Oh My! THIS Is How To Make Balut, Fertilized Duck Egg
As you can see, this post is on balut. And no, you’re not reading that wrong: this dish does indeed have fertilized duck eggs.
But don’t knock it before you try it! While it might sound disgusting, balut is actually a Filipino delicacy and something you should definitely try at least once in your life.
If you like to be a culinary daredevil, then read on. I’m here to show you how to make balut and eat it!
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 How to make balut
- 2 Balut Fertilized Duck Eggs Recipe
- 3 Cooking tips
- 4 Try these strange fertilized duck eggs
How to make balut
Balut Fertilized Duck Eggs Recipe
- 8 thick-shelled eggs
- 1 cup palay rice (unhusked rice)
- Select duck or chicken eggs by tapping the eggs with your fingers to pull out cracked or thin-shelled eggs. Eggs with cracks have a hollow sound while thin-shelled ones have a brittle sound.
- Only thick-shelled eggs are used for balut making because these can withstand the stresses of egg placement and removal in cylindrical baskets called “toong”. These are open on both ends, 34 inches high and 21 inches in diameter; spaces around are filled with rice hulls up to 4 inches from the brim. Ideally, eggs made into balut shouldn't be older than 5 days from the time they're laid.
- Roast or heat palay to a temperature of 107 °F or 430 °C in an iron vat or cauldron. Remove palay when you can hold it in your hands.
- Eggs are then placed in the toong; these are alternated with heated palay bags. The number of heated palay bags is 1 for every egg bag. Placed 2 heated palay bags on the bottom and 2 on the top level to ensure heat conservation. For every toong containing 10 layers of eggs, you'll need 13 bags of roasted palay.
- Each toong can hold 10 bags. Cover with just sacks to conserve heat further. Candling is the process of holding eggs against the hole of a lighted box in a dark room to separate infertile eggs from fertile ones. Infertile eggs are called penoy; these are also boiled like balut but fetch a lower price.
- First, candling is done on the 11th day after eggs are placed in toong. Candling is done again on the 17th day to separate eggs with dead embryos (abnoy) and those that are ready to be sold as balut. Eggs with weak embryos take 18-20 days to be released; these are hard boiled and sold.
- Eggs intended for hatching are left in the balutan for 28 days when ducklings will hatch. After 20 days, palay bags aren't heated anymore since embryos can generate enough heat to keep themselves warm.
- When using kerosene or electric incubators for hatching duck eggs, maintain a temperature of 100°F and humidity from 55% to 60%. Don't hatch duck and chicken eggs together in 1 incubator, as duck eggs require a different temperature and a higher rate of humidity. A pan of water kept in the bottom of the incubator helps maintain humidity level. During the incubation period, turn eggs at least 3 to 4 times a day to raise your chances of hatchlings.
- Clean hatching eggs with a slightly moist and clean rag before storing to prevent contamination of the developing embryo or newly hatched chicks.
Watch YouTube user BecomingFilipino’s video on balut:
How long should balut be boiled?
To cook balut, you should boil it for 20 minutes or steam it for 30 minutes to make it a really hard-boiled egg. This helps soften the embryo inside for eating.
You can then let it cool under cold water to stop it from cooking further, but it should be eaten while still hot.
Are balut eggs alive? Are they boiled alive?
Balut is boiled fertilized duck eggs with a formed embryo in them. In the Philippines, these embryos are boiled alive and then served to eat.
In most Western countries with large Filipino communities, the eggs are often chilled first, killing the embryos before the eggs are boiled.
Can I microwave balut?
You can’t microwave balut to cook the egg. You have to boil it to make it edible.
But it’s perfectly fine to reheat precooked balut in the microwave.
Is it safe to reheat balut?
Balut is best served freshly boiled, but it’s perfectly safe to reheat. You can put the egg in hot water for around 5 minutes (it doesn’t have to be boiling yet) or microwave the egg for 1 to 3 minutes.
Should balut be refrigerated?
Most people enjoy eating balut freshly cooked, but the shelf-life of cooked balut can last up to 1 day before it begins to spoil.
It should be kept in the refrigerator for no more than 1 week or so.
How can you tell if balut is bad?
Just like with regular hard-boiled chicken eggs, use the water test.
Fill a bowl with water and place the balut in it. If it floats, this means it’s too old and needs to be thrown out.
Try these strange fertilized duck eggs
There’s no doubt about it: balut is weird and probably gross to many people. But it’s definitely a delicacy you need to try if you’re an adventurous eater!
Now that you know what balut is, how to prepare it, and how to eat it, it’s about time you give it a try. Balut consumption can be something to tick off your bucket list!
Also check out this lengua estofado recipe (Ox tongue in tomato sauce)
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.