The Egg Delicacy Called Balut
Philippines, like any other country, has its own list of unique delicacies as seen in various documentary shows. Call it weird or strange, but it didn’t deter others from partaking in unfamiliar yet unique culinary items. From kinilaw na tamilok (raw woodworm) to kamaru (crunchy field crickets), adobong uok (beetle larvae), and probably the most popular exotic food in the country, the balut (duck embryo).
There is a small village in Pateros, Manila, where all residents have learned how to make egg balut. This special egg is not just sold in the streets by peddlers, it is also served in restaurants not only in the country but even abroad.
If you’re curious how it is made, here’s the process:
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The Making of Balut
1. Make a wooden box with a cover and put rice husks inside about 7 to 8 inches thick.
2. Sort the eggs in a plastic bag and place it inside the box. Once the eggs are inside the box, immediately put the lid back to avoid loss of heat. Store it in a warm and dry location.
Tip: balut is originally made from duck eggs; however, you may use chicken eggs if the former is not available.
3. In balut making, storage temperature is vital. So monitor the temperature regularly inside the box. The temperature should not be lower than 38 degrees celsius daily.
4. The egg should mature properly. To know that, check the eggs one by one against a bright light to see if germplasm is developing. The sign is visible as early as on the third day of storage.
Tip: Those eggs without a hint of germplasm can be removed from the box and be made as penoy, while the rest should remain in the box to continue the incubation.
5. Repeat the fourth step on the thirteenth day. Only the eggs that produce a germplasm can move on to the final process of balut making.
6. On the seventeenth day, the remaining eggs are now developed chicks with little feathers. You may now remove the eggs from the box.
How to Cook Balut Eggs
1. Clean the eggs using a brush or a damp cloth or simply wash it with water.
2. Pour about 500 ml of water into a cooking pot and carefully place at least ten eggs into it. Boil it for approximately 30 minutes.
3. Let it cool down a bit before eating.
Balut may look unappetizing, but it’s really tasty especially if you sprinkle it with a pinch of salt. It also gives instant energy. While it’s loaded with cholesterol, it is also a good source of calcium and protein. So before you hate balut, try it first, and surely, you will love it.
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