What is Escolar (Lepidocybium flavobrunneum)?

Escolar Escolar

Common names for Escolar

Escolar, oilfish

Other languages for Escolar

  • French name: Escolier noir
  • Italian name: Escolar
  • German name: Escolar-schlangenmakrele

Introduction to Escolar

Though two fish species are marketed as escolars, L. flavobrunneum is internationally recognized as the true escolar, while Ruvettus pretiosus is more commonly referred to as oilfish or castor oil fish. Though many consider escolar to be a succulent species, its association with oilfish has tarnished its reputation. According to the Food and Drug Administration, escolar has “purgative” properties and is not recommended for importation. However, many chefs who work with escolar maintain that R. pretiosus is to blame for making people ill. Escolar is found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters and is almost exclusively a bycatch of tuna longline fisheries. Escolar is sourced from Fiji, Ecuador, and other warmwater tuna-fishing countries. It is mainly derived from the Gulf of Mexico in the United States. Due to the fact that tuna fishing is most productive during the late phases of the moon, there is typically more escolar available in the days following a full moon.

Product profile for Escolar

With Chilean sea bass, sablefish, and other rich, highly coveted fish, Escolar is in a gastronomic class of its own. The meat has a lot of oil and a lot of taste. The raw flesh is a brilliant white to light-cream hue that becomes snow white when cooked. True escolar fillets are whiter than Ruvettus pretiosus fillets, which cook to a yellowish color. Escolar flesh should have some elasticity and spring back when squeezed, while being slightly gelatinous. It’s old if it doesn’t.

Cooking tips for Escolar

Emeril Lagasse, one of the first famous chefs to use escolar on his menu, claims that the fish has never caused any problems for the hundreds of clients he’s given it to. Grilling the oil-rich meat is a breeze, and its distinct flavor can stand up to a variety of sauces. Serve it with chipotle vinaigrette and fresh tomato salsa after cooking it over mesquite.

Nutrition facts for Escolar

Calories: 240 Fat Calories: 174.6 Total Fat: 19.4 g Saturated Fat: N/A Cholesterol: N/A Sodium: N/A Protein: 16.2 g Omega 3: N/A

Primary product forms for Escolar

Fresh: H&G, Fillets (skinless or skin-on) Frozen: H&G, Fillets (skinless or skin-on)

Global supply for Escolar

Australia, Ecuador, Indonesia, United States, Iran