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Jul 4, 2009 08:39 AM

White Tuna warning! Banned in Japan for consumption.

If you like so called "White Tuna" at sushi places, be careful. Those really white and oily fatty fish was banned for consumption in Japan in 1969 because its high content of fat is indigestible to humans and having laxative effect. You can get really sick if you eat a lot. The white tune isn't really tuna either. Albacore tuna is a kind of tuna, but the white tuna I'm talking about is really a deep sea fish called escolar.

It's fatty and tasty, but can make you sick or run to a bathroom. Watch out.
I consider any sushi place serving this "White Tuna" to be unauthentic. We should eventually ban this fish in the U.S. too.

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  1. Take it easy. A lot of people eat it and like it...the general line is something like 6 ounces per day to avoid reactions (and not everyone gets them)...some people like oily fish, and some don't. Since the typical piece of sushi has no more than 1.5 ounces or so, most people don't get the adverse reaction...

    4 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Exactly, this isn't a new concern. If the OP does a quick search there are a bunch of threads about the pros and cons of escolar (and other names it goes by).

      1. re: penthouse pup

        I'm just staying away from this "white tuna" stuff since I found out about it. It looks very toxic in my opinion. Good luck if you eat it.

        1. re: 3011

          Not toxic. It's just that you can't digest the oils so they might leak out.

          I've had escolar several time. Cooked and as sashimi. Never had the first hint of a gastro problem. I have a little problem with it being called white tuna as I think the name is misleading. When I had it cooked in a restaurant it was called butter fish. The chef confirmed it was escolar.

          The escolar typically used in sushi is called Smith's Escolar. It actually looks similar to a small tuna or jack. There are several different spices of escolar

          1. re: scubadoo97

            "Not toxic. It's just that you can't digest the oils so they might leak out."

            I don't want that happen to me. LOL.

            It just "looks" toxic with very white flesh.

      2. Not all "white tuna" is escolar. Here it goes by "butterfish" and in any case many people tolerate it fine.

        3 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          But most white tuna is escolar. Albacore the other white tuna is not white in color when raw.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            I've never had "white tuna" (maguro) that's actually "white" in colour.

            1. re: John Manzo

              i worked at a sushi restaurant that had two types of white tuna. The white tuna that was Escolar was called "Super White Tuna"...I always ate it and had no problems with it...

        2. Escolar is a lovely fish that has to be eating in moderation, my husband catches it and we eat it about twice a week....And I have NEVER been sick from eating....matter of fact I have some the freezer I think I will cook up tonight, thanks for the post!

          I will keep on enjoing the tender, buttery flavor of escolar because I understand the fish and what it can do and I also eat in moderation!!

          We faced Mad Cow and did not ban beef, we have all kinds of outbreaks of salmonella and we still eat the why ban? Don't like it and worried, just don't eat it, don't take it away from the people who love it, that would be like a vegetarian wanting to ban meat becasue they don't eat it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

            I'm lobbying for a ban on this fish right now spending all my life savings. Money is running out, but we may win soon. You should still be able to eat your own catch of escolar even if the ban is realized.

            Just kidding about lobbying, but calling the fish "white tuna" should be outlawed at least. It's totally misleading.

            1. re: 3011

              Although I've no problems eating escolar, I do agree that calling it "white tuna" is both misleading and manipulative (and for you Toronto board readers, even more so than calling Wagyu from a random prefecture in Japan "Kobe Beef").

              1. re: Blueicus

                I don't like the name White Tuna either, it is NOT in the Tuna family nor does it resemble Tuna...Marketing ploy I guess, just like Patagonian tooth fish does not sound appealing but Chilean Sea Bass does

          2. Escolar is one of the few fish that I just don't like. To me, it has a creepy texture and an oily mouth feel. I love other oily fish, e.g., salmon, bluefish, mackerel.