Indeed, Asian cultures probably win the prize for not just tolerating but embracing fish eyes, both raw, as in sushi, and cooked. “I’ve had the fist-sized eye of a garoupa, steamed and garnished. (Gelatinous.),” one of our intrepid readers commented. “And in Asia fish tend to be cooked with the head on — it’s a sign of good fortune when things have a head and a tail!”
Shanghai-born food blogger Chichi Wang relishes fish eyes: “The trick to eating a fish eyeball is to keep it in your mouth for as long as possible,” she writes. “A rush of fatty fish flavor is accompanied by a gelatinous, spongy texture. Swallow too quickly and you’ll miss the nuances.”
When she was little, Wang’s mom always saved the fish eyes just for her. So when relatives recently gathered at a Cantonese restaurant, Wang offered her mom the fish eyes as a special treat.
“Take that away,” her mom said. “Fish eyeballs are really gross.”