Can you eat escolar?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “can you eat escolar?”. We will also talk about the taste of escolar and if it can be eaten raw.

Can you eat escolar?

Yes, escolar can be eaten either raw in sashimi and sushis or can be eaten cooked in a stew, soups, or simply grilled. 

One should be mindful to not eat more than 6 ounces because eating too much will result in gastro-related illnesses called keriorrhea and diarrhoea because of the wax ester present in its flesh.

The wax ester cannot be digested by the fish or humans. Escolars get the wax ester through the food they sustain on and accumulate it in their flesh. 

The human digestive system can’t digest wax ester too, that’s what if too much escolar is consumed, be ready to stay in the loo for a long period of time because the release of oil is emittent. 

Escolars are the most controversial fish in the market because of the rich buttery and succulent taste they possess and the after-effects it causes due to overconsumption. 

One cannot really avoid not ordering the escolar at the restaurant or preparing at home. It is always necessary to know the safe limit of consumption.

What is escolar?

Escolar is more commonly known as butterfish or super white tuna or white tuna though it does not belong to the tuna family. Escolar is a large elongated snake-like fish belonging to the Mackerel family which has oily flesh because of the food they survive on.

These fish have been banned in Japan since 1977 because of their potential side effects i.e. diarrhoea or keriorrhea if consumed more than 6 ounces because of the wax ester.

Many confuse the escolar with tuna but they are totally different fish species with different characters physically and taste-wise. Escolar is a white meat fish with plenty of oil and ester wax in its flesh as is the name given ‘butterfish’. 

Can you eat escolar raw?

Escolar can be eaten raw and can be found to be used to prepare different types of sushi and sashimi. But eating too much escolar meat is not recommended because of the wax ester which is prominent in the fish which our digestive system cannot digest and consume in large amounts and cause diarrhoea.

What does escolar meat taste like?

Escolar meat tastes succulent, buttery, silky, and super-rich in flavour. It is because of the taste, that people who have tasted escolar once cannot resist eating again and again. Though the goodness comes with a hefty price if consumed in large quantities i.e. more than 6 ounces.

How to avoid the risk of getting sick after consuming escolar?

Escolar is a fantastic tasty fish that is a bit dangerous to eat in large quantities. One should be careful while preparing, cooking, and consuming escolar meat to avoid being sick. Here we talk about a few things to consider before devouring escolar fish.

Limit portion size

It does not do any harm if escolar is consumed in a limited amount not exceeding 6 ounces. This simple but useful practice will definitely avoid the risk of getting any gastro-related ailment.

Grill or bake

Instead of consuming escolar raw or in some stew or soups, it is better to grill or bake them so that the excess oil will drop off making it less risky to eat as the ester would melt away.

It is not the actual fish that makes you sick, it is the wax ester that is present in it which cannot be digested and causes diarrhoea and other illnesses.

Buy it fresh

It is necessary to buy the escolar fresh from your fish market or if it is delivered to you make sure it is in ice. It is highly recommended to cook it within 2 days of purchase because it is a high oil content fish and can go bad rather quickly.

What is keriorrhea? 

Keriorrhea is described as ‘ oily discharge ‘, ‘oily-diarrhoea’, and ‘oily orange diarrhoea’ which is caused due to over consumption of escolar or other high oil content fish. 

The escolar has wax ester in the flesh due to the food they sustain on. Escolars cannot digest the wax ester hence they store them in their flesh which when consumed enters our digestive tract. 

The human digestive system cannot process the wax ester, so oily diarrhoea is the main side effect of enjoying the buttery and succulent escolar. 

Keriorrhea is a self-limiting ailment that will heal by itself which is why no treatment is required.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “can you eat escolar?”. We also talked about the taste of escolar and if it can be eaten raw.

I hope this blog was useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.