Balut! Penoy! Balut! The ‘balut’ vendor heralds the dawn. Mind you, it’s not only in the Philippines that boiled duck embryo is found and savored; the Vietnamese also favors the balut.
With nouvelle cuisine on the march, the balut has found another expression; Adobong Balut! There is also the Pastel de Balut; that is another recipe. Flipping through the TV channels, I happened to have glanced at FEAR FACTOR and the aphrodisiac balut being given as a test. Fear my foot! These Westerners don’t know an early evening delight – the balut. As the vendor plies his daily route, calling out his basket of duck embryos and aborted embryos (the penoy), people slowly stream out of their homes, hailing the vendor for his hot duck eggs, to have a ‘before dinner’ snack. The balut is also known to give back strength to ailing people and has the reputation to give men virility. (old wives tale?)
- 12 boiled balut eggs – crack the egg all over and slowly peel and set aside; save the liquid from the balut by pouring into soy/vinegar mixture
- 100 grams button mushrooms – quartered
- 1 red capsicum – sliced into 1-inch squares
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf – cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1 tablespoons crush garlic
In a medium sized, non-stick frying pan, over low heat, pour in the cooking oil and saute garlic and mushroom together till the garlic has turned a light golden tan.
Add the capsicum and continue to saute for another minute.
Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, water, salt, bay leaf, oregano leaves, and black pepper.
Simmer for 2 minutes.
Add in the duck eggs (balut) and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool; place overnight in refrigerator to let the vinegar mellow.
When ready to serve, reheat over low fire till it begins to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.