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Jun 22, 2014 09:28 PM

Help to identify this fish please!

Hello forummers,

I bought this piece of "butterfish" at my local Vietnamese fishmonger in Melbourne, Australia, and found out through this forum ( and in particular this useful reply ( that this could be one of many different fishes including the very scary sounding Escolar. Does anyone have any ideas what fish this actually is, and especially if this is Escolar? There are 2 of us sharing this 350g piece of fish, and I really don't want to get explosive diarrhoea! Thanks!

P.s. It looks a little odd because its thawing from frozen.

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  1. Could be:

    Escolar flesh is snow-white. Does that fit?

    1. SInce so much fish is mislabeled, I would not want to guess. But according to Wikipedia, even if it IS escolar, the chance of gastrointestinal troubles is limited by eating a portion size of less than 6 ounces, and/or flesh close to the tail. Your piece may not be near the tail but your portion size is in the safe zone.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. GH1618: I have lived in the tropics almost all my life and the term "snow-white" is almost foreign to me ;p It does look quite white, a dirty sort of white. After googling many pictures of the alternative "butterfish", I still cannot tell if it might be black cod/sablefish or escolar.

          Greygarious: thanks for the 2 cents. The fish is quite oily to the touch, and coupled with its quite attractive price, is more likely to be escolar than not. My guts feel crampy just thinking about it! To be safe, I think my husband and I will just eat half the slice of fish and chuck the rest. I feel very tempted to chuck the whole thing but don't feel good about wasting the food. This'll teach me to buy more familiar fish in the future, or at least do my research carefully before buying "new" fish to try.

          1 Reply
          1. re: minchy

            I have found that escolar cooked on the grill outside gives us no gastric problems. The escolar I sauté inside on top of the stove does. Go figure! Fat draining off when cooked outside? I don't know. Such a delicious fish, but I am wary.

          2. Escolar is very white, like a sheet of paper. And it's got a wonderful, unique texture, I love it. I've never had gastro distress from it, but would recommend keeping the serving size at 6 oz or less to be safe. When I had it, it was a pretty generous serving.