Escolar: The World's Most Dangerous Fish

Escolar is the most controversial fish that you are likely to find in your fish market. This firm, white fleshed fish has an incredibly rich flavor, often described as 'succulent', or a fattier version of swordfish. Why so rich? It turns out that Escolar's diet contains food high in wax esters. Wax esters that are really difficult for Escolar to digest. As a result, these esters build up in the fish.

Where is the controversy in a buttery, delicious fish? I would say it is in the laxative like effect it has on a certain percentage of the population. Well, a 'laxative like effect' is how my fish monger described it. Others would describe it as closer to diahhrea. An expert would call it 'keriorrhoea'. Literally translated, it means 'flow of wax'. Oily orange droplets pouring out your pooper.  Keriorrhoea occurs because the wax esters in the flesh of the fish pool up in your intestine.

Some reports of Escolar related illness include cramping, nausea, diarrhea, the itis, and other abdominal pains.  This could be the result of severe Keriorrhea or could also be Scrombroid poisoning.  Escolar related Scromboid (or histimine poisoning) is the result of high levels of histidine being converted to histimine usually as a result of poor storage.

Hong Kong Protest Over Oilfish Sale.
Why would you eat a fish that has such terrible downsides? Two reasons:
  1. Escolar is delicious. Most likely, the same fatty ester in Escolar that makes you sick also makes it taste so damned good.
  2. Taste the danger! If you enjoy a sense of dining adventure, then consider Escolar the log flume of the culinary world.

CROUCHING ESCOLAR, HIDDEN OILFISH
Apart from all of the poop jokes I wanted to make, what really inspired me to write about Escolar is the lack of credible information on the subject.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency suggests grilling, while Queensland's Health Agency states that cooking method does not matter.  It is really confusing because not only is Escolar sold under other names, but other fish are sometimes mislabeled as Escolar.  Doing some quick google searches, I created the following chart based on all of the references to escolar and oilfish being sold as other fish.  The most common form of Escolar trickery is to be found at your local sushi bar.  Any place selling white tuna or 'super white tuna' is more likely than not selling you Escolar.  White Tuna can technically be either Albacore Tuna or Escolar.  Albacore looks like pale tuna, while Escolar looks strikingly white.

This isn't confusing at all...
There are a number of reasons for this confusion.  Mostly, it is because suppliers and restaurants mislabel fish, either out of ignorance or fraud.  Another reason for the confusion is that Gempylidae, the family of fish that both Escolar and Oilfish belong to, has several other names.  According to Wikipedia, this family of fish is also called Escolars or Snake Mackerels. I have also seen at least one reference referring to Gempyldae as 'Oilfishes'. This means that the family name and the common species name can be the same.  There is also a segment of the population that thinks they were served Oilfish instead of Escolar, and that is what made them sick.  However, I haven't seen much scientific literature to back that up.  Both fish seem to have about equal chances of making you ill.


HOW NOT TO CRAP YOUR PANTS
So I have a couple of quick tips to reduce the likelihood of getting sick from Escolar.  It is mostly gleaned from the Internet, but the most credible source I found was an excerpt of Nick Ruello's Report On The Oil Content, Composition, And The Consumption Of Escolar.
  1. Limit Quantity. Obviously, less is more when it comes to Escolar. Conventional wisdom suggests no more than a six (6) ounce portion. I suggest an even smaller amount the first time you try it.
  2. Tail portion. While oil distribution varies per fish, the cuts near the tail generally have lower ester count.
  3. Cooking Methods. Don't appear to make a difference. There are some sources that claim grilling will reduce the wax esters but there is at least one scientific report that found this to be untrue.  Wax esters are heat stable, so the only potential benefit of grilling is that they somehow leak out of the fish.  This can also be achieved by baking the fish on a rack causing the juices, which may or may not contain wax esters to drip into the pan below.
  4. Deep Skinning. With certain fish, this oil resides just under the skin of the fish. By removing the flesh close to the skin, you can reduce the amount of wax ester. While it is recommended to do remove the skin because of its high oil count, there isn't much evidence that deep skinning will help much.  
  5. Freezing.  also does not work.  Wax esters are not damaged by cold, even after extended stays in the freezer.
  6. Fishmonger Trust. Since there are other fish that also contain high level of wax ester, it is best to go to a reputable fishmonger.  Also, Escolar has some other toxins that can result in histimine poisoning if the fish isn't stored properly.  
  7. Pre-Existing Conditions. As always, pregnant women have no fun. Also, people with malabsorption or bowel problems should probably just stay away. Unless you find your bathroom comfortable and you dislike your pants.  
TOO LATE, THE KERI IS O-RRHOEAIN'
I followed most of the advice above the first (and only) time I prepared Escolar at home.  I still had ended up with my own British Petroleum style oil leak, endangering most of the local habitat, with several failed attempts to contain the spill.  If you find yourself in this situation:
  1. Well it depends. Actually, no it doesn't... wear Depends. 
  2. Replenish your bathroom reading materials. 
  3. Call in sick, or plan your day around proximity to the bathroom.
  4. Avoid Escolar in the future. The truth is, all you can really do is ride out keriorrhoea. It should only be a couple of days.  
Finally, if you developed a case of Keriorrhoea and you didn't knowingly order Escolar, then you should  think back the the last time you ate a piece of a mysteriously delicious white fish, and give them a piece of your mind... or a stool sample.

TASTE THE DANGER
Now that you know the risks, and how to reduce the likelihood of soiling your pants/couch/good name, you can now buy escolar from Catalina Offshore, one of the best online providers of sushi grade fish:



NOTA MALE
By now it has occurred to you, that sharing a name with this fish is terrible.  And this is true.  But there is some serendipity between the fish and the author.  We are both simultaneously fatty, delicious, and will likely make you sick to your stomach when we are over-consumed.

If you have had any experiences with Escolar or Oilfish, or found anything inaccurate in this post, leave me a comment.

Due to the popularity of this post, I wrote a white tuna survival guide.  If you liked this post, please share it via one of the methods below.
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188 comments:

docsconz said...

Great post!

Pablo Escolar said...

Thanks! Believe it or not, this post was 80% written in 2008.

D said...

awesome & hilarious

Kimberley Hasselbrink said...

Ha! I unwittingly had escolar on a first date at a sushi place. We were totally naive, and requested a second custom roll be made with it because we liked it so much. Fortunately, neither of us were running to the bathroom after.

Anonymous said...

Pupu Lounge, Kihei, HI. Ryan the waiter recommended the Walu and could have it both grilled or deep fried like "fish n chips". Was sick for 5 days after consuming this fish. After working in the restaurant business for over 12 years, I wouldn't ethically sell/recommend something this dangerous...everything you are mentioning in the article is TRUE!!!

Anonymous said...

I once consumed too many handrolls made of escolar. Later that night, I farted. But it wasn't all fart that came out. Soaked my boxers and jeans. It was the oil. I almost freaked cause I was shitting out droplets of oil. It's difficult to stop the flow of it as well. A google search found many others who had same symptoms from consumption of escolar, so I was relieved (pun intended). I think the symptom lasted through the day after. Be careful, people.

Anonymous said...

Informative!

Anonymous said...

I have eaten this fish twice now and the second time was last friday. I thought someone har put diet pills in me. I went to the doctor! But today, after googeling every word for oily shit in Swedish I finely found the explenation to my poo problem. Dam Good Shit Fish. Im shooct that is so Little information about it! Its devestaiting to eat it when you not know the consecvens of it. Me self oiled in my pants during a Walk in the hometown... Not fun. Thanks for a informativ homepage or what you call it. I know my english are poor. Xo Swedish Girl

Anonymous said...

WE WERE DRINKING SAKI ALL NIGHT AND EATING SUSHI AND SASHIMI (WHITE TUNA)TO HEAVENS END.AFTER GETTING HOME THAT NIGHT, WHILE STILL VERY BUZZED FROM THE 2 BOTTS OF SAKI,I LIT A FART WITH A LIGHTER!IT TOOK A BUCKET OF WATER AND A BOX OF BAKING SODA TO PUT MY ASS OUT!THANKS FOR THE WHITE TUNA(ESCOLAR) YOU FRIGON JAP BASTURD LIARS!! I'LL NEVER EAT THAT FISH AGAIN OR TRUST ANY JAPS!!! TRUE STORY.........JDCRAB

Anonymous said...

Pablo, reading your article after eating Escolar last night was the worst thing I could have done! I was laughing so hard, I really "lost it". Sad but true, down to the last drop of orangey oil...

Trey said...

I have had Escolar at least 100 different times, usually 3 to 4 pieces Sashimi or Sushi style, and everyone i have had try it also love it, we call it White Toro because of the buttery taste, it is like a poor man's Toro at the Sushi Restaurant. While in California i had Hawaiian Walu, which tasted very similar and was told Walu was a cousin of Escolar.

I have never experienced a single episode of stomach discomfort nor has anyone I have dined with who had Escolar. I wonder what percentage of the population is sensitive to the fish? I do eat at decent Sushi places so maybe I have had high quality properly prepared and handled Escolar.

Pablo Escolar said...

@Trey:

1. Walu usually _is_ escolar.

2. I have never experienced Keriorrhoea at the sushi bar either. I suspect it is a combination of hitting the escolar extra hard at the sushi bar, cutsof escolar that are unusually high in wax esters and a sensitivity to said wax esters.

My one experience with Keriorrhoea is when I cooked it at home, fully knowing the risk I was taking. There was no discomfort, but I did experience a 'flow of wax'.

Anonymous said...

yesterday, her ein germany, I ate during lunch and supper a rare kind of fish that I have never tasted before. All i know is that this fish was well cooked and tasted very nice. lo and behold a few minutes ago i went to the toilet to pee and guess what i feel something wet just inside my poo and when i do a duble check i see this yellowish fatty thing all over my pants:((( boy that really sucks i tell u...that fish is nice but the after effects aint that nice...

Anonymous said...

My girlfriends and I were out celebrating the upcoming birth of my 3rd child. I ordered the Escolar. Delicious! By the time we walked out maybe 2 hours later, I started to have my first contractions and an hour later my girlfriends took me to the hospital....and I delivered my son 5 hours later. I was around my due date, but had no symptoms prior to dinner...HONEST!

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed escolar several times on holiday in Madeira. Absolutely delicious! And I've never suffered any of these nasty side effects!

Doctor Professor said...

I have sold hundreds of pounds of escolar and introduced it to the north east of the United States, where it gained much fame among restauranteurs.
It's a great fish that tastes delicious, and it can give you the oil shits something fierce. Customers of mine have noticed this and still continued to indulge. After all, it's coming out one way or another, and changes are you're most likely not going to get keriorrhea most times when you eat it. Of the dozen of so times I have had it, I only got keriorrhea once.

Anonymous said...

I had escolar for dinner last night, and salmon sushi this evening. Went out, and have been "farting" uncontrollably, FYI: felt oily too. Got home, and guess what...yellow, liquid stool :(. How embarrassing.

Thanks to your article, coz I was worried why the heck I pooped oil?! Lol!

Anonymous said...

I had 2 portions of escolar last night. I've enjoyed it before. Got to work this morning and a coworker said, "Looks like you sat in water." My ass was soaked with oil! Smelled just like a light oil. Thankfully I had another set of pants (scrubs) to wear. I figured it out after Googling "Farting oil."
I never even remember farting. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I am very familiar with the Exxon Valdez oil shit. But MAN what a great tasting fish. It doesn't happen every time the fish is consumed. Thank God.

I am so thankful for the stories on this page. I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.

Eat cautiously and dress prepared

Anonymous said...

I had one nice portion of Escolar last night, and did not feel anything before the next evening (15-20 hours) - which was a couple of hours after I read this blog, so not sure if I was just imagine I was sick, but I guess the yellow/orange shit makes it pretty obvious it was the fish! or(?)
Thanks for nice article!

Pablo Escolar said...

@anonymous:

bummer on the leakage! Thanks for the thanks!

Anonymous said...

it was sold as cod!!!!!

Max said...

Excellent post. I ate at the Bellagio buffet yesterday here in Vegas, and had three pieces of really good, tasty fish. This morning, woke up, brushed my teeth, drank some OJ, shat my pants. Or, I guess, anal-run-off'ed my pants. The orange oil slick had me really worried until found this thread. Less worried about dying now, more worried about leaving vicinity of bathroom for the next 24 hours.

Pablo Escolar said...

Max:

Hey, at least you were at the Bellagio when you shat your pants. Most people have to shit their pants at home or in public.

Anonymous said...

I had a piece ole piece of escolar at a nice restaurant in Los Angeles on Saturday night. I was up all night with what seemed a little like food poisoning, then the orange oil thing started the next day. So not fun. I'm a little pissed that this restaurant serves this stuff-- and charges quite a bit for it, as well.

Anonymous said...

May have been the best meal I ever ate, but the after effects 24-36 hours later are not worth it!

Anonymous said...

I had the best birthday meal a few years back. What a great fish.

Next day I was at an outdoor summer art festival in the North East USA. All day I was gasy and something didn’t feel right. Walked around ALL day (sitting in restaurants, in friend’s car etc.) slowly leaking out back. I got home and undressed for a shower and realized I had a basketball-sized oil patch on the back of my shorts. A few hours later it was over. Although embarrassed about what happened, I called the restaurant after researching my symptoms and finding the cause. They were not interested in taking the fish off the menu or advising it’s customers (which I can understand). I laugh about it now... Shame I never will get to taste that wonderful white buttery fish again...

Anonymous said...

OMG, you've solved the mysterious attack I had after dinner the other night. While the fish was delicious, I will obviously never (knowingly) eat it again.

Pablo Escolar said...

Glad I could help you solve the mystery of the soiled pants.

Anonymous said...

i went to a sushi buffet and had a good amount of escolar and when I got home I SAT DOWN TO WATCH TV AND WHEN I got up to go to the bathroom I saw a stain on my white sofa. I also had a big oi stain on my pants and underwere.and when I went to the toilet I saw dark oil rings in the toilets water. I thouht I had to see a doctor but it was the fish called escolar. I was leaking oil on my pants for two days not a goode thing.

Anonymous said...

Decided not to go out for lunch and ate at the cafeteria at work. Looked at the options on the line and chose the fish. I was so pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it tasted!! Did not bother to read the menu as to what type of fish it was. I did notice heavy post prandial "-itis" after about 30 min, but thought nothing of it. Went away after another 45 min.
The next day I had a sudden bad case of "flatus".. No warning symptoms or malaise just a few "burbles". Went to the restroom because at my ripe age I've learn NEVER to trust a f@rt. To my unpleasant surprise was a terrible #2 which was 90% orange oil!!!! I had NEVER in my years experienced this and I almost had a "grabber"; thinking "OMG! I've got cancer or something!"
After the massive clean up I went and G.T.S.'ed "orange oil stool" and one item kept popping up repeatedly: "oil fish, aka Escolar.
So I call the manager of the cafeteria to inquire as to the name of the fish served for lunch the previous, and sure enough! ... It was Escolar!!

Pablo Escolar said...

please please please keep these stories coming!

Anonymous said...

Oh God I am currently in the throes of this misery and am so thankful for the stories and comments on this site.

We went to the Asian market yesterday and picked up a bunch of seafood and sushi fixings. They had some "Sea Bass" on sale for an obscenely good price, so we took it home and lit the grill immediately. It was the most delectable fish I have ever tasted.

Today I've been feeling, let's just say, a little rumbly in the tummy. I was sitting reading for a while and then got up to see my boyfriend off and noticed a squishy feeling from behind.

I'm so glad that he didn't notice on his way out the door, and that while he's been gone I've had time to clean up the evidence and get bathed. That could be potentially devastating to my feminine mystique.

Now to figure out how I'm going to maintain my dignity and teach classes tomorrow...Hopefully the worst is over, right?

Anonymous said...

i wish i had read this before i ate escolar.
iam adventourous when it comes to eating and saw this fish as steaks in a vietnamese market.
i had white tuna sushi several times before and did not know that was escolar or did not have a poop problem. i seared this fish in olive oil both sides, the steak was close to one pound.
i shat in my pants first time ever in life. it was on my lazyboy. throw the clothing and lazy boy and took a good shower. wont forget this experience

Fish Girl said...

I sell and eat Escolar, i am a seafood manager for a major grocery chain. Like anything, first, in moderation, 6 oz of anything is enough. 2nd it must be cooked throughly , catfish will do the same if not cook throughly also. any fish with lots of oil (omega 3) which is good for you will do that if you eat too much. Plus are you eating anything with it that has oil too? Look at what you have on your plate for a balanced variety before you decide to eat it all.

Anonymous said...

I bought some escolar steaks at the oriental food store. They looked delicious and were a good price. I brought them home and researched Escolar on the internet. I followed the advice I found. I grilled them well and ate only a small portions at once, about 4 ounces. It was very delicious and I have had no digestive problems. I will eat Escolar again!

Anonymous said...

I bought "butterfish" at the Vic market. Turns out it wasn't butterfish. I almost shat myself in JB HIFI and I had to run to a public toilet, then I continued to shit orange oily stuff for 2 days ? I had oil leaking out my anus! an upset stomach and a headache. I will keep well clear of that fish from now on. My son ate it too and he seems ok ???

Anonymous said...

Now I know what causes the rain of oil. It's been 2 days now. I ate large cut of grilled "Gindara" on Sunday lunch. I feel bad for my coworker because I sometimes make a "deposit" in the office. Might as well take laxative pill and end it once and for all. I just read that fake(mislabeled) Gindara is common in my country (Indonesia) due to lack of knowledge of escolar. Gotta be careful next time... only eat gindara at fancy japanese restaurant

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me laugh out loud today! I also unknowingly tried this fish at a local "boutique" restaurant and paid the price for a week following. I was very close to going to the ER, not knowing what possibly could be happening to my body. Besides wrecking a brand new off white kitchen chair while searching the internet trying to figure out what was going on, I have a new apprehension for indulging in the offerred "special" at an eatery!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god!! I am so glad that I found this. I ate escolar at a restaurant on Saturday and I found it to be incredibly delicious. I had never even heard of it. Then the oil started coming out when I went to the bathroom the next day and I was incredibly freaked out!! I thought I needed to go to the hospital. After a little searching I found this and another article. GROSS!! Such a shame that I won't be eating that yummy, yummy fish ever again. I just hope this ends soon...

Anonymous said...

I've eaten escolar several times and never had any issues! When I looked it up I was quite shocked. But since I've never had a problem with it, I will have in again. n_n

Anonymous said...

I have found when you consume escolar, the effects can be controlled with a lot of rice (starch) and lemon juice (acidity breaks down the oil). Also two: 1000mg caplets of GNC vitamin C does the trick. The key is to help your digestive track break it down. I love this fish n since taking this advice I have had no problems. And a few peeps that I know said it worked as well, and for those who said they still had side effects, stated they were mild and past within a few hours. (ALSO PEOPLE DONT EAT THERE VEGGIES NOW DAYS, DUH! VEGGIES HELP BREAK ANYTHING DOWN. FIBER FOOS!!!

Anonymous said...

I guess the “white tuna” sushi did it for me. No problems for 48 hours, then some odd-feeling farts, a leak into my pants on the last one, and the telltale orange oil in my stool. Luckily I was home from work by the time it hit me! Hopefully it'll be over tomorrow...but I think an extra pair of trousers in the car will be good insurance.

Anonymous said...

My grandma bring me fresh "gindara" fishes last week.

My mom cooked it and its really tasty, on the lunch yesterday, i ate 3 cuts of steak.

Today, after taking a bath, suddenly there were oils coming out of my anus.

Is it mean that the "Gindara" is fake ??

Or giandara fish has the same effect as escolar ?

Pablo Escolar said...

Gindara is another name for black cod/butterfish/sablefish. The Gindara you ate was most likely escolar.

mamagunn said...

My husband and I had the most delicious fish which we had never heard of at a lovely restaurant we had never been to. The next day (saturday) I had a toilet full of orange oil circles. I called my doctor son 1, then son2, finally son3 picked up. I was afraid I was losing my gall bladder which processes fat, and I wanted to see if I should go to the hospital. He told me about escolar, and when I told my husband it turns out he was leaking oil as well and didn't want to say anything. We laughed, a lot better than thinking we were dying of organ failure. It lasted a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

Had escolar for dinner the other evening. Was the 2nd time I've eaten it, and it was just as delicious as I remembered.
Then, the orange oily leak started. yuk!
I didn't immediately associate it with the fish since I had it before and didn't have this reaction (I'd have remembered for sure!).
I'm so grateful for your informative and quite amusing post. At least I know I don't have some dreaded intestinal disease. Plus I had a really good laugh. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My god, never thought I'd have to google "shitting oil" but that's exactly what i did last nite after reaching back to wipe and noticing an orange oil slick all over the TP...

I traced it back to a particularly buttery-tasting "orange roughy" I ordered the nite before from the Bicycle Casino here in Los Angeles. Turns out roughy can be mislabeled as Escolar, and I've now had 2 days of stomach cramps, flatulence & orange oil shits to prove it.

Thanks for your funny & informative article, I like many others immediately suspected cancer, organ failure & the like before finding the real culprit. Life is strange... never in a million years did I think my body could do something like this, especially just from eating a piece of publicly served fish!

Aunt Snow said...

Wow. I had a serving of this fish at a highly reputable Santa Monica fish resto, loved it! and the next morning wondered what the hell was going on in my toilet.

I have also just recently had colon surgery, so I was kinda scared that my whole digestive system was screwed up. It was good to learn that it was this fish, particularly, that was the problem.

I sent an email to the resto and they said they would stop serving it while they checked it out. Good for them.

Anonymous said...

I watched on CBS that a company called Applied Food Technologies has a DNA test to tell what the species of fish is.

Anonymous said...

My wife bought some today after
tasting a sample she said it was really
good, after reading your article
I dont like the idea of turning my ass
into a candle,,

Anonymous said...

Oh my GOSH! I'm reading this post and cracking up because about 8 years ago, I ordered escolar in a sushi roll at a restaurant my sister manages. I also had fried ice cream, topped off with coffee. I was driving a 3 hour distance back to my house after dinner was over. I was 20 minutes away when the rumbling began, then went away, 15 minutes later: the cramping began, 10 minutes later: more rumbling. I was on a long stretch of interstate with no exits. I will spare you the details, but I hope no one found the massive mound and stained clothes on that old country road that I had to eventually turn onto, after most of the damage was done.

Anonymous said...

I ordered "Walu Hawaiian White Tuna" at a sushi bar earlier tonight. When it arrived to our table, i was surprised to see that it was white, as I was expecting Tuna. My husband and I asked the server if it was cooked, she replied it was not. We were curious about this 6 piece sashimi of white tuna, so we Googled Walu. Yep, it was all there, "oily diarrhea, banned in several countries". Alarmed, we asked our waitress, "Is this Escolar?" No, she said, we do serve Escolar, but that is not what you are eating. We were so relieved! Until a half hour later when we were walking into a movie theater and I started leaking. Yep. Exactly like I read about. I never would have eaten this fish had I known what it really was. Sinju Sushi in Clackamas Oregon, you suck!

Anonymous said...

I bought this tasty fish called white tuna and wow it was great. The next day I am in the locker room at the gym and I feel that my thighs and sack had baby oil on them and I realized I somehow just shit myself and I never felt it coming at all. Luckily I was near a stall and when I pulled down my pants I could not believe my eyes. There was so much orange oil in my pants and running down my thighs i thought I was going to die. I tossed my underwear in the garbage and tried to wipe off but this oil would not even stick to the toilet paper. I went right to the shower and got the rest off. I was really freaked the hell out until i searched for orange oil coming out of my ass and made the connection that I ate escolar. Why would anyone sell this fish?

Anonymous said...

Chef @ the restaurant where I work put Escolar on the menu this weekend (the menu changes daily). As he is a rather grouchy chef, I had to refer the the google-machine for some assistance in describing it to our patrons. Gee there was a lot of laughter in the wait-station that night as we all read your Blog!!! Chef was servin' up some pretty large portions, which only added to our evening of hysterical laughter! I, myself did ask my guests who ordered it if they were familiar with Escolar, and included a little caveat about its potential effects...except for one guest who was truely an a-hole. I was delighted to see that he enjoyed his meal & ate his entire portion of Escolar. When he left, I gave him my biggest, best smile & wished him a GREAT WEEKEND!!!

Anonymous said...

Just read a front page article in the local paper about several restaurants in my area switching out
cod or haddock for escolar without customer knowledge. Since these establishments were mentioned by name, I will not be eating there any time soon. Thank goodness I have never eaten escolar and will be most diligent when I order fish in a restaurant. Thanks for your funny, informative article. You saved lots of people from becoming ill.

Pablo Escolar said...

@Anonymous:

I just posted a bit about the Boston Globe article on fish confusion. Long story short, almost all white tuna is actually escolar. The cod/haddock thing is a little more dubious.

and thanks!

Anonymous said...

A few years back, we went to our favorite place to celebrate an anniversary. Escolar was on the menu, and it was served with a chipotle sauce. It was delicious. I can't remember which came first, but I remember looking online to see what this fish was. First, it is one ugly mofo of a fish!

Second, I did have some indigestion and the runs, which was unpleasant. Reading about Escolar gave me the info about its ester problem, so I called the restaurant. I don't know who I spoke to, but I suggested they think twice about offering this particular fish. They didn't offer to comp my meal, which would have been nice, but I haven't seen it on the menu since then.

Anonymous said...

Had problems with escolar before. I owned a restaurant and was sold some by our fish supplier. Had it baked and had a bad experience.Bitched out the supplier as some of our customers thought we were serving "bad" fish. Fast forward 6 or 7 years and being a sushi freak I tried a sushi restaurant in Poughkeepsie. My sashimi had 4 big pieces of delicious white fish...I was fortunate to be near a restroom 10 minutes later when I began shitting like a goose. Stomach was bad for one week. Seriously, this fish should be outlawed. I will never eat a "pure white" piece of sashimi again. I have passed on escolar when it was on a menu and have lectured the restaurants on the risks of serving this crap but for some reason it never clicked when it was an unnamed piece of sashimi. BEWARE

Anonymous said...

I eat escolar on a regular basis. Usually i order between 6-10 pieces of escolar sashimi. I've never had a problem. hmm... lol i guess i just end up storing all those fat/oil inside of me?

Anonymous said...

Huh, this may explain something. Had two pieces of "white tuna" at a nearby sushi bar last week. I was a bit perplexed about it as it seemed way whiter than albacore, and not as tuna tasting, but I figured it might be another tuna species. Or if not and mislabled, I thought, who cared since it did taste good. After looking at pics, it was clearly escolar.

About an hour later I developed horrible painful abdominal cramps, and they bothered me all afternoon. Eventually, after a few hours, had some loose oily stools with explosive amounts of gas -- it all came out like Mt. St. Helens blowing up again. Good thing I was already home; the blast pressure was such that plenty hit the water below and ricocheted right back up. I probably only had 2oz of escolar, but I am on a med that makes my GI tract more likely to malfunction.

Anonymous said...

have had "butterfish" a few times at sushi restaurants, and never had any problems with dealing with it - or any other sushi choices.
just picked up some escolar from a seafood supplier. they are frozen "pieces" from various areas of the fish.
will report back if there are any problems from either my wife or myself when i do cook them (not considering sushi or sashimi at this point).

The Otaku Perspective said...

I saw orange droplets on my poop this morning. I immediatly searched for diseases associated with it. They were all scary -- pancreatitis, Crohn's disease, gallstones, etc. Then I realized I ate escolar the night before, which was my first time and I liked the taste of the fish.

Anonymous said...

I M VERY HAPPY

Anonymous said...

Great article! We got a small "tuna" a few months ago from the fish market here in Indonesia. It was delicious, but we and our dog were quite ill for a day or so after. Haven't bought fish from him since then, ha!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic article! I'm in Fiji and had Walu for the first time made with coconut cream Fijian style. It was a huge portion, 10 oz. or more. The fish was delicious. Then the next day I have one less pair of shorts. It came out of nowhere. Never knew what hit me. Because of you, I have my answer. I don't think washing the shorts will do anygood. Maybe I should just throw them away. I will however try again but with much more caution.

Anonymous said...

Found this article while waiting in line at the fishmonger's... THANK GOD.

John DooDoe said...

First time I enjoyed sake with escolar sushi it tasted great. Couldn't get enough of it. I had it for dinner so I didn't know how devastating it was until the next day. I showed up to work and healthy and all until I decided to let a soft fart sneak out so all my co workers can enjoy it. Boy, I was totally in shocked when I realized what had happened. I had to run to the restroom at least 10 times that day and it didn't help. Kept cleaning up my ass and no matter what I did there were still stains...its not even funny.... Kept asking my co worker if he sees any stains. Good thing I wore dark pants that day. I will still eat escolar but will be on guard from now on.

Anonymous said...

The escolar was enjoyable...wish I could have remembered the name of it so that I could have googled it prior to cooking. No such luck... like everyone else, I was a bit shocked to see the bright orange oil and to experience the solvent-like smells of what ended up ion my panties. Am hoping this doesn't last too long... hopefully only a day more or less?

Pablo Escolar said...

12 - 48 hours seems to be the general range.

Anonymous said...

If I see 'white tuna' listed on a menu at a sushi restaurant, I pick another restaurant. Most likely not a Japanese owned restaurant (probably Chinese or Korean owned). The Japanese consider escolar to be an inferior fish, and is actually banned in Japan since the 90's.

Anonymous said...

...I was also one of those walking around with a big oil slick on my jeans with out knowing it after having fish; after some time stuck in the john I used a Fleet's enema to flush the rest of the oil out which ended the episode. The timing may have been just right - no intention of investigating further...

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy, am I glad I googled "Escolar", Saw a beautiful filet identified as escolar in my local Korean supermarket and it looked just like Chilean Sea Bass, which costs about $24 a pound, but this cut was about $4 a pound. Jeez, I was going to serve this at a dinner party this week. Thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

wish i had read the "how not to shit your pants" section BEFORE doing so :/

Farting Oil said...

I've been farting oil all night and I didn't know it until the bubbly sounds coming out of my pants! When I took my pants off to investigate, I felt oily liquid on my fingers! Ewww.

So, yesterday, I ate a batch of "white tuna" sashimi bought from a local farmer's market. I have never had this problem before from consuming raw fish from there, but this was my first time trying the "white tuna!"

I just swallowed a shot of the pink stuff. Hope that stops...

By the way, other than passing oil, I don't feel sick at all.

Anonymous said...

This Blog saved me a trip to the ER...

Mack said...

Great post! I've had Escolar numerous times. Fortunately I am not one of the ones that is affected by the fish.

Cliff of the UK said...

There is no cure for the effects of eating this fish, but a very good preventive measure is to order a nice bottle of Chardonney with your meal. Take the cork from the bottle and insert it well into your asshole. Keeping the buttocks clenched, consume the fish and return home from the restaurant. On getting home safely and stain free you may retire to the WC, remove the cork and marvel at the results. But beware - on no account bend down when you arrive home or you could have an unfortunate accident and shoot the cat!

Oil-free farts said...

I've had escolar on numerous occasions and never knew about its side effects. I used to go to a cheap sushi buffet and eat slices and slices of escolar sashimi. It's shocking reading all these people shitting their pants. I have not had that problem yet and I have consumed very large amounts in my day, though now I may be a little more cautious with my consumption.

Anonymous said...

I had this last night and didn't know anything about Escolar until I googled it this morning....and it was to late ; ) I had diarrhea most of the morning. I didn't have a stomach ache or feel sick, just the diarrhea. Other then that, it was absolutely delishous!!

Anonymous said...

it's very easy to find on fish market in indonesia but not much information about side effect after consumed this fish. so, three times i ate gindara/escolar three times i got to oily shit in my pants. thanks for this blog since i though that i have a colorectal cancer symptoms ha...ha..ha...

Anonymous said...

Had this super white tuna sashimi on Friday, Saturday was socked with orange oil dripping from my butt, was about to go to the emergency room Family was so worried my mother thought I was dieying and my liver was failing, decided to try the internet before we go so I could use the right words to explain to the Doc what was going on other then oil from butt. Thanks for this post we all laughed, I will never eat this fish again

Anonymous said...

When I google to get background on food items, I very rarely laugh this hard at the result. I love escolar, have had it a handful of times with none of the dicey side effects mentioned above. However I did have those mysterious orange oil drops on one occasion nearly 20 years ago, and have pondered the event from time to time. So, I am happy to have that cold case put to rest at the very least. I am having escolar for dinner tomorrow night, but I am having pangs of guilt at serving it to my unsuspecting guest.

Anonymous said...

I ate about a 10 oz portion and experienced the weird orange shits, and I didn't know if I should go to the hospital or not. I had no idea what caused this. In my case there was no histidine reaction, which I am grateful for. It is so seductively great tasting! What a wicked, evil fish this is!

Anonymous said...

Whoa-I picked up some "white tuna" from a market down the street (credible, usually awesome) and ate it RAW sashimi style with ponzu. I ate a lot of it. THe next two days I was relegated to my house about 2 feet from the johnny.

Anonymous said...

I was in the local RadioShack, then I had to release a little fart. So I farted, but along with that was a little bit of wetness. I rushed to the nearest restroom to see my stained underwear and to proceed on my bowel movement. And I was surprised to what I saw, green/orangey oil droplets floating at the top of the toilets water. And I swear in my mind I thought "Hmm, something smells fishy about this." Literally.
After research I found out it could be caused by the consumption of Escolar. And that's what exactly what happened. I consumed a lot of that fishy lil bastard the night before. And symptoms (oily stool) still continue till this day.

Pablo Escolar said...

Uh dude... Escolar induced keriorrhoea is temporary. If you still have oily stool you should tell your doctor about it and make sure it isn't something more serious.

Anonymous said...

I'm scared!
I had the most amazing "white tuna" at a sushi restaurant last night. It actually came in a platter, and was so good I had to ask the waitress what it was.
No symptoms yet, but i think i'll stick close to home today just in case!

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone ..... have never "posted" anything but need an outlet for my frustration at having unknowingly caused this orange oily diarrhoea (or kerriorhoea if you want to be technical about it!) in my 3 small children. I purchased "fresh butterfish" from a reputable fish shop that I generally buy ling from to make fish nuggets for the children. Yep, I am one of those mum's that doesn't buy fish fingers from the supermarket (mainly cos they don't contain any fish!) but I buy fresh fish and crumb it in to nuggets. I checked with the lady behind the counter that it would be suitable to make in to nuggets for the children, as in it wouldn't break up when I cut it in to squares, and she said "yes" it would be great! The fact that it isn't suitable to be consumed at all by children was what I would have preferred to have been told at the time! This was on Thursday - by Friday afternoon the orange oil slick had commenced! All 3 children were affected and as they love fish nuggets, they had consumed plenty, far more than the 6 ounces recommended for adults! My 8 year old and 4 year old seem to have recovered, but my 6 year old started vomiting yesterday so he is home from school lying on the couch. The poisons info line suggests that the fish would be the cause, even 72 hours later. I am very frustrated and upset, mainly because I try so hard to do the right thing for my kids and keep them as "healthy" as I can and I feel like I have poisoned them! I appreciate that they are just going through a process that many before them have gone through, but they are so little and I am just worried that there may be some long term effects in such small little people. I have spoken to the owner of the fish shop and have brought it to his attention that his staff need to be versed in what they are selling and they need appropriate signage and labelling on their fish. "Butterfish", which he assures me was fresh rudderfish, needs to be labelled "Not suitable for young children" and also "Should be eaten in small amounts and can cause gastrointestinal upsets in some people" or something like that. I would never have purchased it if I had known the effects it would have on my children and I am left feeling guilty and stupid. Am I the only parent in the world that doesn't know about "butterfish"? It just looked so nice and I did ask before I purchased it if it would be suitable, what more could I have done? The clincher is there wasn't enough for my husband and I so we had salmon!

Anonymous said...

My father and I purchased very fresh escolar last October in Sarasota FL, and despite Mom's worrying due to what she'd read on the 'net, had two delightful meals. Pops grilled it with just a simple lemon juice, salt and pepper mix, and it was spectacular with none of the side effects we'd seen reported. Tried to explain the taste/texture to my girlfriend, and the best I could do was "it's the rib-eye steak of the piscine world". Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

I, too, had an orangey Deepwater Horizon spill in my pants after eating Escolar. Never having heard of it before, I just threw it in the cart at the supermarket without a second thought. When I prepared it last night, I sprayed a tiny bit of Pam on the skillet unnecessarily, as I was completely unaware of the high oil content. What seemed like out of nowhere it began frying in its own oil... and smelled delicious. By the time it was finished cooking, the cutlets were submerged in a couple centimeters of oil. I threw it on my plate and after a few bites, I walked back into the kitchen to find the packaging so I could see the name of what I was eating... it was that good. So, I continued eating, all 12 ounces, without incident. Everything was fine until arriving to work this morning. My quarter mile walk from my car to the front door was extra gassy, so I was sure to take advantage of the window of opportunity and let it all out before going indoors. I made it about 20 paces left to the front door before I noticed something wasn't right. I froze. How could I have shat my pants? I didn't get any 2-minute warning gurgles punctuated with the revered yet feared shart. I didn't even feel sick up until I realized the mortifying fact that I had just shat my pants, with the front desk attendant staring at me with her head slightly tilted. I panicked. With this being just weeks into a new job, impressions were still everything. Luckily, I made a quick check and there were still no external signs of my mishap. Probably the trickiest part was flying past the front desk while resisting the urge to walk with the I-just-shat-my-pants gait. Sure enough, I had the orange fish oil slick all up in my boxer briefs, which quickly found a new home in the trash disguised in a wadded up bunch of tp. Later on, I was sure to stay with in 30 seconds of safety distance from the restroom. Had the strange oil shits a couple times more. Not once did I feel sick so I don't think there was any damage to anything with the exception of my ego. Escolar, 1. Me, 0.

Anonymous said...

Well damn. Here I sit at midnight with work looming in the morning, having consumed this fish and already feeling the rumbling. Why the HELL would the store even push this fish? Would anybody like to subscribe to updates? at least I have a sense of humor about this but I'm sure it's about to not be funny.

Anonymous said...

Update: 3:00 pm and the sharting has begun. I'm going to be ranting at Kroger for pushing this stuff

Pablo Escolar said...

@Anonymous:

All you can do is ride it out, and find some good bathroom reading materials. I am sure in 24-48 hours everything will return to normal.

Mac 827 said...

We are vacationing in a beautiful rental cottage on the North Shore of Maui. We bought some Hawaiian Walu and a Maui raised tri-tip at Mana Foods in Paia. We fired up some charcoal and prepared to make tacos. While the beef was grilling, we looked up Walu and found your site. Thanks Pablo; the tri-tip made a fantastic meal and the "Walu" was launched off a beautiful cliff back into the Pacific!

shelby said...

I was both laughing and cringing while reading through this post and these comments! A friend and I shared two big sushi rolls with escolar last night..and we both have distance races to run on Saturday. Fortunately, we're both doing fine. (I've eaten the generic "white tuna" many times and never had a problem.) Thanks for a very funny and well-written explanation of this delicious (and apparently dangerous) fish!

Anonymous said...

I guess you could have fish and chips and then experience fish and shits!

Anonymous said...

I to lost it over the yammy taste and ate a large portion .. now its been todays and spill is out.. I was embarassed to see my trouser getting soaked with this oil while I was at work ! imagine that !! you are working and slowly - drop by drop the oil goes out and it can not be controlled... never eat the fish its called gindara in Philippines by the locals... and ya ... no signage in the supermarket ...

Gaurav

TonyTheDrummer said...

I've had it 3 times before, once in Maui (grilled), once in a sushi restaurant, and once about an hour ago, and so far I have never been sick from it. Today at Sabor's in Thousand Oaks, I had escolar tacos. I had never heard it called escolar and since the tacos tasted so wonderful, I decided to look up escolar on the net, where I came upon this article.
I'm sorta bummed out I read the article, because the fish tasted so good, but I think I am psyching myself out right now and starting to feel queasy lol
Previously I heard it called White Tuna (at sushi) and Hawaiian Butterfish (in Maui)

Pablo Escolar said...

@Tony:

I'm sure you'll be fine. Tacos probably didn't have that much escolar in them.

Anonymous said...

I just experienced that tonight and realized that I had white tuna for lunch. It wasn't as severe as before but, orange juice would be the best cure for that. Drink 2 glasses of orange juice to bail out of it. It does make sense because citrus breaks down fatty acid. Hope this will help you folks.

Yep said...

Well, well, well, started the hcg diet and thought the oily stool was a result of a supplement. Unfortunately, at the same time I discovered orange roughy and have been eating a lot of it.

I appreciate the information here. Now I'm debating calling the store where I bought the "orange roughy" and telling them they are not selling what they think/say they are.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hola, escribo de Arequipa Peru, yo pase un susto terrible, el viernes cocinaron en cas pescado aqui se llama albacora, mucha atencion con ese nombre, lo prepararon frito y casi no tiene olor a pescado su carne es muy blanca y es muy agradable, muy suave, al dia siguiente mi hijo de 6 años hizo su deposicion llena de grasa era como gotas de aceite color naranja oscuro, pense que era sangre pero era pura grasa, POR FAVOR tengan cuidado conesto A LAS AUTORIDADES DE SALUD se puede comer esto??? con estas consecuencias??? deberian alertar sobre esto

Sarah D said...

My husband and I went out to dinner last month and I had an AMAZING (and huge) portion of a Hawaiian fish I'd never heard of - grilled Escolar with lemon caper risotto. Delicious! I was five months pregnant at the time so it didn't surprise me to feel a little sick after such a large meal. After an hour I was begging him to take me back to the hotel so I didn't hurl all over the car/street. I fought the urge to barf (since the meal cost around $35), but I was super sick the rest of the evening - and on the toilet the rest of the night.

We went out to eat last night and decided to google escolar (it was on the menu at a different restaurant) because my hubby wanted to see what it looked like. We quickly figured out what made me sick the month before! I'm shocked it doesn't have to be labled or disclosed or something. This fish is delicious poisen. No more for me!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am so happy to find this site when I finally sat down and googled "orange grease in my toilet"! I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I ate that was different, or when did I eat a bunch of orange grease or some weird diet potato chips with Olestra? I hadn't. I had eaten Escolar! But the weird thing is I've eaten it before and never had this problem. After reading all the (very entertaining) posts, I notices one person state that if you eat Escolar with rice it helps to break it down. Well my sushi kept falling apart so I just ate the fish that night. I thought "oh well, healthier to not have all that starch anyway" Hmm healthy, but not fun!

Anonymous said...

This article is so funny! I had the same mysterious leakage when travelling through Vietnam 7 years ago now. I had always put it down to a very orange oily pasta meal I had eaten in a seaside town but I now know that it was probably one (or two) of the seafood meals I had eaten there. Worst thing ever to have in a foreign country, thinking you are going to die of some pancreatic malfunction while on a long 12 hour bus ride with no bathrooms in sight, too red-faced to tell anyone.... I can laugh about it now!!

Fleming Vega said...

This is the best thread ever. And my poo poo is orange oil grease. Before figuring out it was the fish - I was contemplating not drinking (as much) and being healthier... thankfully that is no longer necessary. Whew.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised after reading this post to find some deep frozen escolar in my neighborhood. I bought some and panned it. I had no oily hole issues at all the following days.

The Voice of Reason said...

Ate 'Butterfish' in London last Friday (08/06/12). Onset by Sat of cramps, vomiting, shivers. By Sunday my bowels felt like they had been turned inside out. Orange liquid leaking/pouring every time I stood upright and unable to stop it. Diarrhea and oily discharge. Hubby went to disabled shop to get me adult nappies (diapers in US) as leakage so severe. Doc says that reduced immune systems from medication/illness/treatments react very badly to this fish. It's like Russian Roulette eating this. 40% will have reaction ranging from mild to severe. That's like saying that 4 out of every 10 diners will have a problem and approx 1 out of each 10 will have a severe, disabling reaction. Never again !!!!! No wonder it's banned in some countries.....

Anonymous said...

My local grocery store has Escolar on sale. Never heard of it, so I thought I'd look it up and see what it's about. I sure found out!

Thanks for the information (not to mention the entertainment).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laughs. I have never knowingly eaten this roulette fish here in Holland but I have been laughing for the last hour and I was quite seriously reading zerohedge!

Anonymous said...

Great writing, I had an anal leak while farting the next day after taking Escolar, now I know why....

Anonymous said...

ok my names Pip Im from the UK and its time to tell my story...just been to Madeira on holiday where I went to a nice restaurant and had 'swordfish'. I know swordfish as Ive cooked it many times..it has a tough consistency almost like chicken. What I was served was delicious but very 'melt in the mouth' and not like any swordfish Id ever eaten - but it was delicious why would I complain? - 2 days later..no ill feeling, no warning nothing. Id just returned from the pool (thank f**k) and myself and my wife had returned to our room - my wife turned to me and asked..'shall we have sex?' (not a question I hear often Ill be honest) call it excitement, shock or just plain honesty I replied with "well I think Ive just shat myself". From the smallest expellation of wind (called a phutter of flatchette in the UK), the largest illuminous yes illuminous splat of orange had appeared on the back of my light blue swim shorts, a bit like Id been shot with a paintball - surprising to say the least - even more surprising rather than finding poo in my shorts..Id actually struck oil!! The dilemma was..to either ring the Hospital or British Petroleum to discuss my discovery- now after a day or two of still passing solid stool but always farting Orange Oil - concern steps in..gone are the thoughts of a new range of olive oil, solely powering my car or creating my own sun tan oil - thoughts were replaced with 'maybe my organs have started to melt' and Im on the way out!!
The wife wisely said "google it" - and I did and found this site - what a relief but mixed with irony - I laughed so hard more oil made its way down my dung funnel as I now knew the feeling, altho now, with a sphinctre muscle schwarznegger would be proud of.. no damage materialised.
Thank you for these posts thank you all for your honesty - it clears up after 3-4 days until you can finally fart and scream SAFE (in a baseball referee sort of way)
Please remember people - next time theres a big oil leak in the world and we are all concerned about the numbers of fish affected - Lets hope that some are Escolar...You untrustworthy, tasty and delicious orange oily little bastard

Pablo Escolar said...

Curating this comment thread is the most important thing I have ever done.

Anonymous said...

yes Pablo, it was..you my friend are a true hero.. Pip

Bobbi Key said...

Ive had this lovely little sneaky fish twice now, at a new sushi restaurant that popped up in our middle of nowhere town. I'd never seen or tasted anything like it & when I asked, was told it was white tuna. Now I have a medical issue where the medication I take basically turns my poo into small round rocks. This became a difficulty requiring a specialist Dr who suggested a few options. I make a smoothie every day with chia seeds, miralax powder OR mineral oil. Voila! Normal poo! Not thinking the other day I used all three AND went out with hubby for sushi. All went well Until... a few hours later when I (luckily) felt the tummy rumbles & "have to go NOW" urge to go. I didn't have the orange oil everyone here has mentioned but, I just couldn't get a clean 'wipe'. After loads of TP & even more than a few wet wipes I finally felt safe to leave the loo... for short while. I spent most of the night in fear of the infamous shart & running to the toilet. Rinse lather repeat.

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this - saved me from calling the doctor, which was the last thing I wanted to do with a problem like this! I've eaten escolar before with out any problems, but had just 4 pcs. of nigiri escolar sushi last night instead of my usual 2 pcs. and had problems this morning! That bright orange oil is unnerving to say the least.

Anonymous said...

When you're eating strange white fish,
And you get the oily shits,
Keriorrhea, keriorrhea

Anonymous said...

My friend and I had this at an upscale fish restaurant in the heart of Aspen. It was delicious. We wanted to lick the plate.

We both got the orange, oily excrement within 36 hours. Looked like orange oil drops in the toilet - and very greasy...could easily ruin a pair of underwear, because you don't know it's 'leaking.'

They really need to give a warning with this fish. When the customer asks, "What is Escolar?" you can be pretty sure they don't know about the fish and what the hazards are.

The plane ride home the next day was awful!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I got nailed as well..bought it at an oriental market..it was labled Escolar too. I never heard of it but the steak looked yummy..BBQ'd it up, it tasted great but did notice how oily it was...well that same oil shot out of my butt the next morning...now I know.

Darren said...

It happens to me too! Oily fluid after comsuption of "butter fish" in Malaysia. I suppose it's refer to Escolar as mentioned by all earlier.

Anonymous said...

Purchased what I believed to be Smoked Haddock in Rio, not sure what it was now as 2 days later I've got Orange oily stains when I pass wind. Will check the label next time I'm in the store.

Anonymous said...

Aimee's Bistro in Redondo Beach! Yeah its delicious when consumed, but a day later - expect the unexpected! :*(

Anonymous said...

Wow! This news is amazing. I used to eat char-grilled Walu all the time at a resaurant in the Chicago suburbs. I never had a bad reaction or heard of this type of reaction until I Googled the fish today hoping to find some in the San Diego area. It's my favorite fish ever. Either they cook it to perfection or I'm immune.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at all the negative stories about escolar. They are a common bi-catch sword fishing ,and I have eaten hundreds of pounds of it and served it to many guest. No one ever had a problem with it. We would even joke about all the negative stories about as we ate. I was just wounder if it has less to do with the escolar and more to do with the freshness of the fish being served?

Anonymous said...

I had chilean sea bass the other day at work. Not only did I get the oil runs but I reeked of fish as well! It was sooo delicious though. But I'm deodorizing my bedroom and clothes now. fml

Anonymous said...

NOTE- Japan, a country where you can eat Fugu which may be lethal, has BANNED escolar because of the digestive issues. Need you know more?

Anonymous said...

I was sitting at my desk the other day when I got a stomach cramp and decided to get up and make a trip to the ladies room.....I looked down though and noticed a "wet spot" on my chair. I was confused because I hadn't passed gas or sneezed and my chair is fairly new so I could not for the life of me figure out why there was a spot on my chair. Then I made my way to the ladies room and noticed my pants also had a "wet" spot. I was freaking out. My friend thought it was because I take fish oil, but I have taken fish oil for a long time so I was fairly certain that was not what it was. So I goggled it and Butterfish came up. I had butterfish the night before for dinner. I wish this page came up when I had googled a recipe instead of the recipe itself. It might have saved me a pair of pants!

Unknown said...

YES!!! I had no idea what fish I had this past Saturday because I never bothered to ask my server but it was delicious and soft, something I've never eaten before. Surely enough the next night, I started releasing oil into the toilet and I was quite alarmed. Of course, Google search's first results are "pancreatitis" which did freak me out a bit. Thankfully, I was about to do a quick search on Yelp and was able to confirm that I had indeed ate escolar/butterfish! THANK YOU FOR THIS SITE!!

Anonymous said...

I was in a Korean fish market today displaying massive varieties of different super fresh fish. I asked the fellow behind the counter to describe the taste of Escolar. Not understanding my question, I pointed to the Escolar and asked in broken English while pointing at him; You eat? You eat? Good fish? Replying with nervous laughter; "no I eat, no eat". That was enough for me and took a pass. Close call, sheeeesh.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, I had sushi in Greenville, SC and it was maguro. I was headed back to the Marriott and the rumbles started. Got out of he car and realized there was no possible way I was going to make it to the room. Stood there for a moment and shit my pants. Something I haven't done since I was a baby. Walked through the lobby like nothing happened, crop dusting an eye watering stench. Got to the room, turn on the shower and stepped in fully dressed. NEVER eating that fish again!!

Anonymous said...

My wife just bought some "butterfish" at a farmers' market today in Northern California. How can I tell if this is escolar or real butterfish before I get the orange green apple quickstep?

Anonymous said...

Had the most delicious fish meal in a 5-star Hotel buffet on Sunday but ended up staying in the toilet the whole of Monday and Monday night. Had thrown away 1 underwear and 1 pants. Wanted to get adult diapers but my wife suggested her sanitary pad instead. At least I got to experience her monthly discomfort of having a pad plus the heat rash caused by the pad! Good that I found this page and know that I was not alone. Can't explain the initial freak-out feeling.

Anonymous said...

Im sitting in day two of "revenge of the escolar" and got to say.... whil yes this sucks... that fish was so damn delish i dont care!

Omnomomnomnomnom

Ms. Cracker said...

On our first day in Hawaii, we grilled up some lovely tasting "Walu / Butterfish" for the family that I bought because it was the only fish option that was fresh, local and wild-caught in the tiny local market. I'm the only one that got hit with the Olestra Shits With Bonus Headache and 20% More Malaise Free.

I'm trying to look on the bright side: at least I'm not going to gain any weight on this vacation. Nothing is THAT tasty.

skydiver6399 said...

Having been a fresh sea food salesman for three years of my past, I learned that Escolar was a fatty high oil type of fish. I expected it to taste oily and to my suprise was some of the best fish I have ever tasted. To this day when I see it advertised in an upscale restaurant I will always order it as I love it. I also never eat more than a 6 oz portion which is about the right amount to be consuming anyway. Please don't be afraid to try just use your head on amount and know if you have a sensitive digestive system to begin with.

Rand said...

I had my escolar moment a year or two ago, found this site, and survived. Now I read the site occasionally just for the entertainment. (sorry, new victims) I think the name, "keriorrhea" is really awful and doesn't tell you anything. I propose calling this condition "OOPS," for Oily Orange Poop Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

I guess this fish is very "low calorie" since much of the fat cannot be digested, and never makes it into your system. I wonder whether what remains of the fish can be considered healthy.

The waxes themselves seem to have melting points below and/or close to body temperature. Given the surprise reactions above, it is fair to say that unemulsified liquid oil rarely makes it into our large intestines. Is it harmless? Does it block uptake of nutrients while passing through? Does it bind with vitamins, preventing their absorption? How can it affect some people and not others...is this like lactose intolerance, manifested by some people while others can handle or even digest some amount of these waxes?

I don't expect answers to these questions, and since Olestra has been found safe, there is probably no reason for concern. But with these symptoms (and the pure white color of the flesh itself!) who would suspect the fish? Let's hope "orinoco knifefish" isn't the next big sushi craze.

Anonymous said...

Interesting (and good) to see that word is spreading about the dangers of this fish. Both times that I have eaten Escolar I have experienced this oily, fatty outpouring. I used to work at the Four Seasons and they served this fish, which was how I came across it and consumed it. This was back in the late 1990s, a time when the dangers assoc with this fish were perhaps not well documented. I had Eacolar on my dinner break and within a couple of hours I started farting oil. It was disgusting, and the smell was unbelievably awful, like some fermenting baboon excrement. When I discovered what was going on, I fled the dining room and had another employee cover for me while I disposed of my polyester slacks, showered oil off my ass in the locker, and put on a new uniform. Delicious fish but NOT worth the risk of the smelly, oily side effects.

Anonymous said...

I found this to be all too true. I tried it because the woman in the fish section of my supermarket told me it was tasty. It was the first time they had it in the store. I found it a little too oily in taste for me. The next day I thought I had caught a stomach virus. Then I just happened to hear a NPR story about how some fish is mislabeled and Escolar had this side effect. I was relieved that I wasn't sick, just had a side effect. I was also relieved to find that the piece my husband enjoyed was obviously near the tail end and thus didn't give him bad diarrhea. He has real health problems, and it would have been much worse for him to get as sick.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person who ate escolar with absolutely no side-effects whatsoever? I bought it from a good store and the guy told me not to eat too much. It's delicious and didn't upset my stomach one bit.

Anonymous said...

I get escolar ALL the time when we go out for sushi, and have never had a problem. I usually only have a little bit and it is absolutely my favorite fish ever. Just googled it tonight for fun, and imagine my surprise when i read all these oily poop stories.

Anonymous said...

You all are fortunate that you have not had this in a warmer country. I ate it when I was in the Philippines and you know that oil stain? Guess what. FLIES love it. Flies were hanging around my ass while I was experiencing the symptoms.

Anonymous said...

I ordered a fish dish in Montevideo a few years ago. I forget what it was called on the menu but it wasn't escolar. I do recall that it was yummy. An afternoon spent sightseeing and then a two hour bus ride back to my boat. The yellow shits hit me about midnight and I truly thought I was going to die....

I am so glad it didn't happen on the bus as I don't think my phrase book covers ' excuse me driver, I have just shat my pants'.

Anonymous said...

This morning I had the most frightening experience in my life.I had never ever pooed something so weird in my life as most of you have mentioned, oily bright orange poo.
First thought came to my mind,some incurable diseases in my digestive system until I googled the net and found this thread and felt very much relieved right now.
Two days ago my friends and I went to a restuarant,the waitress was quick to recommend us " Today special menu, Cod Fish with special sauce". I never knew it was so special until this morning I had to dumped my boxer shorts away as the oily stuff had leaked onto it overnight and luckily it didn`t stain the bedsheets. Really ,I am having a good laugh now. So beware of this Escolar creatures.!! and Cheers.!!

American in Prague said...

I am laughing so hard.... I can hardly type! Here in Prague I ate "Butterfish" night before last and have had the same symptoms! No nausea or discomfort though... So is it the restaurant that mislabeled or the guy who sold him the "Butterfish"?

Anonymous said...

Having read the post and some of the comments, I thought I would share a couple of observations.
1. You are not really sick although for some people it feels like it.
2. The waxy oil is common to many deep sea fish as it helps with buoyancy.
3. The body cannot digest the oily wax so it will 'come out' whether you like it or not.
4. Your experience depends on the quantity you eat and what else you are eating at the time.
5. Unless it is labeled Escolar, someone in the supply chain is committing fraud you unknowingly eat it, thinking it was something else.
6. If you see white tuna on a menu, be sure to ask if it is really tuna as most times it is not.
7. Like orange roughy, it is a very tasty fish to eat.

Anonymous said...

Love this, will ask you about your orange experience next time I see you, Pablo.

Anonymous said...

HA! I've been eating this for years at my local sushi haunt and have never experienced the catastrophic fecal emergencies you related here, and that's consuming it as sashimi with wasabi, raw jalapeno & sriracha!! Other than unusually oily excrement the next day, nothing too serious although my dinner guests have complained of getting "wiped out" so to speak...I knew something was up but the chefs played it very close to the vest - I will confront them with your article as evidence next time I'm there. Thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

This fish is wonderful. I take medication which causes terrible constipation, we are talking sometimes weeks between.

Ordering "tuna" at the sushi bar doen the street cures it an produces a movement for me without fail in less then a couple hours.

I have tried other laxatives, oils etc. Nothing works like this champion little fish.

If you dont need a laxative however, id recommend ordering something other than tuna.

The Farmer in Dale said...

I love fish, but don't do sushi too often. Thanks for the info !

Anonymous said...

got this as well today, I backtracked what I ate, and tada, 2days ago I had this lunch on a cafeteria down by our office. Yes, it was yummy. The girl even told me that it's black marlin (im sure they are just mis-informed). Actually 10years ago I experience this as well, and I have forgotten what it was before, but I'm sure it was a fish.

Funny thing is almost all people in that cafeteria ate that fish also. Anyways, the orange oil poop, came out of my a$$ 2 days after. I wonder how long will it take to go back to normal.

I have already soil one underwear, and yes, you guys are correct, you dont even know it's leaking already or it was pass when you fart up.

I had tons of laugh also reading up the thread.

Anonymous said...

I had orange oil poop and wondered what the heck was going on. Many pages listed liver failure or kidney failure as possible causes. Thank god I came across this page, I ate escolar two days prior. It is strange that there is so little information on the side effects of this delicious little monster.

Anonymous said...

I USED to love this fish. I had some two weeks ago and ended up in the emergency room a week later with acute colitis. Delicious, but not worth it. It never bothered me before, but I was sick for two weeks!

Anonymous said...

Eat this fish all the time at LEMONGRASS in South Florida, it is always fresh and delicious and they call it "Escolar" which for some reason I always thought was a tuna..anyways, never had a problem. Absolutely delicious and as others have said just make sure you eat your rice with it and drink something acidic like wine or juice. Really a delicious fish and quite healthy too, high in protein and Omega's. I am guessing many people having reactions to this fish likely ate primarily fish and not everything else along with it plus storage and freshness does make a big difference with any seafood. If you are in Florida and you eat at Lemongrass, trust me the fish there is perfectly fine and I have eaten it hundreds of times with friends. Never had any issues. YUM :)

Anonymous said...

The fish never bothers me, but Yellow mullet roe....don't trust a fart

Anonymous said...

I experienced the effects of Escolar in Madeira having been given two large delicious fillets of the fish in a restaurant the night before. I must have upset the waiter ... The following day I decided that I was obviously about to die as my digestive system had clearly given up its normal work and was now geared up for oil production. I concluded that my final contribution to world knowledge would be to leave a photo of the sample of the Castrol GTX I had just ejected into the toilet pan. It is a wonderful picture as there is nothing else in the pan to cause offence apart from the pool of orange oil .. What a shame I can't post it here for you to marvel at! Luckily I found information online and realised that I was going to live after all. I went to a local shop and bought some rather bulky super absorbent panty liners (I think they may even have had wings) - a first for a middle-aged man. I did consider tampons but was worried that I might shoot somebody if I bent over to pick something up.

David Banks said...

I was at a wedding that served escolar, sadly many people at my table did not like fish so I had 5 portions. The next day was a nightmare for me. I googled escolar after I was certain I was going to die and spent the better half of the day in the bathroom.

Anonymous said...

About 8 yrs ago I ate an escolar entree(first time i'd ever had it)in a lovely Japanese restnt in Carmel CA. My effects were so severe that I spent a day of vacation web researching the problem.(Weeks of nausea and cramps followed that research) At that time, i found an Australian governmental study on an isolated study group that was a perfect case study because the populace was isolated at a conference center for a week. All attendees had the escolar at one dinner. i can't be trusted to accurately remember the results. But, as has been mentioned previously on this thread, not all people have bad reactions to it. After my research, i read the 6 ounce rule. I have since then had it once as an entree (5 ou.) and a few times as one or two pieces of nigiri (fish with rice at a sushi bar)with no bad effects.

What surprises me on this thread is that Australians are not weighing in here. Escolar comes from near Australia and the Aussies eat more of it than other countries (iirc).

Fransannoyed said...

Just had a rough night on the toilet. The fish I had was sold as a cod. I have become a major oil producer. If this keeps up Ireland will become an OPEC member. That fish should be banned

Frank said...

I ate this fish with my girlfriend and when we got home of course we undressed, then to my surprise I saw a yellow stain on her panties, my reaction caused my erection to subside but it came up again so no problem. Then I felt wetness on my end and reached down to check, and pulled up some yellow/orange substance that was super oily. My girlfriend was oblivious to what was happening and we had sex anyway. The fish was good as was the sex and the lubricant was helpful.

David Young said...

Note to self: when having a farewell dinner, a 400g piece is not the wisest choice. Especially when catching a flight the next day. They're announcing "Last call for boarding Mr Gindara", whilst i'm madly binning underwear in the toilet. Sigh... at least i had a laptop bag i could casually and coincidently have behind me as i walked down the aisle.

HalfCrazed Runner said...

I now know what this blog post is about ...unfortunately. I had only a bit, but have a pre-existing condition, making the situation quite agonizing for at least 5 days! So, not cool!

Anonymous said...

Just finished an excellent bite of escolar at the Sonoma Ranch Golf course clubhouse in New Mexico. Did not know what kind of fish escolar was.....wonderfully grilled, butterfish is a good name...will post again if the dreaded oily revenge of the deep happens manana. In the meantime, note to self, this is New MEXICO - order local only: green chili's, rellenos, enchiladas.....etc. etc......

Anonymous said...

Bought some Walu at a reputable fish store in West Maui last week, while on vacation. In fact, I bought 2 6 ounce portions, thinking of having it twice. I love fish and this was caught that day. First day, I had it with a caper butter sauce and jasmine rice. It was seriously delicious and I had no problem. The second day I made a wine sauce to go with it. That night, gurgles and a small fart. I went to the bathroom and farted again and sure enough there were dark yellow circles of oil floating in the toilet. I had diarrhea as well, but did not feel sick. I had to wait until I came home to read this and find out I didn't have colon cancer! Can't say if I will ever buy this fish again.

Anonymous said...

Bought Escolar at a whole food store about 10 years ago when Chilean sea bass was being boycotted. I was told that it was a very yummy fish very much like sea bass (which it is). No problems the first time I ate it. Ate it a second time at a restaurant several months later. Great meal, but I barely made it home. After an hour on the toilet, I was in the E.R. with rashes all over my body and shortness of breath. Seems that if you're allergic to Escolar (as if diarrhea and the rest wasn't bad enough!), the second time you eat the fish will trigger these serious, more severe symptoms. I was warned by the E.R. doc never to eat this fish again...or else. The reactions will become worse with each ingestion. Great! And, I'm NOT allergic to any other fish or shellfish. Now to be safe when I travel out of the country, I have to carry a list of alternate names for Escolar in case it's disguised on a menu. Beware people!!!

Anonymous said...

Went to a sushi bar, had a piece of the most delicious sashimi of my life. Asked what it was and they told me it was butterfish. Looked it up and found this article. Ate the next piece anyway because it was so tasty.
No regrets!

Anonymous said...

This is hilarious! I had this fish for the first time at a local sushi joint about a week ago - just two pieces of sashimi - and it was the most delicious fish I have ever tasted (and I love fish)! No side-effects from that, since it was a small amount. But what makes me laugh is that I take the weight loss aid Alli. That stuff works by blocking your ability to absorb fats and oils in your intestines. If you eat too much fat in your meal, the exact same thing will happen to you. Now you skinny people know what we chubs go through to be like you. Hah!

Anonymous said...

I bought Escolar at the farmer's market here in Atlanta, broiled it at home with a lovely sauce and rice. Yummy! Eaten for breakfast on a Saturday. Sunday I asked my husband if something weird and orange had come out of him, he said no, and TMI. He hadn't eaten any yet.
Sunday night he enjoyed an Escolar dinner. Yummy! I was working at home Monday noon and I see his car drive up, I went to the door to see why he was home from work midday only to see his white shorts all orange on the backside! We were horrified, he almost went to the doctor. The stuff coming out looks like chili oil, I couldn't remember eating anything with chili oil in the recent past. He was back home again later that day to change clothes again! On Tuesday he came home once more from work with a white short incident. (He should have worn orange shorts that day to be covered)
Now it is Wednesday morning and I am looking up Escolar because that's the only thing different we both ate. DON'T EAT THE FISH! He is in the other room on the exercise bike and just farted! I screamed, I use the exercise bike too, but luckily the effects have abated and it was just a normal fart!
G.E.W.K.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I shopped at Walmart and I had a long fart. I felt something wrong so I went to restroom and found out a bunch of yellow oil on my pant. I thought I'm gonna die and I'm glad that I found this site. At least I'm not alone :)

NO MORE ESCOLAR FISH!

Anonymous said...

Your English is charming, and lots better than my Swedish could ever hope to be! Thank you for your post.

Anonymous said...

Serves you right for shamelessly ripping a fart in a dignified establishment like WalMart

Anonymous said...

"Most Dangerous Fish"? Hardly! I think Fugu definitely fits that bill a lot more. Improperly prepared blowfish will kill you, which I would argue is worse than orange-tinted underwear.

Anonymous said...

Shit!!! We just ate there...oh no!!!!

Anonymous said...

On Saturday night, we (my wife, bro in law and daughter) went to a las vegas seafood buffet this past weekend and my wife had me try what she called fish that tastes like the fish we had in Hawaii. I tried a bite of the grilled white fish and it was amazing!! My next plate had many of those little fish steaks. Later in the meal I helped her finish 3 or 4 more that were left on her plate so they dont go to waste. The next day we drove back home to L.A. The wax dripping everyone is talking about started at the Outlet at the state line. The ride back home from Vegas usually seems twice as long, this time needless to say it seem four times as long!!

HKRB said...

I've got to contribute my sob story. Saturday night I went out to the fanciest sushi restaurant in Washington, DC with some girlfriends and had the chef's tasting plate, which included one piece of walu nigiri. I was concerned because I had read the stories about walu before, but I figured I could ride it out, especially since it was just one tiny piece. We continued the evening after, hitting up a few watering holes, and I overindulged in alcohol, to the point that at the end of the night I was throwing up. "Good," I thought -- surely that would get rid of the fish from my system, in case it was going to cause problems.

Fast forward to exactly 72 hours later and I had just eaten a few tacos from a reputable place. My stomach started cramping horribly less than 30 minutes later, so I should have suspected it wasn't the tacos, but I wasn't sure if walu could have effects three days later. Maybe I delayed the effects by throwing up first, no clue. At any rate my stool was so dark, liquid, and plentiful (fortunately it held out by the time I got home) that I couldn't tell if there was orange oil or not. When I thought it was done with it all and went to bed, I woke up about 5-6 hours later with more terrible cramping and liquid stools.

Now feeling better, about 18 hours after the initial outbreak. But the strangest part to me is that I've had white tuna and super white tuna more than 50 times in my life, I'm sure, as well as a cooked filet of Chilean sea bass which I noticed tasted just like white tuna, and had no negative effects any of those times.

This is definitely the best fish I've ever tasted, but I can't deal with the aftermath. Now I'm even scared to order white or super white tuna at any restaurant ever again.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have eaten Escolar for years, and never had any problems from it in the past. We are on Weight Watchers now, and I was trying to find the points plus value for escolar by the ounce, as we had purchased two 6-oz escolar steaks and were planning to have them as sashimi last night. So we went to Google for the information as the WW site has no pp values for escolar.
Well, the first, second, ........ and last references from Google was about the terrible GI after-effects of this wonderfully tasty fish.

Therefore, we went into last night's dinner with some concern, having just heard about the GI problems other have reported. We decided to try a few of the preventative measures this time anyway. We have never tried these before. My wife and I each took 2-1000 mg Vitamin C tablets before eating. When I prepared the steaks for slicing, I made sure I left a bit more flesh on the skin that I cut away(as most of the evil wax esters are thought to be closer to the skin side. I also cut away the area of darker (pink not white) meat in the center of the steaks. Lastly, after slicing the sashimi, I drowned the pieces in lime juice (lime juice is acidic) prior to dumping them into our usual soy sauce-wasabi slurry before eating the delicious protein. My wife and I had ZERO problems afterwards.

I feel sorry for those of you who have sworn off escolar, but I understand your feelings. You might try some of the measures we did, and along with the lime juice and Vitamin C, buy some Depends-like products just in case the orange trots recur. Plan your meal for a weekend, afterwhich you can be near a 'facility'. We love our sashimi and could not ever give it up.

notseguro said...

Thanks for the article. I knew pancreatic failure and "steoatorrhea" wasn't right. That was the best damn fish I ever had! I had a very large portion en papillote Thai style. Glad I was only cooking for myself!!! I'd have been mortified to do that to a large dinner party! LOL! So far not so bad. (Not too urgent, very oily stool accomplished in the correct porcelain) Will have to see. If not too bad, I fully intend to try again (much smaller portion), so thanks for the above post. Will go have some vitamin C right now.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Philippines and here it comes under the guise of Gindara. Its quite cheap about $4 a kilo and comes in a frozen pack of fillets. The first time I tried them I though how great was the taste. The next day I had an urgent call to the CR and when I sat down immediately there was a gush and my bowels were empty. I looked to see what had happened and in the bowl was this orangey coloured liquid with oil spots floating on top. I must say I was quite concerned and thought about seeing my doctor. Later on that day someone commented on my shorts and asked if I had sat in some oil. On checking there was a large oil patch where obviously I had leaked. A few weeks later I had the same meal and yes the very next day same scenario. It still didn't click. I thought there must be something seriously wrong with me, how could my inside have turned this nasty colour and how come I had become incontinent suddenly. A couple of weeks passed and I eat the same thing again, Gindara cooked in butter with capers and lemon. Absolutely delicious even my house boy said it was the best fish he had tasted. Later that evening I was in a bar having a few beers and there was a build up of internal pressure, I quietly released it hoping no one would notice. Big mistake, a huge mistake, the pressure blew out this enormous amount of orange oil all down my legs blasting an massive oil slick through my lightly coloured shorts and yes you guessed it the CR was occupied. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. I had to bluff it out, it was to say the least highly embarrassing. Then it clicked - the connection - which is where I am now and having read the above it all makes sense or nonsense whichever way you look at it. My advice is don't and if you do be fully prepared for the consequences. They can be dire and downright serious.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Max was in a hotel. I ate some "butterfish" @ Plouf in San Francisco on Friday night before going on the Avon Walk for breast cancer Saturday & Sunday. My stomach was upset that night & the next day, so to walk, I took some pepto. No symptoms like to leakage on Saturday. But I didn't take anything for my stomach on Sunday because I felt better. (or possibly it was too early to really feel anything) & around mile 10 I ran to the Porta potties - NOT where you want this to happen - & discovered that the gas I'd had was not just gas. For the next 5.5 miles to the end, it just leaked. Still well crampy today & very afraid to fart, despite wearing a pad to protect my underwear. I flew up for the walk & have limited clothing. How long is this going to last? I fly back today!

Zachary said...

This tasty fish Escolar disguised as Walu/Chilean Seabass/Black Cod/Butterfish/Shin Maguro was put here on Earth, as the Forbidden Fruit of the Sea. Sheeple - please realize that fat IS flavor; what melts in your mouth....also exits the very same way!!!

Erik said...

For me it was a "swordfish" bought at the fish market in Funchal, Madeira. On day one, let's see how many days this will last...

Anonymous said...

I'm a health inspector and I investigated one case where an older woman (in her late 60's) with several major health conditions had thought she was eating Chilean Sea Bass and instead had Escolar. I don't know how much she ate (it was not on a buffet line). Her body couldn't handle the fish's wax esters and she ended up dying. So....if you are older and have major health problems this is a fish to totally avoid.

Cheryl said...

I purchased a 6oz Escolar steak at the International Marketplace (in Las Vegas). It looked like swordfish or halibut and I was eager to try it. Broiled it last night with paprika, olive oil and lemon juice. Boy it was good! Then wondered what kind of fish it was and found this post. And sure enough, when I sat up in my bed this morning, I farted and out came the orange oil. Good thing I use a mattress pad cover. So much for good eats... I would rather have clean sheets.

J Lewis said...

I had a restaurant and my fish supplier sold me "Hawaiian Butterfish". We served it as our weekend special and it sold out quickly. By Monday the calls started coming in...all in the realm of "You F'in poisoned me" or "I'm shitting my brains out". Knowing nothing about Escolar I didn't know what to make of the calls but realized something was amiss. Fish purveyor was A-1, my chef said it was very fresh so we just went on with our business and never crossed paths with Butterfish again. Till....I visited my daughter at school in Poughkeepsie and we went to a sushi restaurant. I had this delicious very white fish on my sashimi plate, it was fantastic!! We went to a big box sporting goods store right after dinner and the rumbling started. Luckily they had a restroom or I would have had to take a shit in one of their display tents. Only about 20 minutes had passed. Now when I get sashimi I make sure I know what the "white fish" is. But it was good.

Anonymous said...

I went to a hypermarket in Bucharest , Romania and I bought smoked Butterfish that was looking very appetizing. When I reached home i ate it , the taste was fabulous ,the best fish that I ate in my life . After two days , in the morning , while I took breakfast i felt like farting so I shoot it down the hole. During my 2-3 seconds silent fart I said to myself 'it must be a silent one ' .After the event I went to the bath to take a shower , when I looked at my underpants I was shocked , because I realised it was not poo but something oily . The fart came again but this time I was prepared and seated on the toilet and again that oily orange stuff. After that I searched the net for some info and luckily i found this site .Had a few good laughs with the article and the comments , but I'm glad that I am ok . No more butterfish for me , even if it is very tasty.

Anonymous said...

Incredible taste, I live in costa rica, they don't sale the fish here but some friends who fish
near Galapagos islands bring some "escolar" once in a while. Beleive everything you read about it,I grill this fish to get rid of the grease but it's not enough. IT WILL MAKE YOU DROP ORANGE OIL!

Anonymous said...

i had it 2 days ago at a sushi bar and yes.. im facing the oily poop too.. thks to ur write up.. i tot it was my colesterol level increased badly!! never gonna eat this fish ever again.. n thk god i was at home when it happen.. i hope this will end by tmr :s

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