It is also one of those fishes that you love it or you hate it, with a very creamy texture from its high fat content, think of the belly section of other fishes like cod, salmon or river fishes.
So to see it readily available at the market the other week, i asked for two fillets, not knowing that a fillet was already close to 400 grams, oh well, it meant splitting the fish into a good 3-4 portions for the week, the more the better right?
To cook it, i borrowed a well known recipe from Nobu, using a mixture of white miso paste, mirin, soya sauce and sugar. If you have any left over sake, do throw it in as well. Equal portions of each ingredient and butterfish in a bowl and the longer the marination, the better.
Now, the fish does have a high fat content, so for those who are not very well versed with pan frying it right through, give it a quick sear on each side and to be safe, put it in a pre heated oven on 180-200 degrees for 10 minutes. If you see that the meat of the fish has turned into a solid white right through, it is ready.
Yummy dish, i tell you, and quite a steal as it is AUD13 a kg vs. salmon and ocean trout which varies between AUD 16-20 depending on the quality and store.
Or so you would thought.
However, this is not the end of the post.
It starts from here on. What not many people know, especially Malaysians since we rarely eat butterfish, is the ill-effects of butterfish.
After experiencing lets say a stomach upset or two, maybe three with waste that looks like i just took Xenical, if you don't know what that is, read here.
Now i got all upset wondering what in the world was happening to me, to the point, i found it even hard to share this experience until i decided to do a bit of research.
Look what i found out about this species of fish:
"Like its relative the oilfish (Ruvettus pretiosus), escolar cannot metabolize the wax estersGempylotoxin) naturally found in its diet. This gives the escolar an oil content of 14–25% in its flesh. These wax esters may cause gastrointestinal distress in humans called "steatorrhea", the onset of which may occur between 30 minutes and 36 hours following consumption. Symptoms may include stomach cramps, bright orange oil in stool, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. (
To minimize the risk of symptoms, control of portion size is recommended as well as preparation methods that remove some of the oil. Grilling will greatly reduce the heavy fat content in the fish, making it edible without ill side-effects. Portions should be no greater than 6 ounces (170 grams)." sources from wikipedia.org
After eating portions excess of 250grams, i mean after all i am a growing boy, i am staying clear from butterfish, even if it is the only fish out in the sea.
Gosh, i wonder why they don't put a sign in the market to say "butterfish warning: makes you crap oil like the oil rigs".
I guess this is my part to the community - if you want to cook butterfish, eat like a normal person or risk shitting in your pants. (I am terribly sorry, if you just lost your appetite for the day)
Have a good weekend all!