6/07 15:00, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Escolar is my favorite sushi/sashimi. My buddy and I eat is about 2 times a month and neither of us have had any of these problems. Maybe this is why I can't find any escolar at any markets here in town. So sad.

     
  • At 17/6/07 01:38, Anonymous Kak Lis said…

    I'm having it now. They said it will take 48 hours to recover. Another 24 hours to go. I can't fart anywhere I want now. I had 5 helpings of Escolar I think. They labelled it as Silver Cod in the menu. I feel so cheated. Wearing my pad everywhere now.

    Yes, it comes out without warning.

     
  • At 17/6/07 09:40, Blogger Sam said…

    Good luck lis - it took me 4 or 5 days so I hope you can do it in two

     
  • At 3/7/07 16:26, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Boy, glad I found this blog! I was just about to order Escolar, but now that I know it will make me spurt out jets of golden oil . . .

    Why do restaurants feature this fish? Is it because it's so inexpensive?

     
  • At 3/7/07 16:56, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They feature this fish because the faster you crap it all out, the sooner you'll be back to order more. Just pack the Depends the second time around!

     
  • At 3/7/07 17:01, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey, man, maybe you should bottle some of your fish butt-oil. It's guaranteed to be flush with Omega Threes!

     
  • At 15/7/07 13:39, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Our local health food store recommended escalor to my daughter.
    The entire family of four became ill including my 2 and 3 year old grandchildren. This is crazy. There should have been some form of warning. We would never have purchased it.

     
  • At 16/8/07 09:15, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Escolar is related to oilfish, known as Walu in Hawaii and Fiji. It is also called white tuna or butter fish. If you've had it before is will be easy to recognize. The only problem with Escolar is that is contains indigestible oils called wax esters. These are the delicious and uncomfortable part. Escolar is not toxic but if eaten in quantities larger than 6 oz you can get pretty nasty symptoms. So enjoy in small doses

    Josh Hansen
    Executive Chef
    Deleece
    Chicago, IL

     
  • At 4/11/07 03:51, Blogger JacquelineC said…

    and there were the Florida restaurants that were selling "Grouper" that was actually not...my teach a man to fish" event is wrapped (fish wrap?) and I have a link to that Grouper Dupe there as well as tons of great recipes and stories from foodies about learning how to choose fish more responsibly. Thanks for your help, Sam!

    Jacqueline
    The Leather District Gourmet

     
  • At 12/12/07 08:04, Anonymous Dr D said…

    Ate escalar and about 20 -30 hrs later expelled (fortunately in BR)oily material HUNTER ORANGE. I was sure I must have infarcted my liver,but all is well. People really don't know about this stuff.

     
  • At 17/12/07 17:14, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had Escolar for the 1st time today for lunch (restaurant in Auburn Hills Michigan) and thought it was delicious. I was just searching for the fish on line to find out more about it as I have not heard of it before. Anyway I did have a few issues after eating it, but did put the 2 together until now.
    Thanks!

     
  • At 24/12/07 11:48, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I grew up in Hawaii eating butterfish, but don't recall having these oily issues before. Unfortunately, within the last two weeks, I decided to indulge and ordered what was described as Hawaiian walu - once at Aqua and once at Chow - not realizing it was the fish that caused my post-dinner discomfort. I do recall being startled when someone from the Chow kitchen brought out my dish and referred to it as Escolar. Now I know. If I ever do order butterfish again, it will probably be in Hawaii...

     
  • At 16/1/08 17:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Just had Escolar from Fiji sold at a very good fish market in Berkeley and had the same ebola-like reaction described previously. Fortunately my wife and kids were OK. We've had butter fish in Kauai numerous times and never a problem. The texture and flavor of this one last night was different than what I recall..., a bit tougher. Maybe there are differences between those sold in Hawaii and those from Fiji? Just a guess. I'm having the left-over pasta tonight and pitching the fish!

    - Kevin

     
  • At 26/1/08 21:36, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am so sad now, I went online because I had this fish as sashimi last night with my husband and fell in love with it. I only had a piece and a half and have not felt any side effects. I am disturbed about all of the information about it being a bottom feeder and the flurescent orange oil that shoots out of your rectum. I am still debating whether I will eat it again, but gotta say pointing to yes if I went on line to find out what it was.

     
  • At 31/1/08 17:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OMG!!!! Thank goodness I did a search on this. I am going out for dinner tonight and they are serving Fiji Escolar as an entree. Since I didn't know what type of fish this was, I did a search on it. From all the information here, I am glad I did cause I have a very weak system and it doesn't help me since I don't have a gall bladder to help with the digestion of the oil from this fish. All I have to say is Thank you very much for all the information.

     
  • At 31/1/08 17:31, Blogger Sam said…

    good luck tonight!
    I have to say I have been to Fiji (twice) the first time I ate lots of Walu which I believe is the same thing as Escolar with no problem. Thhe problem occurred when I had Escolar in the US> The second time I went to fiji I was too scared to try the walu - it wasn't worth the risk since I spent the whole tiime in my bikini! I am not sure Fiji is to blame in particular - but I can't get to the bottom of what *exactly* the fish causing the problem really is.

     
  • At 9/2/08 21:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nancy Said...
    My husband, son and I love this fish and have not experienced any discomfort or side effects. We had some tonight and now I will be watching for all that I have read about it. I wonder if it depends on where you purchase it? We always purchase it from our local CO-OP. I do believe this store is very well informed and careful to stock the very best quality foods.

     
  • At 13/2/08 09:03, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have never had any problems with Escolar, or Super White Tuna as it is called in the mid-west. I even found a restaurant that serves it topped with slices of strawberry...yum!!! Melt in your mouth goodness. I mean what is the big deal anyway. I also like eating hot spicy chinese and mexican. And those normally cause way more stomach problems than Escolar..Should I stop eating those too? I don't think so.

     
  • At 13/2/08 12:31, Blogger The jDub said…

    Call me demented, but the talk of everyone shitting their pants has me giggling to myself!

     
  • At 24/2/08 13:14, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've had Escolar twice, once in an upscale seafood restaurant in San Francisco, and once self prepared at home, with no negative results. The portions were small (under 6 oz) and were grilled. I don't think I would try this fish raw.
    Since I live in the upper midwest of the US, I don't see this fish offered too often. But if it is on the menu at a restaurant I trust, I may order it (I will definitely grill - no pun intended - the server on it's preparation).

     
  • At 24/2/08 13:18, Blogger Sam said…

    when i had the problem, it was a small portion and it was grilled too, not raw. I am jut saying. It is not the preparation - it is the fish itself that causes the problem.

     
  • At 24/2/08 13:19, Blogger Sam said…

    the jdub - this conversation has nothing whatsoever to do with "shit". it is an oil that seeps from your body.

     
  • At 24/2/08 13:21, Blogger Sam said…

    anon - this is a far less controllable problem than eating spicy food. You have zero control and no warning. You may not be able to see the big deal - to be honest I hope you never have to. I wouldn't wish these side effects on my worst enemy.

     
  • At 24/2/08 15:54, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam, understood. Having not experienced the side effects, nor realizing that it comes on with no notice, and in spite of my having two uneventful encounters with the fish, I am losing my desire only to find out that the "third time is the charm." Good thing it is usually unavailable in these parts.

     
  • At 25/2/08 19:20, Blogger Kosmonaut said…

    Gah, just found your post while doing research for my post on escolar here: http://blog.kosmonaut.net/?p=322

    DO NOT WANT.

     
  • At 28/2/08 01:54, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam,
    the only thing that you need to do with every fish is check it well. And escolar is quite easily detectable as it looks like tuna, but is completely white, whiter than sheets in a hospital.
    I am eating it cold and warm smoked, seared, baked, as sashimi, grilled, the leftovers in tomato sauce with pasta, etc. and no problem so far.
    Anyway you should eat fish only in restaurants where you are sure that the chef knows what he is serving, and you trust him personally, which reduces risk.
    I remember of having eaten red snapper (at least that's what the menu stated) in five occasions during three days in three different restaurants of the same hotel (5*+ in Cancun, Mex., on the shore) and I never was served red snapper. The "best" I got, was some incorrectly de-frozen (and I don't know how many times re-frozen) flounder.

     
  • At 16/8/08 19:49, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Escolar is perfecly fine with me. I have one or two pieces of it in sushi form with no problem. I think a lot of the complaints are due to eating too much of it and over-reaction.

    Can you imagine people calling to ban curry because they got fire-rrhea from eating it?

     
  • At 17/8/08 09:03, Blogger Sam said…

    Dear Anon - if you read up further on this subject you will find that although escolar is indeed 'fine' with a lot of people, it can cause a severe reaction in a still significant proportion of the population. It is not 'over-reaction' as you put it, nor over eating: my personal reaction to it happened after a modest sized portion of the fish, grilled. I am not sure anyone is suggesting it should be banned either.
    I do think the think that in general, people should be aware of the risks associated with eating this fish. Sure - everyone knows what curry can do to you, but far fewer people know what this fish is capable of. And if you think the side effects have any resemblance to diarrhea you are in fact quite far off the mark, because there is little in common. Perhaps you should read up on more of the facts before reaching your opinion.

     
  • At 11/12/08 06:34, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Escolar is very often mislabeled as Oilfish, which has a 25% oil content, giving it laxative properties. Most people can eat oilfish, but it is recommended that you only eat it in small portions. It is a very cheap fish, and that is why it is substituted or mislabeled. It's not actually fished for, but is a bycatch of other fisheries.

     
  • At 19/2/09 16:21, Blogger Roxy said…

    Thanks so much for this post! It's very helpful, especially through all the varied comments which show that whether you're ordering escolar, oilfish, butterfish, or practically any other white fish, you could end up with anything. Including oil coming out of your butt, although my boyfriend vouches for it being more yellow than orange. At least I'm only stuck with indigestion... The worst part is that when Googling recipes last night, he saw indications of what was to come! I'd probably have a harder time forgiving him if I was stuck with the oil seepage.

     
  • At 19/3/09 17:23, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am going through the same unpleasant symtoms right now. I wish I had looked up Escolar on the internet before last night! This is the second time I've had it and the second time I've had the bad reaction. The first time, I thought it was the rich sauce that accompanied the fish. I guess not.

     
  • At 12/4/09 00:07, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Escolar is an amazingly delicious fish. It is heaven in your mouth.

    The excessive oils in it are indigestible by all humans, not just some. In small amouns it is passed unnoticed. In large amounts, well, lets just say it passes everything despite our best efforts to keep it in.

    This is why we don't eat large amounts of it at a time.

    Six ounces is the max. Six ounces is pretty much a healthy serving size of any meat, be it fish, beef, poultry, or whatever. We're just too used to getting our full pound of of steak.

    Escolar, in smaller amounts, is a wonderful culinary experience. Eat it like we all know we should eat French fries: a little bit won't hurt. Unlike French fries it's actually well worth savoring.

    Common sense is, apparently, all too uncommon.

     
  • At 21/5/09 12:18, Blogger gunsfatscuba said…

    I grill walu 10 times a mounth on my pellet BBQ. You won't have a problem if you cook it til its done inside. Great mild flavor and buttery texture make it my favorite. I shall not live in fear.

     
  • At 13/7/09 12:20, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No amount of "common sense" can protect you from fluorescent orange oil seepage embarrassing you and ruining your clothes. I had my "Hawaiian Butterfish" at what I thought was an upscale cafe in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I remember thinking at the time that the portion was small considering the price. Turns out it was not small enough. This problem is totally different from eatting something too spicey -- and anyone who cannot see that and defends this fish is either a restaurant owner or works for the fish industry! Eating at a restaurant requires trust, not common sense: A trust that the chefs would not prepare something that would harm you. A trust anyone would lose if it happened to them. You can say "don't eat too much" about anything. How simplistic do you have to be to say that and blame us for what is apparently a "common" side effect?

     
  • At 5/11/09 16:21, Blogger Shane said…

    I ate Escolar for the first time in San Diego last nigh and, sad to say, I had the oily reaction. The fish is very tasty, much like tuna. In fact, I think it is a type of tuna. It might have been the best fish I'd ever had if it weren't for the poorly timed bowel movements. The omega-3's are probably good for me though. I wonder if consuming alcohol with the fish decreases the ability to metabolize the oil? My co-worker didn't drink and she was fine.

     
  • At 20/11/09 21:37, Anonymous I like the taste of butterfish - Foo! said…

    Walu/Escolar/Butterfish isn't a bad fish; you just need to understand its potential side effects and why they occur. This fish contains naturally occurring oils and waxy substances which, like the fake fat Olestra, the body can't digest. (It's not the poor fish's fault. This species, unlike some others, can't digest them, just as you can't.) So, they accumulate in the fish's flesh, and when you eat them they pass on through your system. Now, since the human large intestine isn't designed to handle undigested oily substances (it expects them to be broken down in the small intestine), some folks can get diarrhea or oil leakage from this fish.

    The fish is delicious, nontoxic, and very low in fats that your body CAN absorb, so it's perfectly fine to eat so long as you take a couple of precautions. First of all, eat small portions. (It's so rich that you don't need a lot to experience its blissful, buttery taste; I love it as sashimi or nigiri sushi.) Secondly, make sure that your meal is balanced and contains some healthy soluble fiber to soak up the undigested oil. (This by itself can completely eliminate any digestive problems it might cause.) Whole wheat or multigrain bread or rolls work wonders. Or take a few capsules or tablets of psyllium or other soluble fiber before you indulge. A bowl of oatmeal the next morning also helps to absorb any of the oil that remains. Finally, because eating non-digestible oils can hinder your absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins (E, D, and A in particular), it's not a bad idea to make sure you take a multivitamin. But there's no reason to avoid this fish altogether. It's a great delicacy.

     
  • At 4/12/09 23:04, Anonymous Johnny said…

    I was introduced to the narcotic effects of white tuna sushi 6 months ago and now have a biweekly craving for it. Last night it was a little different, more moist with a buttery flavor, and a more oiled texture. Today I paid the price dearly with the violent orange symptoms attacking my pants. I called my sushi chef and he took the fifth. I'm going back to chicken wings

     
  • At 28/12/09 13:20, Blogger Status Seafood, Inc. said…

    There are in fact two different species of Escolar. In the fishing industry they are known as SMOOTH SKIN (Lepidocybium Flavobrunneum) and ROUGH SKIN (Ruvettus Pretiosus)Escolar, the later (Rough Skin) being the much cheaper yet problematic fish causing the purgative problems mentioned in so many other posts. It is such a pity these two different fish species have been lumped together as it is an amazing eating as well as environmentally sustainable fish to consume.

    That being said, I urge people to give this fish a try. Firstly, it is not necessary to even eat more than 5oz of the fish due to how rich and filling this fish is. It has the same satiate quality of lobster, and believe it or not when you order a 8oz lobster tail you are only getting around 5oz's of actual lobster meat. Yet you are satisfied correct. Secondly, eating too much of anything is going to cause you problems.

    I honestly believe this fish has earned a bad reputation for an unjust reason based around greed through suppliers trying to make a few extra pennies by purchasing the cheaper version, the Rough Skin. however, be sure to ask your purveyor what specie of Escolar they are serving and how was it processed. A good seafood processor would ensure too DEEP-SKIN the Escolar as this would remove the high oil content muscle tissue between the skin and flesh, drastically reducing the purgative issues mentioned above. The fish supplied by us is all Sashimi grade, 5oz portion controlled that has been DEEP SKINNED. We have been selling this fish into the US for the past 6 months with nothing but absolute rave reviews!

    SMOOTH SKIN Escolar is a great environmentally sustainable fish and should be heralded as such. Be sure to always consume the right specie ... any good chef should know this, and if they don't they will soon!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home