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Jul 9, 2008 07:16 PM



I live in Richmond, BC. I bought a "Sea Bass Steak", 鱸魚扒 in Chinese. But I have heard that some fish products are mislabelled, and they are actually oilfish, which is inedible.

How can I tell if the sea bass is actually oilfish?

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  1. Last year, some oilfish/escolar was mislabelled as cod or sea bass....I haven't heard that this is still happening, though. It's hard to differentiate them visually if processed.

    1. actually escolar or butter fish is often call oil fish, I read in other topics that some people were naming the black cod butter fish wich is totaly wrong. Escolar as a very leathery like texture with an off white color it contains an enzyme similar to turkey that will make you sleppy after eating it

      4 Replies
      1. re: careme

        butter fish is far from inedible, I had some as sashimi a ittle while ago and it was superb, like white tuna (is it also called white tuna??). Subtle and delicious.

        1. re: John Manzo

          We might be talking about different fish here...and the names used in different countries further add to the confusion.

          I know that in Japan, they have a fish called butterfish that is not what we call "black cod" or "sable fish" which is also called "butterfish" in some countries (the US in particular). Note that in that "black cod" in Australia/New Zealand appears to be yet another kind of fish altogether.

          Escolar is a very oily fish whose flesh contains an indigestable waxy fat that passes through your system undigested resulting things. This is what the OP was talking about:

          More references

          1. re: fmed

            Well it turns out it WAS escolar and I had it again! Two big pieces of nigiri and no problems- but I'm not sure I want to risk it anymore.

            This is at Blowfish in Calgary btw.

        2. re: careme

          The black cod eaten in Japanese cuisine is not a true cod -- it's actually sablefish. And I believe sablefish isn't a true butterfish (taxonomically speaking), but is often referred to as such due to its richness.

          "gindara misoyaki" (black cod miso broiled) is the same as "miso butterfish." The first time I heard the term butterfish was from some friends from Hawaii.