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Butter Fish


malcolmjolley
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I had a seared butter fish sashimi last night at Tempo (in Toronto), which was absolutely sublime. The foie gras of fish.

I'd never come across this before. A friend and I were so impressed we went back to talk to the chef, who said the butter fish was a large tuna like creature. Chef's English was not too hot and he was pretty busy so that's the extent of the butter fish intelligence we were able to collect.

I am very curious about this fish. does anyone know more about it? It's proper name? Where it comes from? Recipes and/or presentations?

[edited for spilling - also to add the question mark thingy, because I am dying to know more...]

Edited by malcolmjolley (log)

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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I did a search for "butterfish" on www.fishbase.org under "common names" and came up with a ton of hits, and tens of species.

Peprilus triancanthus according to them is also known as American butterfish or Atlantic butterfish, and is mostly frozen and exported to Japan, so this is probably it.

Here's a link to fishbase info and picture.

I've seen butterfish at an Asian grocer. Very interested in trying it now after reading your comments.

Edited to add link.

Edited by Laksa (log)
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At Japango (on Elizabeth St - IMHO the best sashimi and sushi for the money in TO) there is a fish that the chef calls "white tuna". It has an appearance quite similar to tuna, but it is an opaque white colour. It has the texture of butter.....I have no idea what it is, although I have seen fillets of Chilean Sea Bass at the fish market, and I'm terrified that that's what it is........please tell me, Malcolm, that all this time I really have been regaling myself on Butterfish!!!! :unsure:

Forget the house, forget the children. I want custody of the red and access to the port once a month.

KEVIN CHILDS.

Doesn't play well with others.

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Oh no, here we are again. Boys and girls, be careful with this fish as well as anything called white tuna or escolar. There is at least another thread on escolar or butter fish but let's just say that no matter how delicious this fish is, keep eating it in very small quantities.

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What are you alluding to, Freaky2Times?

I assume you are warning about the fact that Butterfish in large quantities has been linked to stomach problems. At least that's what I've got in my head. Particularily nasty problems, too. Of the "sudden and violent" nature...

On the other hand, I've eaten fish sold under the name "butterfish" where I live and never experienced any problems. It was very tasty - full flavored and meaty. It's not sold in any large amounts over here, though which leads me to believe that it doesn't sell too well. I do know that I'm a little careful about buying it due to the associations it has in my head...

So, what's the story? Does it cause problems in some people/certain circumstances or is it yet another case of mixed-up names and identities? I've searched eGullet (albeit rather superficially) but nothing jumped out at me. Anyone got a link or an answer?

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I got some butterfish over the weekend and ate them pan fried. They were delicious!

But the ones I got were no longer than 6 inches, and certainly far from being a large tuna like creature. So I wonder if I ate the same fish that malcolmjolley raved about.

BTW, not experiencing laxative effects.... *fingers crossed*.

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At Japango (on Elizabeth St - IMHO the best sashimi and sushi for the money in TO) there is a fish that the chef calls "white tuna". It has an appearance quite similar to tuna, but it is an opaque white colour.

Butterfish and "white tuna" are two different things. White Tuna is albacore. Or, it should be at your local sushi joint.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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from the same thread, this is the post on white tuna that sounds more like you describe:

ビンチョウマグロ (びんちょうまぐろ) binchou maguro (bean-cho)

ビンナガマグロ   binnaga maguro (bean-nah-gah)

トンボマグロ  (とんぼあぐろ) tonbo maguro (tone-boe)

These are all ways to refer to the Albacore or white tuna. In Japan (like the rest of the world) it is most commonly found in cans, though recently it has seen some popularity in the sushi /sashimi market. Its very soft texture makes it diffilcult to cut and the mild flavor of it's light pink flesh will most likely prevent it from being a star at the sushi bars.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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But the ones I got were no longer than 6 inches, and certainly far from being a large tuna like creature.  So I wonder if I ate the same fish that malcolmjolley raved about.

BTW, not experiencing laxative effects.... *fingers crossed*.

Yea, I've never seen them longer than 6 inches. I think it's a different fish.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Yea, I've never seen them longer than 6 inches.  I think it's a different fish.

Those aren't fish... those are boasts :biggrin:

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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  • 2 months later...
In RI, we once got butter fish that was also ordered and called by our fish monger as ocean catfish.  Maybe this is your mystery fish?

Hmm..In Kerala I ate Butterfish regularly...the cut itself was definitely from a fish larger than 6 inches! Other times it was mixed up with Pomfret.

:wacko:

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