Travel Blog

Filipino Friday: The Balut

October 21, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you the balut. (Warning: Graphic photos)

Voted as #1 most terrifying food in the world, it’s been a staple “must do” for anyone visiting the Philippines and a challenge for those adventurous enough to stomach this known delicacy. But is it that terrifying as most publications tell it to be?

Balut at El Nido

Here’s the lowdown:

Balut is fertilized duck egg (Yes, it has a duckling fetus inside). It’s a common street snack here in the Philippines and other Southeast Asia countries and notoriously known to freak out those who attempt to take a bite. It’s often boiled and eaten on its shell. It takes around 17 days to prepare a balut and for some, 19-21 days if you want it mature (ie with the beaks and feathers already in it).

In the Philippines, there are other varieties of eating balut. You can try it fried, scrambled, in a soup, on a pastry bun – but the best experience is eating it the traditional way – boiled and while still warm.

Now, if you are looking to macho it up and try it, here are some tips to make the experience better:

1. Don’t look at what your eating
2. Add salt or chili
3. Drink it with a beer (everything goes well with a beer)

To be honest with you, I never really liked balut and I have never tried balut until I was 23  after I dared my German friend Dennis to try one.

My conclusion: It taste like a hard boiled egg with a slight crunchiness to it. Adding a pinch of salt and chili definitely helps make it more tasty. But trust me that it taste better than it looks. Bon Appetit!

Eating Balut (Step 1)

Eating Balut (Step 2)

Eating Balut (Step 3)

(photos from Dennis)

Have you tried Balut? (if not, I DARE you to try it). Share your experience BELOW!

About Filipino Friday: Every Friday, I’m going to showcase something unique about my home country , the Philippines. It can be a place, food, experience, custom or tradition that highlights what we our 7,107 islands can offer. I remember that on my travels, there are some people who are still unaware of where the Philippines  is or what the country has to offer. So I hope that through these posts – I can help bring awareness about the Philippines,  it’s beauty, hidden sites, quirkiness and diversity.

Are you a travel blogger? I’m inviting you to take part of Filipino Friday with me. All you need to do is post something about the Philippines every Friday. Contact me if you’re interested.

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  • Reply Jay January 26, 2012 at 21:34

    Foreign and I eat balut almost every time I seem them, but only in the Philippines. The ‘chili’ is actually coconut or white vinegar with chilis and garlic in it. Some people use one or the other and some people use both. Salt is almost mandatory!

  • Reply Tobias November 21, 2011 at 17:26

    Yeah, i tried it (video in my post below). Wasn’t too happy about the setup with my friends tricking me into trying it, but atleast it doesn’t taste anywhere near as bad as it looks…
    Tobias recently posted..Eating BalutMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick November 22, 2011 at 12:10

      Hahahaha, sweet video! but I agree, the taste is not as bad as it looks.

  • Reply Cole @ FourJandals October 30, 2011 at 18:48

    Have definitely heard of Balut but I doubt I could eat it. Would rather not know what I am eating and then someone tell me afterwards!
    Cole @ FourJandals recently posted..Around the World Travel (2 Years and counting)My Profile

    • Reply Jerick October 31, 2011 at 15:08

      Yep, I’ll put it in good packaging, you won’t even notice you’re eating a fertilised duck egg!

  • Reply Si October 29, 2011 at 05:29

    Hi Jerick, Not sure I would be brave enough to try, might need a beer first! I’ve added a link to your post on The Bloggers Guide to the Philippines I’m developing. I hope you don’t mind?

    Regards, Si
    Si recently posted..The £5 Souvenir Challenge – Natalie Wood in DubaiMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick October 31, 2011 at 15:08

      Yes, it goes well with a beer – but it taste better than it looks! Thanks for adding my link on your blog! 🙂

  • Reply Blogie October 28, 2011 at 21:08

    I have a British friend who swears that we Filipinos came up with this “legend” of eating balut just to tease foreigners. 😀
    Blogie recently posted..Going the extra (nautical) mile for Davao GulfMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick October 31, 2011 at 15:07

      Hahaha, that’s a good anecdote! Well, that’s a good tease for them indeed!

  • Reply Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad October 24, 2011 at 16:02

    I’ve heard of this, and while I do pride myself on eating almost anything the locals will, I think this will be a challenge. But you know, you have to try the local delicacies. Heading to Philippines in a week or two, so we’ll see how this goes!
    Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad recently posted..Eating Snake in Le Mat, Hanoi StyleMy Profile

  • Reply Bama October 22, 2011 at 08:04

    I did try Balut when I went to Manila earlier this year. Actually I tried it on my last day in Manila. I kept telling myself that I HAVE to try it or I’ll regret for the rest of my life for not having the guts to try it. Then, ummm, well, I must say that I’m not a big fan of Balut. But, I’m glad I’ve tried it.
    Bama recently posted..Sweet Reminiscence of Tidung IslandsMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick October 23, 2011 at 11:55

      Yeah, it’s always nice to try some local delicacy as part of a travel itinerary. good that you made that decision. 🙂
      Jerick recently posted..Filipino Friday: The BalutMy Profile

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