If you’ve lived in the US all your life, you may not be familiar with the concept of consuming fish eyeballs.
In most western cultures, fish eyes are better off in the trash bin with other inconsumable fish parts.
What if we tell you that this weird sounding dish is actually savored as a delicacy in some parts of the world?
Yes, you heard it right! In places like Russia, Sri Lanka, China, and many more, most households love and enjoy eating fish eyeballs.
Since you are here, we believe you are keen to learn more about this delicacy.
If you’re planning to try some fish eyeballs and want to learn what do eyeballs taste like, or the different ways you can cook it, just read on.
What are Eyeballs?
In a nutshell, the definition of fish eyeballs is similar to how you would describe human eyes.
The fish eyeballs are a part of the sensory system in fishes which is used for vision.
If you want to learn more about the structural features of fish eyeballs, you can always look up Wikipedia.
However, if you are more interested in knowing about the consumption of fish eyes, this article is all you need.
In most parts of Asia, people consume the entire fish without throwing any parts or organs.
Along with the eyeballs, people also cook the fish’s internal organs in one way or the other.
One of the most popular soups in Russia, since olden days, is a soup called ukha, made using the entire part of a fish head, including eyes as well.
Similarly, in Spain, several chefs put fish eyes in soups and sauces to give it a gel-like texture and a deeper flavor.
What Do Eyeballs Taste Like? Do Eyeballs Taste Good?
In recent years, western cultures are becoming more open to trying different delicacies and new flavors.
Thus, more people are looking for new dishes from around the world. Fish eyeballs are one among them!
The taste of fish eyeballs is not definite. Different types of fishes have different kinds of flavors. Likewise, the taste of eyeballs can also vary from one fish to another.
The texture, looks, or flavor of fish eyeballs can differ depending on the type of fish, size, saltwater or freshwater fish, or even the kinds of ingredients used while preparing the fish eye.
However, we can give you a general description of what to expect while biting on a fish eyeball.
Fish eyeballs have a gooey texture. When you bite into a fish eyeball, you’ll first feel its soft fatty flavor burst in your mouth.
Then you may feel a bit of a crunch when you reach the center of the fisheye.
Basically, the outer layer of fish eyes is soft, while the inside (eyeball) is solid and crunchy. Most people even compare the flavor and texture of fish eyeballs to an oyster, while some describe it as a fish-flavored grape.
However, fish eyes are not limited to their delicious flavor alone. You may already be familiar with the several benefits of eating fish.
But most people consume fish eyes because they are immensely rich in nutrients as well. In fact, some people also claim the eyeballs to be the most nutritious part of a fish.
Fish eyeballs contain Vitamin A, protein, and omega-three fatty acids, which may result in various health benefits.
Eating fish eyeballs may also help in brain cell production and memory loss.
How to Cook Eyeballs?
There are tons of promising fish eyeball recipes out there that look scrumptious.
You can pick any recipe from the available options and treat yourself with a delicious and nutritious delicacy. Whether you want to boil, bake or fry a fish eyeball, you can cook it any way you like and savor it.
You can eat the eyes of any kind of consumable fishes, from small fishes to massive ones. However, if you want to enjoy the rich and bursting flavors of a fish eye, we’d recommend you to go for bigger fishes.
If you’re going to try fish eye for the first time and eating a whole eyeball directly is too much for you, you’ll be glad to know that there are other ways of enjoying this delicacy.
If you want to taste the eyeball without actually eating it, you can opt for a soup or sauce that includes fish eye as the main ingredient.
You can try cooking Russia’s most popular soup called Ukha using the head of a codfish.
To make this traditional soup, all you need is cod (of course with its head including the eyes), two onions, two carrots, two leeks, six to seven potatoes, a little bit of dill, saffron, pepper, and salt.
First, you need to boil all the ingredients in lots of water (without the cod) in a saucepan for around thirty minutes.
You can then add the sliced cod into the boiling ingredients and cook it further for about twenty minutes. You can enjoy the soup on its own or have it with some bread!
Fish eyeballs are a popular delicacy in most cultures around the world. Most people claim it to be delicious and healthy.
Thus, if you travel to Asian countries, don’t be surprised the next time you find a whole cooked fish, including the head and of course the eyes!
Each eyeball may burst in your mouth, giving you a rich and fatty umami flavor.
Many fish eye lovers also recommend you let the eyes sit in your mouth for as long as you can. That's because this is the best way to really enjoy the richness of its flavors.