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Photo: orangesmile.com

When in a sushi restaurant in Japan, you’re likely to see cuts of tuna belly in maki rolls or on their own as sashimi. However, walk through a fish market or grocery store, and you’ll see a very different part of the tuna gazing at you: its eyeballs. Fairly cheap, these can be found in most Japanese grocery stores for about AU$1.

It tastes something like squid and the eyeball comes surrounded by fish fat and severed muscles.

Overview Tuna Eyeballs

Japanese chefs cook the fleshy, tennis ball-sized eyeballs as appetizers or bar snacks. The eye consists of a hard exterior, known as the sclera, which holds the lens, the iris, and gelatinous fluid. When cooked, the sclera is usually too chewy to eat, but the inner contents of the eye become soft, and can be easily sucked out like bone marrow. Chefs often lightly braise eyeballs in a mixture of soy sauce and mirin or sautée them with sesame oil and ginger. The eyeballs themselves are rather bland—most tasters liken them to squid, mussels, or hard-boiled eggs.

Today, tuna eyeballs can usually be found in Japan’s izakayas, casual, after-work pubs that dispense hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The cooked eyeballs are served one or two at a time, alongside other dishes. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to pair them with a shot of “tuna’s tears,” a rare drink made with soju and raw tuna lens.

Nutrition Tuna Eyeballs

The nutrition provided by this piece comes from its high content of proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids, which are responsible for a series of cardiovascular benefits, prevent heart irregularities and arrhythmias, and also, improve the percentage of good cholesterol over bad cholesterol in the organism.

Benefits of Tuna Eyes

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Photo: reellyfresh.com

Energy Tuna Eyeballs

One of the top benefits found in tuna is a noticeable boost in energy levels. Thanks to the presence of B vitamins, tuna eaters can look forward to both an improvement in metabolism rates and organ functionality. Combined with regular exercise, consuming tuna is a great way to keep individuals active.

Healthier Heart

Heart health is another key category here. Omega-3 fatty acids assist in balancing blood vessels and lowering cholesterol, making for a heart that does its job more efficiently. According to a 2011 study, an increased intake of fish may lower risks associated with heart failure, so long as said fish is baked or broiled.

Stronger Bones

The increase in vitamin B is also great news for bones. As one of the notable components in strengthening bones, vitamin B is a good way to reinforce the body and keep it well protected against fractures and other potentially serious problems.

Weight Loss

And then there are the weight loss benefits, which are present thanks to the balance of higher protein and lower fat and calories. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce one's desire to overeat. Best of all, tuna is an absolute delight to eat, which is more than can be said for other nutritious alternatives out there.

Stronger Bones

The increase in vitamin B is also great news for bones. As one of the notable components in strengthening bones, vitamin B is a good way to reinforce the body and keep it well protected against fractures and other potentially serious problems.

Need to Know about Tuna Eyeballs

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Photo: themadtraveler.com
You are more likely to find tuna eyeballs at restaurants or izakayas that specialize in tuna dishes. Although some sources claim that tuna eyeballs can be eaten raw, it’s best to stick to cooked versions, since the raw eyeballs can quickly accumulate bacteria.

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