How to Cook Butterfish

Butterfish is a delicately flavored white fish that can be found in certain specialty markets. Butterfish is also known as escolar, white tuna or snake mackerel. Although the taste of butterfish is enjoyable, you should never eat more than 6 ounces in a meal, because butterfish can cause the sickness known as keriorrhea. Keriorrhea turns your stool orange and is caused by ingesting the indigestible waxy esters that butterfish contain. Eating the fish closer to the tail reduces this risk.

A plate of broiled fish. (Image: freeskyline/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Rinse the butterfish in cold water and pat the outside dry with a paper towel.

Step 2

Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Allow the fish to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Spray a grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat it to medium heat.

Step 4

Place the butterfish fillets in the grill pan and cook them for three minutes. Flip the fish and cook another three minutes on the other side.

Step 5

Remove the fish from the pan and place it on a platter to rest for 10 minutes before serving so the fish will be moist.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 ounces butterfish fillets

  • Paper towel

  • Salt and pepper

  • Grill pan

  • Non-stick cooking spray

  • Serving platter


Butterfish has a naturally mild flavor, so use mild seasonings that won't overpower the fish.


Never eat more than 6 ounces of butterfish. Obtain the fish only from reputable fish or specialty markets and be sure it is fresh.

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