The Bite: Balut

1 year ago


Information compiled by Tanya Diaz

Photographed by Ed Simon of Studio 100

balut (n): fertilized duck that is boiled alive and eaten with the shell. Served with salt and/or vinegar, it is a delicacy enjoyed in many parts of Asia like Cambodia and Vietnam, not just the Philippines. Balut means “wrapped” in Filipino and Malaysian–it is kept in straw baskets and wrapped in cloth to stay warm.

The most common type of balut is called higop. Known as “the perfect balut,” higop is a fully developed, perfectly formed duck/chicken embryo in which you can see the chick’s head, beek, eyes, legs, feathers and umbilical cord. It is boiled for 15 minutes then eaten.

Penoy is another type of balut egg. It contains a partially developed 16 to 18-day old duck embryo.

Soupy penoy is called penoy na may sabaw or higupin.

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