Also commonly sold in markets and restaurants as “white tuna”, butterfish is beloved for its pure white, rich, buttery meat that’s reminiscent of cod for a much lower price. It’s delicious served raw as sashimi or cooked in almost any way.
But the very same oil that gives butterfish its decadent taste and texture is also completely indigestible by the human body, which makes it a very effective laxative. Eating too much butterfish, formally called escolar, can cause stomach cramps and uncontrollable oily diarrhea that’s often bright orange in colour. This particular diarrhea is known as keriorrhea, Greek for “flow of wax”.
Yes, butterfish literally makes you shit oil.
It’s so potent, Japan has banned the sale of butterfish since 1977. And they serve fugu.
To reduce the likelihood of butterfish poisoning, you can try reducing your butterfish consumption to no more than 170g per serving. Those with more delicate constitutions should probably avoid it completely though. Because no amount of deliciousness is worth soiling your white pants with bright orange oily shit. (True story.)