Balut tends to be ranked pretty highly when it comes to unusual foods.
Made from a fertilized bird egg that has been incubated until a fetus begins to develop and then boiled, balut is quite different from fried eggs!
If you want to try balut in the US, you’ll need to look around to find any for sale. The best places to find balut are in Asian food markets or certain Filipino restaurants. You can also buy uncooked balut online.
Curious about this exotic food? Discover where you can find balut in the US with our guide.
What Are Balut Eggs?
Balut eggs are a popular street food in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines and Cambodia. If you’ve never encountered balut, it’s likely to seem a little strange.
Balut is made from a fertilized egg (usually duck) that has been partly incubated and steamed. Soft and chewable, the embryo is then eaten whole.
Balut is a fairly controversial food, particularly in Western countries. However, balut has been enjoyed for centuries in parts of South China.
Eaten warm, balut provides an inexpensive source of protein. Those who have eaten balut tend to praise its texture and flavor.
There are various types of balut available, some made with different duck eggs, others incubated for different times, and some served with different flavorings.
Balut is a common street food, but it’s also found its way onto restaurant menus. Nowadays, you might find balut in omelets and pastries in Filipino eateries.
How Do You Eat Balut Eggs?
Balut is made using a careful process. Once the egg has been fertilized, it’s incubated for roughly 2 to 3 weeks. 17 days is typically considered the optimum period for balut incubation.
When the incubation period ends, it’s time to cook the egg.
Balut eggs are boiled and during the boiling process the liquid and solid parts separate creating the balut broth and meat. Now it’s ready to be eaten.
As street food, balut is typically served inside the shell. Tap the rounded end of the shell on a hard surface to create a crack. Peel a small hole, roughly the width of your finger.
Add your seasonings through the hole you’ve just made. A street vendor will often have salt for you to use as seasoning.
Other popular options include vinegar and chili, or lime juice and pepper. Mix the seasoning by swirling the egg.
First, you drink the broth of the egg. You can sip this from the hole. Once you’ve eaten the broth, pull apart the shell to reveal the rest of the balut.
There are three parts: the yolk, the chick, and the white. You can eat it all, although many people find the white to be chewy and unappetizing.
In the Philippines, balut is often sold after dark. This is possibly because balut has been traditionally associated with sexual virility.
Regardless of the reasons why, balut has become a popular evening snack, enjoyed with a glass of cold beer.
Where Can You Find Balut In The US?
It isn’t easy to find balut for sale in the US, as it’s still considered something of a taboo food. However, it is available.
You just need to know where to look! Balut is most likely to be sold in areas with a large Filipino population. Los Angeles and New York City are good starting places!
Perhaps the best place to find balut in America is Asian food markets, especially if you want cooked balut.
Some food markets will have both raw and cooked balut available. You can eat cooked balut right then and there. However, if you buy raw balut, you need to take it home and boil it.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find balut at an Asian food market, especially cooked balut. But if you do visit an Asian market, keep an eye out for the eggs.
Balut isn’t exactly a common menu item at Filipino restaurants in America, but you will come across it from time to time.
Balut will be served cooked, often with seasonings on the side for you to add as you choose.
Asian Grocery Stores
Grocery stores are most likely to sell uncooked balut. You’ll need to boil the egg for roughly 30 minutes and eat it hot.
While balut might seem like a relatively specialist item to sell, some retailers have found it profitable. Even quite large retailers have had success with balut.
For example, T&T Supermarket in Canada sells balut at select locations.
Probably the easiest way to buy balut in the US is online. Several retailers now stock balut online and it’s easier to order it in than to hope you get lucky at an Asian food market.
The biggest name in balut is Metzer Farms, but there are several other chains selling duck egg balut.
If you’re buying balut online, it should be raw. You will then need to boil the eggs for roughly 30 minutes before eating. You shouldn’t buy cooked balut online.
By the time the eggs are delivered to you, they won’t be safe to eat.
If you want to try balut in the US, be prepared to look around to find anything for sale! This popular Filipino snack is still considered taboo to many Western palates.
You’re most likely to find cooked balut at Asian grocery markets or on select menus. If you want uncooked balut, try Asian grocery stores or see what’s available online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can get balut in the US, but it isn’t common. Cooked balut is sometimes available at Asian food markets or on the menu at Filipino restaurants. Alternatively, you can buy raw balut online.
Balut is generally inexpensive if you can find it in person. Expect to pay just a few dollars for an egg. However, if you buy balut online, the cost is likely to be higher. Most online retailers expect you to bulk buy balut.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like our article on ‘6 Best Places To Eat In Ankeny To Check Out‘.
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