Walu, also known as Escolar, is a delicious, succulent fish that was once considered worthless. We like to think we know better now, but it was also highly regarded prior to falling out of favor in the culinary community.
However, his fish is experiencing a revival of sorts, as chefs are turning to fish that is more sustainable to help avoid overfishing concerns, as well as concerns over mercury content.
Escolar seem to fit the bill; it’s delicious, economical, low in mercury, and sustainable. As a type of snake mackerel, is occasionally referred to as “King Tuna” or “Super White Tuna”. It’s sought after for it’s buttery flavor, and hails from the Pacific ocean. This versatile fish can be seen used in many ways, so it may be worth a shot in your artful kitchen.
What does Walu/Escolar Taste like?
Walu is rich, buttery and delicious whether it’s cooked or served raw as sashimi. You can use its dense flesh, with a high moisture retention, for just about anything you set your mind to.
It’s rich in oil content, and occasionally even known as an “oilfish”, or incorrectly as a “butterfish”.
Controversies Surrounding Escolar
This slender fish with a high fillet yield is an interesting animal. Their natural diet includes wax esters that contribute to their rich flavor. However, people occasionally cannot tolerate the esters, themselves. These esters are quite similar to castor oil –and like castor– can cause digestive distress in a small sampling of consumers.
As such, it is recommended that a diner consumes no more than 6 ounces of the fish, lest they be at risk of their olestra-like effects. That means that, unless you’ve got a change of clothes packed, don’t over indulge in this fish.
Overall, escolar/walu is still a delicacy and a treat. It’s important, however, to note that this fish is also the center of fraud throughout the world, so when you’re shopping for a fish wholesaler, make sure that you go with one that is reputable and does their homework. Chefs must know their product and trust their resource, and diners must also be aware of intentional mislabeling.
It can be mislabeled as the following: Albacore Tuna, Waloo, Chilean Sea Bass, Grouper, King Tuna (aka blue fin tuna), Butterfish, Pacific Cod, Blue Cod, Black Cod, Rudderfish, and Atlantic Cod
At Jet-Fresh, we do our homework and ensure that we work with reputable fisheries and suppliers that produce some of the finest food in the world. From Caviar to Escolar, we’ll ensure you have the right stuff.
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