Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Contrary to popular belief, the balut / balot is not a Philippine exclusive. It can also be found in other Asian countries such as Vietnam, China and Cambodia.

It is believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, baluts are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available. Balut are most often eaten with a pinch of salt though some balut-eaters prefer chili and vinegar to complement their egg. The eggs are savored for their balance of textures and flavors; the broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled and the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten. All of the contents of the egg are consumed.

In the Philippines, the balut has entered classy dining places by being served as appetizers in restaurants: cooked adobo style, fried in omelletes. Dinners at the Presidential Palace during Marcos' time were said to have pastries stuffed with the egg without the knowledge of the guests. This was in line with Imelda's vision of globalizing Filipino food.

The best balut, they say, should be 17 days old ("balut sa puti"). This when the chick isn't well-developed yet. Underdeveloped duck eggs, however, are called penoy and look and have the consistency of normal boiled eggs.

Do you know that balut-making is the major industry in Pateros? Read their story here.

Balut steaming on a bed of katsa (flour bag).
Break gently so as not to spill the juice. Sip it out of a small hole first before completely removing the shell.

Are we ready to eat it now? Yes, we are! You can see a medium-sized grown chick here. Most people won't eat the chick but what's the point of eating balut then? You can skip the white part (lower half) because it's tough but the yellow part (upper) is really, really good.


undiscussablerealms said...

i totally agree! gosh, i'd have a balut a day if i can and if health permits but.....

anyway, merry christmas, dylan! i have a present for you, but sa february pa. it's my christmas month. :) happy new year!!!

Dylan Gozum said...

Wow, i love presents! But really, i admire you Selina for donating all your December money to charity. This is very rare and amazing.

I felt I had to do a balut post! Any pinoy blog just wouldn\\\'t do without giving homage to our favorite aphrodisiac (if it really is one).