Balut: A Food Challenge

“Baluuuuuut! Baluuuuuut!”  these are the words spoken out loud by the vendor selling the ever so popular Pinoy energy snack balut. Modern balut vendors usually roams barangays riding a bicycle with a box container at the back to store the balut. The box is made of styrofoam which doubles as an insulator, and damp warm cloth to keep the balut in it’s ideal state of warm and moist. You can also find balut in plazas, as some night stalls close to the bus stops sells one. Most often you will see a wicked basket with some swaddled cloth, and inside are balut which always kept warm. Also a sign that says “Balut Available” are posted, so you’re definitely not going to miss it if your looking for one.

For those who are not yet aware, a balut is a cooked fertilized egg of a chicken or duck. In the Philippines, it’s mostly the egg of ducks which are used. It is very nutritious and high in calories and can give you a quick energy boost. That’s why it has become the favorites among Filipino liquor drinkers who wants to sober up.

There are two popular types of balut, and it depends on the maturity of the embryo, one is the “balut sa puti” which is at the early stage and the embryo is still small and not well developed. The other type is when the embryo is more mature, with beak, bones, feathers and such. Some might prefer the first type, others the later, but it always boils down to preference and taste, newbie vs pro,  smooth vs the chunky, weak vs strong stomach…

balut sa puti

Most people find this delicacy scary, terrifying and disgusting, as cracking open a balut posed a very unpleasant  sight. The idea of drinking the amniotic fluids, and eating the head, eyes, wings, feet, the veins and feathers of the unhatched duck or chicken is something not everyone can stomach. But really, balut taste way better than what it looks like.

The proper way of eating it would be to crack open a hole on the shell (the end where there’s an air packet), add some vinegar and a pinch of salt to taste, then suck through the hole bottoms up. Try this as many times, until the fluid is all drain, then start removing the rest of the shell exposing the balut and all of it’s good stuffs. Again add some vinegar and pinch of salt, then munch it all up. You might bite into something that is white and rubbery, this is perfectly normal and no need to panic, it’s just the solidified egg white which has a bland taste and bit chewy.

Are you ready to try this? Go and find balut and share your thoughts about this food. 🙂

 

9 thoughts on “Balut: A Food Challenge

  • September 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm
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    I know this is a popular delicacy in southeast Asia, but I can’t quite stomach it. Silly really – why am I not squirmish about eating chickens, or eggs, but squirmish about this?

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  • September 7, 2016 at 8:53 am
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    My brother had this, but the mere thought makes me shudder!! 🙂

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  • September 6, 2016 at 2:04 am
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    Funny thing is I found it easier to try Wood Worms in the Philippines than Balut. Big fan of seafood. Gristle, bone and fat? Not so much. Nice to hear though that it helps people sober up. Think I’ll hard boil some plain eggs at home before the next night out!

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  • September 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm
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    I had seen this in one of Anthony Bourdain’s trips, I am in two minds I guess if there are no feathers I may give it a shot! Would require a couple shots of tequila before I do that tho 🙂

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  • September 5, 2016 at 12:53 pm
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    Can’t wait to try Balut when I get to the Philippines in October. Thanks for explaining the different types (less developed vs. slightly more developed). I’m really excited to hear that it actually tastes good….I was nervous 🙂 Can’t wait to share my experience 🙂

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  • September 5, 2016 at 12:54 am
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    Nope, it’s just not something I could stomach. I am going to the Philippines in October, but this is one delicacy I won’t be trying while I’m there.

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  • September 4, 2016 at 11:29 pm
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    Omg, I never liked eggs, but I would like to watch someone eat this.

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  • September 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm
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    I like balut, but can’t take to eat the little cute duck in it. I’ll just eat the yolk part and sip the fluid. 🙂

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  • September 4, 2016 at 9:01 am
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    Oh my goodness, I have never come across this delicacy before. Balut… hmmm I am not sure if I could handle one, but they do sound very popular and sought after.

    Reply

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