Balot – To Brave and to Crave

If you want to taste exotic food for the day, or simply want to snatch a hint of how Filipinos live and eat, Balot is definitely a go-to. Cheap and popular, it is definitely the exotic snack to brave and to crave for.

It’s difficult to describe Balot without making you go urgh and oh, ick and really, you eat that?

Yes, Filipinos love it. If you’re looking for some exotic food to try at night, try this essential Filipino street food.

To put it simply, Balot (or “Balut”) is a very young duck embryo boiled when its still in its shell.

If this will be your first time to eat it, I would suggest to ask the seller for the earliest egg they have (which would be a 14 to 16 day old egg). It’s simply easier and smaller to eat.

Steps to eating Balot (the Filipino way):

  1. Suck up the guts and put on a brave face. Don’t show to Filipinos that you’re a coward on the inside.
  2. Crack open the top of the shell.
  3. Peel away one-third of the shell
  4. Add salt or other condiments. (I suggest trying the Cili pepper and vinegar sauce for spice)
  5.  (Most important step) DON’T LOOK at the inside.
  6. With the egg shell edge on your bottom lip, tip your head back. Chew or swallow embryo whole.
  7. Enjoy the rest of the egg (peacefully and free of guilt)

So it sounds easy to eat this, right? Well, WRONG.

Dead. Wrong.

The first time I ate Balot it took me ten minutes, a lot of encouragement from my family, stressed pacing, and too many stares from local Filipinos before I could tip my head back, chew, and swallow. I had to wash away the guilt to realize that it actually tasted good.

Seriously, no lie. Balot tastes like egg with a sort of chicken broth like no other.

The second time I had Balot, I was a little bit braver. No more stressed pacing and guilty feelings. I cracked it, peeled, and chugged it into my mouth. Ohhhhh man… You never realize how good Balot tastes until you push your guilt and fear away.

I craved for more.

If you push past the ick feeling and enjoy the taste, it will definitely be worth it.