Unique Vietnam: A Bowl of Eyes

Unique Vietnam: A Bowl of Eyes


The central province in Vietnam offers a distinct dish that is composed of an appetizing bowl of eyes.

Phu Yen’s specialty is also called as the flashlights of the ocean ( the local name doesn’t depict anything close to what the actual dish looks like – a bowl of tuna eyes).

The place has garnered a reputation for its unparalleled beaches with inviting emerald-blue waves. More so, the dishes found in the place are gems!

One of the most unique is a bowl of eyes – the start of the lunar calendar, fishermen from Phu Yen go out to bring the meatiest tuna that they find for tourists or travelers.

Aside from its meat, the tuna’s eyes have captivated the tastebuds of the locals. It has then evolved into an actual dish known as stewed tuna eyes with herbs or “flashlights of the ocean”.

The process of cooking starts with picking the best tuna based on size, approximately around 40-50kg, and removing its eyes which can weigh around 100-200 grams.

Some tourists are taken aback at the first sight of this dish, who wouldn’t? After removing the eyes, it is then stored at a negative temperature to retain freshness.

Once it’s time to cook, the eyes are poached in salted boiling water, cleaned and blood veins are removed. It is then steamed along with lemongrass, ginger and pineapples to reduce its fishy smell.

These eyes then undergo marinating, a mixture of seasoning and placed inside a ceramic cooking pot filled with herbs.

This dish is best served hot, together with peppers, chilies, chopped shallots and gingers.

Including mustard greens, chopped perilla leaves, crispy rice pancake, and a cup of spicy soya. Despite its striking look, this dish is sure to leave a good impression on everyone.

The flashlights of the ocean cost around VND 40,000 and can be found in Phu Yen’s upmarket stalls and restaurants.

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