Friday, August 27, 2010

Joe can cook! Episode 5: The truth about Butterfish

For those in Malaysia, the only times you will ever encounter eating butterfish is eating it in a japanese restaurant in the form of sashimi or if you are lucky, some restaurants might serve it i.e. Banquet where i remembered them serving an oven roasted butterfish. 


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!

17 comments:

J said...

Poor u. Not fun being a human oil rig, I imagine....

Sean said...

i love butterfish! i don't think i've ever suffered any consequences from eating it, even at japanese buffets, but two of my friends have, separately! ever since i heard about this from them, i've stayed away from butterfish. better safe than sorry, rite :D

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

sean: to eat more than 200gms of sashimi, is quite alot haha, doubt u will ever reach that amount, no? haha looks like i m not alone!

j: noo, literally the last spot to strike oil!

Michelle Chin said...

I never ate that much of butterfish before. Usually, I buy 300 grammes of butterfish, cook it and split it between me and my sister. It is very jelak to eat. Even more jelak than salmon...

Well, i guess there's a reason why it's called butterfish. It is actually butter in a fish. Fish in a butter?

Tummy Rumble said...

I think butter fish can be found in msia as well.. I remember having it for steamboat.. cut them into nice cubes and its all good..

boo_licious said...

Aiks, I nvr knew this, so many thxs for the info. I've bought butterfish before in KL, pan grilled it and eaten it with no side effects.

Life for Beginners said...

Thanks for the words of caution, Joe. I guess the key thing is moderation here, and portion control. I wouldn't write off butterfish at all (unless I suffer the side-effects too, crosses fingers not to).

Fui Lemonadelime said...

It will never stop me from loving fishes~

seem like oven is ur best "friend" in Melbourne now~~

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

fui: u dont need to stop loving fish, just bcareful which fish u love haha. oven is like the most beautiful thing haha, should try making stews next.

kenny: in msia, u shud b fine, i doubt any restaurant DO serve a huge chunk of it.

boo: mayb its bcos it was less than 6 ounces? i prob had more and 2 meals in the span of 3 days hehe.

tummyrumble: steamboat, u prob wont feel the ill effects, small portions in cubes mah.

michelle: mayb nxt time im gonna do that la, buy 1 fillet and share between 2 person haha.

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stefanie said...

Well , I love butterfish and I can wollop more than 200gm of sashimi for butterfish alone not forgeting there is salmon, aji, maguro, suzuki and etc,but no sign of diarohea...well it also depends on each individual body system

zewt said...

u went down under and became a chef instead eh?

Paranoid Android said...

Wow. Spouting a gusher after some fish should come with a Surgeon General's warning too...

eiling lim said...

You take xenical?! The toilet aunty must have hated you! Lol.. but the pic looks good and you can even make use of a Nobu recipe?!! I salute you la.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

eiling: no la, but i know how xenical works la..

pa: it shud come with a warning full stop!

zewt: a chef that doesnt get paid.

stefanie: r u sure? if u read the facts out there, there is simply no way that the human body can process the wax or fats wor..u must b damn lucky!

CUMI & CIKI said...

i miss u.. come home!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

c&c: haha miss u too la!