Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Balut... Fear Factor Challenge or Good Eats!
Too many times Asians are often criticized by Western palates as eating... indelicate things. Well, in this case, it's just an egg right? The word "balut" comes from the Philippines where it is often sold by street vendors. However, they are very common in many other southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam. Called Hot Vit Lon in Vietnamese, this dish is commonly served with beer. The salt and pepper that you eat with it makes this a deliciously high protein snack as well as giving you a snack that has the salt hit that your palate craves while mildly intoxicated. Okay, not just mildly. But another reason this snack is so commonly sold as street food is because it's so easy to make.
Did you ever watch that Fear Factor challenge? There was a challenge of eating a balut egg. I can't find the episode but I remember an Asian dude owning it up. Why? Because balut is actually freaking delicious. It's like eating a duck soup... out of an egg shell. The liquid inside is huge in flavor and if you can get past the fact that you're eating a duck (you would eat it cooked after it has hatched and would eat a regular egg scrambled and such... what's wrong with this?)
Oh well. At about $1.25/egg, these are great foods to pick up when you know you're going to be drinking with some buddies.
Recipe is as followed:
-Rau ram (Vietnamese coriander)
All you do is drop the egg into a pot of boiling water, much like as if you were hard boiling an egg. I guess you technically are hard boiling it.
Leave it under a slow boil (higher than a simmer, but you don't want a rolling boil) for 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and scoop out the eggs. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes as it will be hot. Plus the carryover heat will cook the eggs to a perfect temperature.
Serve by cracking the egg on the thicker side. You can eat right out of the egg or pour contents into a bowl.
Create a salt&pepper mixture and spoon it over the eggy goodness. Serve with Vietnamese coriander to bite into the richness.
And yes. That does look gross. But it's so good. SO good. Try it, if you dare.