Balut – a boiled duck embryo from Cambodia

Do you fancy eggs? me to – just prefer to eat them before the embryo inside has a peck an feathers. The people in Cambodia apparently think differently, as a duck-egg-delicacy called balut is a great treat loved by the locals. The trick of preparing balut is to let the the embryo inside the egg to develop until the bird inside is nearly ready to see the daylight. When the embryo inside is right, the egg is boiled and served with a pich of salt on top.

The Cambodian locals enjoy their Balut normally as a night time snack, accompanied with a cold beer.

Source: wikipedia

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  1. Wormbrain said,

    March 25, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    I’d need several beers before I could begin to contemplate the horror of eating this thing.

  2. Glenn said,

    August 30, 2008 @ 10:39 am

    I’ve had the pleasure of eating balut whenever I visit the Philippines. The two varieties are “late balut”, where the chick more developed, and “early balut”, which has a smaller chick embryo. I eat whats left of the yellow yolk, which tastes a bit like hard boiled chicken egg yolk, and drink the fluid from the amniotic sac. Pinch of salt, gulp of beer. Not bad! Being an American, I was curious about what my Filipino friends had to say on this matter. Most won’t touch it! Go figure.. :P

  3. vietboi said,

    September 7, 2008 @ 9:22 pm

    we have this in the US, visit Orange County and I will show you

  4. darlene said,

    November 21, 2008 @ 1:19 am

    This stuff isn’t bad, it taste’s pretty good. We asians love duck eggs, not just cambodians either. Its not gross, it’s only gross if your grew up in a western society.

  5. Revenge_4_Souls_666 said,

    January 11, 2009 @ 10:21 pm

    This is simply DISGUSTING!!! Cruel, Horrific thing…poor Ducks, they are intelligent and sensitive pets! .”people” who eat this things are very sick and miserable. only SHIT!
    Go Vegan!

  6. Anonymous said,

    February 4, 2009 @ 3:24 pm


  7. Anonymous said,

    February 20, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

    Ew!!! That is just sick and wrong!!!

  8. KJ' said,

    March 4, 2009 @ 3:04 am

    This, from today, IS the new way of LIFE!

  9. Lissa said,

    March 22, 2009 @ 9:04 am

    wth?? this us just cruel and wrong. fking animal abusers!

  10. Who doesn’t love adulterated food? « said,

    November 10, 2009 @ 10:48 am

    [...] a brotherhood. The Korean guy will defend all Far Eastern food, even Cambodian shit that looks like this. And they hate it when you confuse their noodles. Apparently, Japanese noodles, Chinese noodles, [...]

  11. Andres said,

    March 3, 2010 @ 1:18 am

    This is BY FAR the most disgusting piece of crap EVER

  12. hitlerman said,

    April 9, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    balut is from the Philippines, not Cambodia

  13. aggouri said,

    August 26, 2010 @ 12:32 am

    i feel that anyone who would eat this is RETARDED DISGUSTING COMPARED TO CANNIBALS

  14. fourgotten said,

    January 26, 2011 @ 5:58 am

    Since I first heard of this food as a child, I’ve often wondered what it tastes like.

    And these people who call this animal abuse or compare it to cannibalism… I hope, for the sake of their integrity, that they are all vegan/vegetarian… otherwise, they are just hypocrites. “Oh noes! It’s meat that I won’t eat, therefore it MUST be sick and wrong!”

  15. Vendetta said,

    February 8, 2011 @ 1:09 am

    Anyone freaking out over this and still drives their fat ass to mcdonalds every day for a slice of abused cow on bread makes me want to shoot myself.
    I’d try it.

  16. Shirley said,

    February 19, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    I eat meat, but this is gross. Just LOOK at the darn thing. EEEEWL

  17. Anne said,

    March 19, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    I just eat the yellow and white thing. I just can’t eat that bird. I don’t get why people are getting so angry saying it’s animal abuse. I’d understand if they were a Vegan, but if you’re not then don’t talk. You guys eat meat where an animal has been KILLED so that YOU can eat it. Just saying.

  18. Laura said,

    March 22, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    Vegan and I think this is incredibly sad – just as sad as any other animal being killed for food, really. I mean, when you look up videos of the eggs being cracked on youtube, you can see the poor baby duck’s heart beating.

  19. Dorian said,

    April 1, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    I have eaten this because my husband is an adventurous eater and really wanted to try it. We also have Phillipino friends that say that is a great snack. We tried it at home after buying the eggs at a local asian market, and discovered that they taste like hard boiled egg. The duck itself tastes like dark chicken. For anyone out there that is concerned about how cruel it is, they should be complaining about boiled lobster as well. We do the same thing when we eat them. We also kill any animal we eat, so how is this any different???

  20. Anonymous said,

    June 11, 2011 @ 1:23 am

    itss totally gross, not all asian love that thing,,, seriously ,, i am asian too.

  21. Francesca said,

    June 18, 2011 @ 5:48 am

    Hi. My friend told me about this yesterday and I decided to look it up because I found it really disturbing. I am not a vegetarian, but I don’t east meat from places like mcdonald or cheap value meat. I like to know that the animal has at least had a decent life as I completely disagree with all the Maas farming which leads to animal ls being mistreated. So I was really shocked to hear people saying that this ‘delicase’ is acceptable- essensually is it not dunking a newly born chick into boiling water until it dies? I don’t understand- or is it not actually a chick yet? I understand that all cultures are different, but this is simply shocking!

  22. Lynne said,

    June 25, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    What happened to Nick Paine?

  23. What about eggs and full-grown chickens and ducks? said,

    July 4, 2011 @ 6:00 am

    What difference does it make if a duck is still in it’s embryo state?
    People eat eggs and people also butcher full grown ducks/chickens for food, so what difference does it make if the duck is in it’s in-between state?

    If you’re gonna call this animal abuse, then you’d have to stop eating eggs and roasted ducks/chickens too, you know.

  24. Anonymous said,

    August 9, 2011 @ 10:41 pm

    Wow. How would you like it if I took your baby out of your womb at 8 1/2 months and boiled it while its heart was still beating. That’s just cruel..

  25. BAHA said,

    November 16, 2011 @ 12:09 am

    This ISN’T cruel . We kill cows, pigs, chicken and other things while they’re still alive, no difference. And there’s nothing wrong with eating it. How about you’re starving and there’s nothing to eat but that? Well you would end up eating it . And this is mainly from Phillipines not Cambodia . But try it before you go ranting on it . (;

  26. jim said,

    December 2, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    i had this in laos. i was very very drunk and didnt know what i was eating.

  27. ant said,

    January 30, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    Read Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Polan before yall haters start judging other’s people’s cultures and food. The way we treat our livestock is inhumane. The way pate is made is inhumane. Fur coats, goose feather pillows… At the very least, people eat duck eggs for nutrients as opposed to fashion.

  28. Ak said,

    February 1, 2012 @ 2:23 am

    Philippines , Cambodia, Vietnam all share the same delicacy. Sometimes duck sometimes chicken… I’d love to try except for fear that i would get diarrhea if its not fresh

  29. mowhawk said,

    February 1, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    hey balut came from the philippines not combodia

  30. Anonymous said,

    August 29, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    This is very cruel. I keep chickens and ducks as pets. They run free on my fenced acreage. I buy all of my meat free range and grass fed from the farm up the road.

    You can eat meat without having the weight of being inhumane towards another creature while it’s alive. And this is inhumane. Just because it’s another countries custom to eat animals in this manner doesn’t mean you have to. It’s doesn’t make you macho or adventurous to rip the head off of an unborn baby bird and chug it down with a fresh swig of amniotic fluid.

  31. kitten said,

    September 2, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

    This IS cruel. Regular chicken eggs are unfertilized and do not contain a living creature capable of feeling pain, and fully grown chickens and ducks can be killed quickly and humanely. Balut eggs contain living creatures that are boiled alive. What a horrible, excruciating death that must be.

    I just don’t get how people can compare boiling a living fetus to eating an egg that was never a fetus or an adult duck that is killed quickly and humanely. The duck fetus is not killed prior to being boiled. It is boiled alive! And yes, we do this with lobsters, too. Supposedly the lobsters do not have a central nervous system that allows them to experience pain the way that we do, but this is being questioned, now, by scientists, so perhaps we should be reconsidering this, from a moral standpoint.

    But a baby duck, almost ready to hatch? Of course it’s inhumane.

  32. Lai-Lai said,

    October 16, 2012 @ 4:17 am

    Eggs = Most eggs are unfertilized & don;t count as meat or animal abuse.

    Animal abuse = It’s not that the animal is killed but HOW it’s killed. Boiling alive, slow death, restriction of movement, & prolonged suffering, so things like Balut, Lobster, Veal, & Foi Gras should be illegal. Though it is true that factory farms & a good chunk of organic free range farms keep their animals tightly penned.

    The thing vegetarians don’t get is that even if say 3 million people decided to stop eating meat overnight, the farmers would slaughter the animals regardless, but they would drastically cut down on calves. The animals’ food & water costs a fortune, so they would slaughter the animals just to spare their wallets. They could take them to wildlife reserves, but the problem is is that pigs eat indiscriminately & dairy cows are too stupid & genetically f**ked up to survive without constant human attention.

  33. IEatLikeAGorilla said,

    October 20, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    This is just as disgusting as eating any other animal for a human. The fact that it’s so in your face, but not unlike a whole fish, or a crustacean, makes it even more gross visually, but truly, it’s just as disgusting as eating any other animal. No human baby would ever contemplate putting that in their mouth. Yes I am vegan.

  34. Mark Kirkham said,

    November 17, 2012 @ 10:16 am

    I tried this in Pursat, Cambodia, It tasted very nice, don’t see what the fuss is all about, if vegan or whatever don’t like this sort of thing, to bad

  35. Random User said,

    November 27, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    Anyone who says this is cruel but supports abortion is a hypocrite. Did you know how some babies are killed? Some methods pretty much dissolve the babies’ lungs to kill them.

  36. The way an American thinks...WOW!!! said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    I have tried Balut and it is a Filipino delicacy. It is in no way cruel and disgusting. I have been all over the world and seen many different cultures and there ways of life. While I was reading some of these comments I found it disturbing that there are people in this world that judge peoples ways and cultures. I can say that the ones that say these crazy, rude and just outright uneducated comments have small minds and thinks the way he or she believes and feels is the only way of life. Andrew Zimmern has a show eating exotic foods all the world. And he has eaten worse things than a boiled baby duck. I hate to think I have served the US for people with small minds like this…..Grow up and don’t be so quick to judge somebody’s way of life. That is Gods job not ours.

  37. no name said,

    January 5, 2013 @ 3:54 am

    make it illegal? WTF, you kill other animals to eat too and why the fuck would you boil a human baby

  38. Jojobeanhawkins said,

    January 22, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    In the culture that this is eaten it is normal.. Maybe the first time they tried it was because they were starving literally and tried to eat the eggs they were going to hatch.. Just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t make it wrong. You people condemning this are Hippocrates I feel sorry for you. Here in America we pump everything full of steroids and grain then send it to the slaughter house.. How are we much better!!! These countries are not sick or abusing its just their way of life!!!

  39. Allaiyah said,

    February 1, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

    Where I come from, there are 2 food rules: 1)Do not eat or drink anything fermented. 2)Animals must grow to adulthood before being consumed. There’s also an old myth that pregnant women who consume eggs or baby animals will loose their child.

  40. ezra said,

    April 18, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    this is wrong on so many levels. I am not a vegan nor a vegetarian and not being so does not justify the way the animal is being killed in making this “dish” (?). Yes other animals are killed for consumption too but they are not boiled to death!! I just do not understand a mentality that can justify this cruelty and animal abuse.

  41. Sy said,

    June 17, 2013 @ 8:29 am

    actually, Balut is from the Philippines

  42. man said,

    July 3, 2013 @ 6:24 pm


    And fuck this “don’t judge different cultures” nonsense.

    Some things are just plain wrong and disgusting, no matter which culture they are from, and this one is an example.

  43. said,

    July 20, 2013 @ 9:32 am

    Thank you for any other magnificent article.
    Where else may anybody get that kind of information in such an ideal manner of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.

  44. Marietta said,

    March 29, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    Boiling baby duckling alive is horryfic! It’s heart is beating and it is fully developed. And then eating it
    so tiny, just to please your tonge is sooo wrong,

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