Can You Eat Fish Eyes? (Shocking Truth!)

Can You Eat Fish Eyes? (Shocking Truth!)

Yes, you can cook fish eyes. Many different cultures around the world use fish eyes as a regular ingredient in their meals. Cooking fish eyes isn’t much different than cooking the whole fish. You can cook fish eyes on their own or keep them as part of the fish head. When you scoop out fish eyes to eat, make sure to get the muscles underneath the eye for added texture and flavor.

Eating Fish Eyes

There are many different parts of animals and see lights that a human being should not eat. But it may surprise you when we tell you that fishes are not one of them. Many cultures around the world eat fishes and serve them as their dish. As long as the eyes are appropriately prepared and cooked thoroughly, no one should experience any gastrointestinal issues. The main reason many people don’t eat fish eyes originates from their own squeamishness or because they are allergic to fish.

The most common cultures that consume fish eyes as a regular part of their cuisine is most of southeast Asia and the ocean and beach regions of Central America and South America. Many Slavic cultures that border an ocean or have lakes also use fish eyes in many dishes. 

How to Prepare Fish Eyes for Eating

However, if you are used to American Cuisine, then you will not find many recipes for fish eyes. You will have to go to other countries and other culture’s recipes to find ways to cook fish eyes and make them more delicious.

There are two main ways you can cook fish eyes. You can cook fish eyes by leaving them within the fish and cooking it, or you can remove the eyes and cook them on their own. Either way is acceptable, but each method has its own steps.

Cooking Fish Eyes

You can use the same methods you usually perform to cook fish in order to cook fish eyes. If you use a sauce, be sure to place a generous amount of sauce over and underneath the eyes. The methods you can use while cooking an entire fish are

  • Broiling
  • Sauteing
  • Frying
  • Boiling
  • Baking

Eating Fish Eyes

If you’re not one for grilling or deep frying, then adding fish eyes to a traditionally thick French sauce might be the way for you to get used to them. A few articles online state that fish eyes have a gelling agent inside them. When they are cooked with creamy sauces and spices, the liquid begins to turn thick. This may be a great way to experiment with a new ingredient in a traditional sauce you are familiar with. You can also add in pasta. We recommend that you start with a cream-based sauce, so the fish eyes will be more acceptable to your palette. 

Benefits of Eating Fish Eyes

Reduce Waste

You may not think that throwing away fish eyes is a waste, but actually, they’re edible. If food is edible, that means that not eating it is technically wasting it. It is not like the guts or bones of a fish. Fish eyes can be adapted to any recipe.


Very few Western cultures eat fish eyes. It is often seen as low class or third world to eat parts of a fish or other animals that are unsavory. But this is only due to the culture of the West. Hispanic and Latino cultures, Asian cultures, and Slavic cultures use fish eyes as an ingredient in one or more of their dishes. 


When we think of food as delicious and savory, people usually dream up images of salmon sprinkle with lemon herbs or shrimp cocktails, pounds and pounds of Ceviche, guacamole, and chips. Very few people think officious in a stewed broth as delicious. If you cook fish eyes in a spiced broth, the eyes will easily absorb the flavor or salt around it. Plus, the muscle behind the eye also captures the flavor and adds different textures. I know it may be difficult to get used to the idea of fish eyes as a part of your food, but try out this part of the fish in a broth or sauce, and you’ll realize what you have been missing.

What Else to Know About When Eating Fish Eyes

Since human beings started fishing and catching fish to supplement their meals, there have been countless myths about eating different parts of the fish. Many of these myths include the eyes. Although we have dispelled many of them, there is one that always gets around even to this day. It is the myth that eating fish eyes will improve the quality and vision of your own eyes. This is not true or found in any scientific study. If there was any truth to it, it would be because fish eyes have minerals and vitamins that help maintain your vision. It does not mean that eating fish eyes add extra “eye compounds” to your ocular region. It is the same type of myth that involved carrots in World War II.

eating fish eyes

Don’t Eat Just the Eye

When you may think of consuming fish eyes, you’ll probably only consider the eyeball as the only part of the eye. However, there is an entire ocular system filled with nerves and muscles that are parts of the eyeball as well. When you prepare your first fish eyeball recipe, you should not leave out these extra outside parts. Many people state that if you only scoop out the eyeball and nothing else, your recipe will be quite bland and unappetizing.


If you are looking to eat the more unsavory parts of an animal, fish eyes might be the mildest introduction to your journey. You can consume the eyes in a sauce or leave them inside the fish head while you broil, grill, or fry it in a pan. And don’t forget to eat the muscle underneath!

Learn: How to Scale a Fish

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