Thursday 6 April 2017

'Balut' – A Philippines Delicacy

If you’ve been to the Philippines, you probably would have eaten balut.  Did you?  I never did as I felt squeamish!  What is this delicacy that even Amazing Race participants had to partake this strange food? Even though it’s a national dish, not everyone love it!  

Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

What is balut? Its fertilised eggs that contain almost developed embryos.  Normally eaten whole from the shell when the bones of the embryo are still soft, it’s a common street food in the Philippines.  By the way, it is believed that balut was introduced to the Filipinos by Chinese traders back in the 1800s.  It is also found in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

                                                               Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

How is balut made?

1. The egg
Balut eggs are incubated for 18 days for duck eggs, and 13 to 14 days for chicken eggs. At these stages, the bones are soft enough to be eaten and the feathers have not developed.

Fully fertilised duck eggs normally incubate for 28 days, while chicken eggs for just 21 days.

2. Preparation

What do you do if you get a raw (uncooked) balut egg? 
Boil water over high heat, place the egg in the water, cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and boil the egg for 30 minutes.

Boiling at high heat will kill any bacteria that might grow in the eggs during the incubation period.

When 30 minutes is up, remove the egg and immerse it in a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and help cool the egg faster.

3. Eating - the quick & easy way

Eat the balut directly from the shell while it is still warm.

Step 1: Crack the Egg
Look for the larger end of the egg and crack it gently using a spoon or a fork.  Make sure NOT to crack all the way through.  Just make a small hole at the top.

Step 2: Drink the broth
Put salt and drink the broth from the hole.  It taste soup-like.

Step 3: Peel the rest of the shell
Peel the rest of the egg and eat the yolk with salt or vinegar.

Step 4: Eat the embryo (Save the best for last)
Pick the embryo out from the egg, sprinkle some salt or vinegar and chew it.

Step 5: Leave the white part
The white part is quite rubbery.

According to Sharon Perkins (a registered nurse and coauthor & editor of numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series), balut is a nutritious snack, high in protein and calcium. A serving of balut contain 188 calories, including 14 grams each of protein and fat, 2 milligrams of iron and 116 milligrams of calcium.  That’s how nutritious balut is.  Don’t take her word for it, try it!

Enjoy your balut!  Cheers!

Shared by Azni Zainal Abidin

Guest Blogger


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