Adobong balut

Adobong balut

Balut. Either you love it or you don’t. Me, I love balut. I eat everything but the hard white stone but only if the duck is small and covered in soft egg white (see balut photo). If it looks too large, has feathers and bones that I have to spit out, I pass.

Is it a Filipino original or not? I was surprised when Anthony Bourdain went to Vietnam and ate his first balut there. They have balut in Vietnam too? Is that something they got from the Filipinos or does that mean the Philippines has no exclusive claim over its origin? Makes no difference to me. I love balut whatever and wherever its origin. Love it enough to take on the suggestion of a former boss to bring my balut experience to even greater heights by cooking the eggs as an adobo dish.

It all started at my former boss’s birthday party some eight years ago. Dinner was over and guests had split into small groups. I found myself with a bunch of men and women much older than me and, instead of munching on the usual salted peanuts with their beer, they were eating balut. They said balut was no good after one day but my former boss said that wasn’t true. Cook them as adobo, serve them with fried rice and they’re unbelievably good, she said. In my mind, I believed it. It made a lot of sense. Hard boiled eggs added to chicken or pork adobo are great and I bet adobong balut would be even better. But I never tried making adobong balut until many years later. After I did, I was hooked.

This is my preferred proportion of ingredients for making adobong balut. The rationale? Neither the garlic nor the vinegar nor the soy sauce should overpower the flavor of the balut. For every egg, you will need:

1 clove of finely minced garlic
2 tbsps. of vinegar
3 tbsps. of soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper

Simmer the minced garlic, vinegar and soy sauce in a pan for about a minute — just long enough to coax the flavors out. Make the pan just big enough to contain the balut in a single layer. That way, you contain the sauce so that most of it is in contact with the eggs. Add the shelled balut, including the juices, add the pepper, then swirl the pan so that the eggs are coated with the sauce. DO NOT stir the contents of the pan because you really don’t want the eggs to break up into yolk, white and duck. So, swirl. Simmer for another minute. Swirl once more. Turn off the heat. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Give the eggs a final swirl and, for the ultimate experience, serve with garlic fried rice.


  1. chexy says

    OMG! I was just craving for balut ms connie.. And i’m supposedly on a diet. (that’s why i don’t visit as often as before. Tempting kc..hehehe! Caught red handed pa rin.. kasi i couldnt resist peeking kasi eh! Hehehe!) I will let myself eat this on my rewards day.. Ooh my.. Sunday.. 2days na lang.. Ooh my..

  2. says

    Hi again, Connie! Yes, I believe every word you say about how good this adobong balut is! The next chance I have of doing this, I will definitely indulge in the goodness of the delicacy! Yum!

  3. emy medina says

    balut spells nostalgia for me…
    i don’t know his name but he delivers his prized ducks eggs 3x/week at our house when i was younger…then he disappears into the night with
    the echoing sound of “BALUUUUT,PENOY,BALUUUUT”
    now i order balut from a vietnamese co-worker which she sells for $16.00/doz
    we’ll surely try your recipe & surprise my ina

  4. Nessie says

    Hey Connie! I live in Australia and still remember when my mama introduced me to balut, I’ve been hooked ever since.

    I was in Vietnam in September last year and tried their version of balut. Same as in the Philippines, a lady walks down the street carrying a wicker basket filled with boiled balut. She shouts out same way, like ‘baluuuuut!’

    The Vietnamese eat their balut with a generous helping of salt (of course), some chilli paste and mint leaves. It’s a nice combination – but the balut on its own still tastes the same as home. Mmmm!

    Love your work Connie xx!

      • Jolly says

        Now, who’s telling the truth? Lol. Bourdain wasn’t able to eat balut in the Philippines because he didn’t get quite a few good ppl who can introduce it to him! Plus, during his visit to the Philippines, he focused more on the Cebuano/American guy.

        Anyway, Andrew Zimmern did eat balut! He enjoyed it so much that he compared it several times to some other country’s food. He called it “Balut from Manila”.

  5. says

    OMG! this sounds so crazy delicious. I wish I could get my hands on balut. I’ve been watching too much Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern on Travel Channel where balut is showing up everywhere.

  6. Ana says

    Balut is just disgusting to me! And the picture you posted is one of the most gross balut picture I have ever seen. YUCK!

  7. emy medina says

    vietnamese name for balut…dunno connie…they are so familiar with balut…a store that sells balut in “little saigon”(orange county,california)has a big sign that reads BALUT!!

  8. says

    I don’t know if I hate balut – never tried it before. But I hate the thought of it. So I don’t know if I’ll ever get to try it…unless I’m really really drunk or something.

  9. claudine charie says

    i miss balut so much!!! nakakagutom naman yan pic ms. connie! pag-uwi ko sa phils sa august magpapaluto din ako adobong balut hahahahahahha!

  10. Ken says

    The Vietnamese name for Balut is called, “Hot Vit Lon.” They eat theirs using salt mixed with pepper and a fresh herb called “Rau Ram.” Every Asian country as boiled duck eggs as part of their food history. The origins of eating duck eggs most likely came from China, not the Philippines.

  11. Ben says

    Have tried Vietnamese type baluts in New Jersey but they are not by a long shot comparable to the Pinoy ones. It is more like Penoys, big not really worth it, in my opinion. Even less tempting is their chicken egg balut version.

    I had my fill in a recent trip backhome and there is really nothing like our very own. I usually get my well selected baluts from my friend in Pateros but in addition I also tasted ones from Bulacan (San Rafael?) which were even better!

  12. says

    In Market Market there’s this small food cart – BALUT EGGSPRESS, with a different twist of adobong balut. They used instead – oyster sauce. Sobrang sarap Ms. Connie! and Great creativity! :)

  13. Maria says

    We Filipinos sometimes exist in a vacuum. Many of the foods we claim as self invented aren’t original after all. Balut is everywhere. And sure it’s an acquired taste (too bad Ana can’t enjoy this) but I say, it’s delicious. It brings back memories of simplicity and street eats. Chicken intestines – yum…

    What else do we have in common with Vietnam? — try the barbecues. My favorite vietnamese meal is rice, side of grilled steak(or prawns) and fried egg sunny side up. it’s served with achara and a sweet fish sauce… The grilled combination reminds me of our barbecued dishes. They also have turo-turo style cuisine. A version that looks like adobo chicken. Stewed dilis. They also have their version of halo-halo except that they use pure coconut cream (uncooked) and colourful jellies, candied beans, and some candied fruits. They have huge steamed siopaos too. Their carrot and daikon achara – is exactly like ours. They also carry various forms of puto and just about as many shocking nuclear colours like us. I wouldn’t be surprised if it at all turns out we have more ancestral links to vietnam than not.

  14. says

    wow!! just searching how to cook adobong balut and i come across with your blog…what if i dont have oyster there any replacement?
    i think its yummy although my mom says it’s has lots of cholesterol…is taht true?

  15. Arci Formales says

    27 August 2009

    Ma”?am Connie Veneracion

    Greetings from GMA7!

    KAPUSO MO, JESSICA SOHO is the leading public affairs program produced by GMA7. It is hosted by one of the country”?s multi-awarded broadcast journalists, Ms. Jessica Soho. We feature socio-cultural stories, current issues, and special events that we air here and abroad, every Saturday at 8:30 in the evening.

    We are currently producing a segment about ADOBO DISHES, and we are searching for different recipes of Adobo. In line with this, we would like to feature your recipe Adobong Balut as one of the important elements of our story. We would like to asko for your contact number so that we can explain to you the details of our segment, and we can set the schedule of our shoot.

    If you have inquiries regarding this matter, please feel free to call us at 982 7777 loc. 1426 or through our direct line 928 5021 or send a text message / call me through my mobile number at 09267413035

    Thank you very much for your cooperation!


    Archibald Formales
    Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho

  16. camryn says

    Peaple in Yunnan province of China eats Balut too, maybe influence from neighboring country of Vietnam.

    If u sit in a local restaurant in Cambodia, they have balut on the table for u to eat, u pay for how many u consume.

  17. Sonia Vinluan says

    This Adobong balut is also perfect for PULUTAN or food for accompaniment for beer or alcholic drinks.. Now you gave me an idea to make one for my friends who loves balut except me ( I hate balut)…

  18. Johann says

    after reading your balut recipe I asked my husband to buy me one. :) Same as you Ms. Connie I don’t like if its have wings and feet (yuckky na yun). I’ll convince myself to try your adobong balut recipe. :) Nga pala thanks sa mga recipe you published here, very helpful indeed.

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