Balut is a famous Filipino delicacy that has sparked both awe and disgust from those who have tried it.
To outsiders, it may seem strange to eat a fertilized duck embryo, but for Filipinos, it is a beloved snack that is found everywhere in their country.
So what exactly is balut, and what does it taste like?
SBalut has a complex flavor profile. It tastes similar to hard-boiled eggs, but with added goopy textures and stronger flavors. The broth inside the egg adds a salty and savory kick, while the duckling itself gives the dish a unique umami flavor. Balut also has a hint of gamey and earthy taste that comes from the developing duck embryo.
What is Balut?
Balut is a popular street food in the Philippines that is made of a fertilized duck egg and is usually boiled or steamed. In Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, balut translates to “wrapped.”
People who sell balut usually carry a basket filled with freshly boiled or steamed eggs that are still warm and are waiting for you to crack open their shell.
Traditionally, balut is eaten as an appetizer or snack, and people usually drink a beer after eating it to wash it down. It is believed that eating balut with beer can help digestion.
How to Prepare and Eat Balut?
To eat balut, first, you need to crack open the shell of the egg. To do this, you can either use a spoon, knife, or any other tool. Inside, you will see a liquid, which is the broth.
Before eating the rest of the egg, you must drink the broth first. This is because the broth is packed with flavors that will enhance your overall balut experience.
After drinking the broth, you can peel the eggshell off the top of the egg and reveal the duckling. You can eat the duckling, which has a slight crunch, and then finish off the rest of the egg.
If you are new to eating balut, we recommend eating it with salt and pepper to help balance out the flavors.
What Does Balut Taste Like?
The taste of balut can be described as a more complex version of a hard-boiled egg.
The broth inside the egg adds to the overall experience, and it has a salty and savory kick that pairs well with the egg yolk and white.
The developing duck embryo inside the egg gives the dish a unique umami flavor that is unmatched by other egg dishes.
When you bite into the duckling, you can feel a subtle crunch that is reminiscent of biting into cartilage. The texture of the egg white is firm, and the yolk is custardy.
One of the unique features of balut is that it has a goopy texture that coats your mouth and leaves an aftertaste.
Balut also has a hint of gamey and earthy taste that comes from the developing duck embryo.
It may be tough to stomach for some people as the embryo gives the egg an even richer and intense flavor, especially if it develops more than the expected size.
This earthy taste gets stronger as the egg develops, and it is the main reason why balut is an acquired taste.
Many people also enjoy balut with vinegar or chili sauce to give the dish a bit more kick.
Where Can You Find Balut?
Balut is usually sold by street vendors in the Philippines and can be found easily in almost every province.
However, with the pandemic, many restaurants and food establishments have started to sell them as well, making it accessible even in other countries.
Balut is not only sold in the Philippines; it is also common in neighboring countries like Vietnam and Cambodia.
It is also gaining popularity in other parts of the world, where Filipino cuisine is being explored and celebrated.
What Are the Health Benefits of Balut?
Balut is nutritious and is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
It is particularly high in Vitamin A, which helps support eye health.
Balut is also a low-carb snack and can be an excellent option for people on a keto or low-carb diet.
However, balut’s high cholesterol levels can be a problem, so people with heart conditions and high cholesterol levels should limit their consumption of balut.
Balut is an acquired taste, but if you can stomach it, it is a delicious and unique dish to try.
Despite its seemingly strange appearance, it is a beloved dish in Filipino cuisine, and people have been enjoying it for generations.
It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is worth a try if you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore different flavors and textures.
If you ever get the chance to visit the Philippines or any other place where balut is sold, make sure to give it a try. It might just surprise you in the best way possible.
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.