Escolar, good fish or bad fish?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cucina, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. cucina

    cucina

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    We recently had a food critic write about a fish that we find very popular in our restaurant. The fish is Escolar and it is a by-catch of the Tuna. Some call it White Tuna and I have heard it named Oil Fish, but that was a name given in the Far East. Her view of the fish has people running for the toilet even before tasting it.
    I was wondering what if any experience anyone has had, positive or negative, response to serving this fish. Our customers think it is the best fish they have ever eaten. My wife on the other hand cannot eat it as the oil content is too much for her. If people are not used to a certain cooking technic, they will have various issues from trying new cuisines. we use much olive oil in our cooking and this has the same effect on people that eat Escolar when they are used to eating Shrimp.
    Thanks
    Grouse
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Hi Cucina, and welcome to Chef Talk. You'll find plenty of other culinary enthusiasts- pros and amateurs alike- to answer your question. However, I'm moving your post to the Cooking Questions forum, as that's where more people will be likely to see it.

    Good luck! Please enjoy visiting and posting in our forums, and don't miss a look at our archives.
     
  3. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey there Cucina!! One of the chefs I used to work under loved Escolar. We used to serve it quite often and never had a complaint about it. From what I understand, it is not the oiliness of the fish that causes problems, it is the fact that it contains a high amount of histamines. It does cause issue with people who have a low tolerance of histamines, but again, in all the time we served it, I have never heard of anyone having a problem. About 2-2 1/2 years ago, a Chicago newspaper ran an article about Escolar, talking about both the pros and cons of the fish, but we didn't run Escolar for awhile after that. We just didn't want all the attention to influence our guests perception of it. After the hype wore down we were running it again, and people loved it!
     
  4. fyfas

    fyfas

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    An excellent fish. Extremely easy to prepare and very satisfying to consume (allergy issues aside; something I've never directly been aware of happening).

    My only complaint is that away from larger cities, it is not always available.
     
  5. jim berman

    jim berman

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  6. pollyg

    pollyg

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    I love escolar.
    I think for it to send you to the toilet you have to eat heaps of the stuff.
    I only recently heard about this phenomenon, never had trouble with it myself.
    I don't even find it too oily, but obviously you wouldn't deep fry it. It's great with acid based dressings and it can stand up to a bit of crispy pancetta and red wine sauce.
     
  7. miahoyhoy

    miahoyhoy

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    The biggest problem is finding a reputable source for Escolar. It's not properly regulated in the southern waters off of South America where the main catch is aquired. Many times a cousin of Escolar with even higher oil content is sold as the real deal. Peopl have been made sick from eating it and at least one person , in Texas I beleive died.

    I ate it and had no problem then my head waiter ate it and was sick all night.

    I leave it alone.

    Jon
     
  8. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    what would you say would be the best way to cook escolar?, it is said that light oils displace heavy oils like the cerous esters that escolars contain, I guess grilling it with a little olive oil could do the job?, any experiences in how to cook it?, the main issue is to make sure we have Black Escolar in our hands, and not oilfish
     
  9. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    The nick-name for this fish is he Ex-lax fish. It's oil are not digestable by the human body. It is banned for sale in Japan, and in 1977 was banned by the USDA who since 1990 reversed itself. Why on menues? It is cheap . Tilepia was fish if choice when it was cheap now it has caught on and gone up. Who knows what they will sell next.?:chef:
     
  10. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    Ed, I can´t consume it, for I had a Gasrtic Bypass and would get into trouble, my wife has no gallbladder, so Escolar is banned from my house, however, I do know that you shouldn't eat more than 6 oz t a time, and that the best way to eat it would be grilled. I do buy my fish directly from the wholesale market, and as a fisherman and biologist, have sufficient experience to identify the exact species I am buying, in order not to buy oilfish, the problem is that my clients want to buy Escolar, and I really have to look for fresh fish, in order not to get specimens with aged serous esters, so I am looking for recipes which I could give to my clients, with a previous warn, what would be your best choice to do?, grill?

    Best Regards

    Eduardo
     
  11. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    GRILL as you say or alternate in order, overhead broil, poach these 3 methods willo reduce fat and oil content . Somewhere in these archives I wrote a lengthy article on fish its called ''fish fish'' see if you can find it is mostly science related .Regards EJB

    If you cant find give me e mail and I'll send it.:chef:
     
  12. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    I will look for it, thanks a lot for your time, one last question, after the fish is done, would you drain any excess liquid or juice?
     
  13. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    If serving right away Yes if holding a while let it sit in cooking juices so as not to let it get to dry. Serve with a squeeze of warm lemon juice on top . Why squeeze cold lemon juice on hot fish?
     
  14. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    please tell me why, does it have something to do with acid dissolving grease?, or lemmon sealing the meat?

    Best Regards
     
  15. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Citrus of any kind kills grease( thats why they use in detergents.) It also brings out flavour and is a recognized replacement for salt in many diets.
     
  16. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    Ed, I can't thank you enough, you have been of great help.

    If I can be of any help, please don't hessitate to let me know

    Best Regards
     
  17. kevinviger

    kevinviger

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    I am not a chef in any way, just a lover of great foods. I recently had the priviledge of eating Escolsar sushimi. If this is an oily fish is never tasted it. If this is as they nickname ex-lax fish, I never experienced that. What I can say is that I found it to be a better fish that the yellowtail tune I ate alongside it. I have to say Escolar=good:thumb:
     
  18. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    doing some research, I found out that small portions shoudn't cause any problems, portions less than 4 oz are recomended, the issue of having a 12 oz steak would make me think twice. I posted in a page I have, the only way of knowing if you will be a victim, or a satisfied consumer, would only be trying it, and I would strongly recomend small portions

    Best Regards
     
  19. nichole

    nichole

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    Escolar is not a bad fish after all. How about marinating it with lime? Then Grilled it. Would it be good? I think so.
     
  20. snookmachine

    snookmachine

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    Hello Nichole, Ed Buchanan told me that lemon or lime could do the job, and grilling would perhaps be the best way, getting rid of excess grease, however I would think that it would be best to use lime after grilling, for as the same as in Ceviche, if you use it before cooking the meat, you kind of seal the meat on the outside, making it more difficult for the excess cerous fats to drain. This I deduct as a Biologist. I would also stick to less than 4 oz portions.

    Best Regards

    Eduardo