Balut? Eww!

13 01 2009

“If they came and offered me the $50,000 right now to just eat one more, there is no way I would do it again,” said one contestant after downing two of these suckers. “There is no way.”  (Tales of Fear)

I wish I could get the same offer.  I would not back out.  But it’s impossible for balut (fertilized duck egg with partially developed duckling inside) is so native to the Philippines and to other Asian countries like China, Cambodia and Vietnam.   I’ve learned to eat balut when I was still a kid.  My father, I remember, would buy two for him and my mother, but I would always request from my father the yellow part which is I think the egg yolk (?) while he takes the duckling.  One day, out of curiosity, I asked my father if I could have a taste of the duckling itself so he instructed me to either close my eyes or not to stare too closely (I might be discouraged to eat) while I put the whole thing in my mouth.  I realized that it was really “yummy”…

Balut

 So earlier before I went home, I got myself a balut.  This particular vendor already knows my preference – balut sa puti (wrapped in white) which is about 17 days old egg or younger.  For me this is the best age of the balut for you can enjoy both the yolk and the duckling sans hair and bones.

Not only it is high in protein, it is also popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac. Most often eaten warm with a pinch of salt, though some balut-eaters prefer chili and vinegar. The broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled and the yolk and duckling inside can be eaten.   Here’s a more detailed way to eat a balut from Ubersite:

1. Take a freshly boiled balut in one hand.

2. Make sure you have the “flat” bottom of the balut facing you and tap it lightly on any hard surface until you see hairline crack form on its surface.

3. Remove bits of shell until you have a cavity the size of a penny.

4. Inside the cavity you will find a paper-thin film of white tissue. Remove this.

5. Drop in a pinch of rock salt, place the opening to your lips, tip your head back and slurp up the broth.  Delicious.

6. Widen the cavity by removing more bits of shell until you have enough exposed to be able to bite off a sizeable chunk of the balut. Don’t forget to sprinkle more rock salt.

7. Go on eating until you get to the bato (rock) or the hard white portion. Discard.

8. When you get to the bottom, there will be a little more broth left over. Drop in a small pinch of salt and drink up.

Balut is used to be sold only at night by street vendors.  Now, you can have it anytime you want as it’s available in the malls’ foodcourts and some Filipino restos such as Ebun in Greenbelt 3.

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3 06 2012
Balut? Eww! | Balutropolis

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