How to Cook Balut: a Culinary Adventure (Not for the Faint of Heart)

Cooked Balut
Prep. time:
30 min
1 dishes

Unveiling the Secrets of Balut: A Culinary Adventure (Not for the Faint of Heart)

If you’re a foodie always searching for the most unusual and unique culinary experiences, then today is your lucky day. I’m about to introduce you to balut, a Southeast Asian delicacy that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. Balut is a fertilized duck egg, incubated for a specific period, and then boiled or steamed. It’s a popular street food in countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Now, I understand that the idea of eating a partially developed duck embryo might sound a bit…well, challenging. But I urge you to keep an open mind and discover the surprising flavors and textures that balut has to offer.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes | Suitable for: 1 person | Difficulty level Easy

The Necessary Ingredients

  • Balut egg (fertilized duck egg, incubated for 16-18 days)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar (optional)

Vegan version: While there’s no exact replacement for balut, you could try recreating its unique texture using silken tofu seasoned with soy sauce and seaweed for an umami flavor. Add some cooked rice or quinoa for the ‘yolk’ part.

The Steps of Preparation

Preparing balut is remarkably simple and straightforward:

  1. Wash the balut egg thoroughly in warm water.
  2. Place the egg in a pot and cover it with cold water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the egg for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the egg from the hot water and let it cool slightly.
  6. Crack the top of the egg (the wider end) and gently peel away the shell.
  7. Season the exposed broth with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a splash of vinegar for extra flavor.
  8. Enjoy! (I’ll share some tips to make this a little more approachable below!)
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