Fear not! There are no shelled balut photos in this post. Promise. Guess who had balut cravings at the Asian supermarket and wouldn’t leave until we bought some. My US-raised daughter! You can take the girl out of the Philippines, but you can’t take the Philippines out of the girl.
Here’s the wiki on balut…
A balut is a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in countries in Southeast Asia, such as Laos, Cambodia (pong tea khon in Cambodian) and Vietnam (trứng vịt lộn or hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer.
We bought ten (TEN!!) pieces at ninety-nine cents each. That’s forty-one pesos each! I consoled myself with the thought that at least, I didn’t have to pay for airfare. My Mom passed on to me the cooking how-to she learned from her California-based sister (Hello Ninang-Auntie! *wink*). Just put all the eggs in a pot, fill the pot water and cook for 40-minutes starting from the time you turn on the fire. That’s it!
Balut is thought to be “pampalakas ng tuhod” (literal translation: strengthens the knee) or boosts energy. We just love the stuff. If only they weren’t too expensive. I should probably look into kroger jobs so I can fund my daughter’s balut cravings. Nah. I’ll just raise my own ducks. Kidding!