Dare Complete: Eating a Fertilized Duck Egg (Balut) in Vietnam

Vietnam; Anthony Bourdain calls it the place where everything is used – and nothing wasted in terms of food. That said, I thought it’d be fun to ask Twitter “what’s the craziest thing I could eat in Vietnam? Someone please dare me and I’ll film it.” I hadn’t done much research and didn’t know what to expect. @DohaMike replies and said I should eat Balut and included a Wikipedia link. A fertilized duck egg.

A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell.

Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors in the regions where they are available. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philippines. They are common, everyday food in some other countries in Southeast Asia, such as in Laos and Thailand (where it is called Khai Luk), Cambodia (Pong tea khon in Cambodian),[1] and Vietnam (Trứng vịt lộn or Hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer. Wikipedia Link

I was surprised how easy it was to find in the city of Hoi An. I didn’t have to ask anyone where it was sold. On a small table on the side of the road, there was a group of teenagers holding eggs enjoying their meals. I knew exactly what it was.

It really didn’t taste all that bad. It tasted much like a normal hard boiled egg but it was a bit more crunchy sometimes yet soft.

Have a dare for me? Comment below on what you think I should try next!

  • http://www.theshirtoffmybackpack.com Scott

    Uh, wow. There is no way I could do that, plain and simple. It was very entertaining though and I bet in a weird way you felt great afterwards for doing it, eh?

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      It was a adrenalin rush for sure.

  • http://www.theshirtoffmybackpack.com Scott

    Uh, wow. There is no way I could do that, plain and simple. It was very entertaining though and I bet in a weird way you felt great afterwards for doing it, eh?

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      It was a adrenalin rush for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/BAbackpacker Breakaway Backpacker

    I like crunchy stuff but ummmm I dont think I could ever do that. Man that is something I am going to have to learn to do. I am going to have to try so many different foods.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      I’ve been much more adventurous in my travels than I was before I traveled. Not sure why that is though.

  • http://twitter.com/BAbackpacker Breakaway Backpacker

    I like crunchy stuff but ummmm I dont think I could ever do that. Man that is something I am going to have to learn to do. I am going to have to try so many different foods.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      I’ve been much more adventurous in my travels than I was before I traveled. Not sure why that is though.

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com Steph

    No shout out for your expert videographer? I was trying really hard not to vomit.

    • Nostrabellafamilia

      I think I heard you vomit in the background, don’t deny it LOL. I give you as much credit good job STEPH

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com Steph

    No shout out for your expert videographer? I was trying really hard not to vomit.

    • Nostrabellafamilia

      I think I heard you vomit in the background, don’t deny it LOL. I give you as much credit good job STEPH

  • http://twitter.com/jerickp Jerick Parrone

    The tip I share with some of my friends is just don’t look at it – cause you’ll see the baby duckling’s head when you do. Glad you tried it!

  • http://twitter.com/jerickp Jerick Parrone

    The tip I share with some of my friends is just don’t look at it – cause you’ll see the baby duckling’s head when you do. Glad you tried it!

  • http://questforemotionalfreedom.wordpress.com/ Annemariedoumet

    Ewwwwww!!! did you hear it screaming before you ate it? I think it’s the mind which plays the tricks on this one, not the actual food/taste itself.

    By the way, I think I spotted you today on Tran Phu? not so sure because I was on my bicycle and passed by fairly quickly. Keep having fun :D

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      That may have been me! I was walking around that street earlier today for a little while. How long are you staying? I’ll be here for a few more days.

      • http://questforemotionalfreedom.wordpress.com/ Annemariedoumet

        I’m hear for 2 more days before heading on the 14th to Hanoi. I’m always on my bicycle around town.

        And thank you by the way for the access to facebook from your link on twitter!!!

        • http://questforemotionalfreedom.wordpress.com/ Annemariedoumet

          HERE not hear!!! :O lol.

  • http://questforemotionalfreedom.wordpress.com/ Annemariedoumet

    Ewwwwww!!! did you hear it screaming before you ate it? I think it’s the mind which plays the tricks on this one, not the actual food/taste itself.

    By the way, I think I spotted you today on Tran Phu? not so sure because I was on my bicycle and passed by fairly quickly. Keep having fun :D

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      That may have been me! I was walking around that street earlier today for a little while. How long are you staying? I’ll be here for a few more days.

      • http://questforemotionalfreedom.wordpress.com/ Annemariedoumet

        I’m hear for 2 more days before heading on the 14th to Hanoi. I’m always on my bicycle around town.

        And thank you by the way for the access to facebook from your link on twitter!!!

        • http://questforemotionalfreedom.wordpress.com/ Annemariedoumet

          HERE not hear!!! :O lol.

  • Flipnomad

    i dont like balut for some reason… although i tried eating it twice… its a delicacy here in the Philippines

  • Flipnomad

    i dont like balut for some reason… although i tried eating it twice… its a delicacy here in the Philippines

  • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

    Oh dear…balut. My Filipino friend told me about this years ago when I was still living in New York City and the thought of it terrifies me! My balut phobia was further cemented when this friend brought half a dozen of balut eggs over to a dinner party of mine (New York really does have everything). We all opened one up to take a look and were thoroughly disgusted. When I traveled in Vietnam, I saw balut in many local markets but always stayed away from them. I just don’t think I can eat one. Congratulations to you for completing this dare!

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      I’m sorry but that is hilarious. I’m picturing buying this back at home and tricking my friends into opening an egg.

  • http://twitter.com/conniehum Connie Hum

    Oh dear…balut. My Filipino friend told me about this years ago when I was still living in New York City and the thought of it terrifies me! My balut phobia was further cemented when this friend brought half a dozen of balut eggs over to a dinner party of mine (New York really does have everything). We all opened one up to take a look and were thoroughly disgusted. When I traveled in Vietnam, I saw balut in many local markets but always stayed away from them. I just don’t think I can eat one. Congratulations to you for completing this dare!

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      I’m sorry but that is hilarious. I’m picturing buying this back at home and tricking my friends into opening an egg.

  • Lisa @chickybus

    I give you a lot of credit for trying that. I never could have! I love how you really took your time with it…made the video even funnier! Reminded me of Fear Factor!

  • http://twitter.com/chickybus Lisa E

    I give you a lot of credit for trying that. I never could have! I love how you really took your time with it…made the video even funnier! Reminded me of Fear Factor!

  • http://blog.centralrestaurant.com/ Central Restaurant Products

    That is pretty gross, but it’s good to know what it tasted like. I haven’t seen much on the taste of a lot of these odd foods. Be sure to keep us (@CRPRestaurant)updated on what other strange food delights you experience.

    • Nostrabellafamilia

      I agree “that’s gross” unfortunately for me if it looks or smells bad, no way ever I can enjoy eating it.

  • http://blog.centralrestaurant.com/ Central Restaurant Products

    That is pretty gross, but it’s good to know what it tasted like. I haven’t seen much on the taste of a lot of these odd foods. Be sure to keep us (@CRPRestaurant)updated on what other strange food delights you experience.

    • Nostrabellafamilia

      I agree “that’s gross” unfortunately for me if it looks or smells bad, no way ever I can enjoy eating it.

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com Jeremy

    I did it in Hanoi. Tastes like chicken to me :)

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Chicken? Really? Interesting.

  • http://www.livingthedreamrtw.com Jeremy

    I did it in Hanoi. Tastes like chicken to me :)

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Chicken? Really? Interesting.

  • http://twitter.com/IndecisiveRease Rease Kirchner

    This makes me want to vomit. I don’t care what it tastes like, it’s a fetus! I commend your ability to rise up to a dare, though.

  • http://twitter.com/IndecisiveRease Rease Kirchner

    This makes me want to vomit. I don’t care what it tastes like, it’s a fetus! I commend your ability to rise up to a dare, though.

  • Kyle Morgan

    wow, that looks pretty intense. i’m not sure i could stomach that…

  • Kyle Morgan

    wow, that looks pretty intense. i’m not sure i could stomach that…

  • http://fastforwardacademy.com/index-page-irs-enrolled-agent-exam-course.htm enrolled agent course

    Tourists that travel in SE Asian countries like the Philippines can somewhat consider that eating a Balut is part of their welcome challenge. I love trying out local foods and test my limit.

  • http://fastforwardacademy.com/index-page-irs-enrolled-agent-exam-course.htm enrolled agent course

    Tourists that travel in SE Asian countries like the Philippines can somewhat consider that eating a Balut is part of their welcome challenge. I love trying out local foods and test my limit.

  • http://twitter.com/mummy_t Theodora Sutcliffe

    I thought I’d try these in the Philippines — which I did. But then we got them served as an appetiser — a quail egg version — outside Dam Sen waterpark in HCMC. I quite like the sort of livery, gamy flavour you get from the matured egg, particularly when you cut it with salt, citrus and rau rom. In the Philippines, it’s very much a guy thing, the older the egg the better: think it’s more universal in Vietnam. A dare? Have you ridden a motorbike in HCMC traffic yet?

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Thanks for the comment.
      I’d try it again with a more matured egg. There were spices I could put on but since it was my first time, I didn’t want to try experimenting with a bunch of different things.
      I’ve motorbiked many of the cities in Vietnam. I have a harder time on the back-roads or highways when the drivers really speed than I do in the major cities when at least everyone is going slow.

  • http://twitter.com/mummy_t Theodora Sutcliffe

    I thought I’d try these in the Philippines — which I did. But then we got them served as an appetiser — a quail egg version — outside Dam Sen waterpark in HCMC. I quite like the sort of livery, gamy flavour you get from the matured egg, particularly when you cut it with salt, citrus and rau rom. In the Philippines, it’s very much a guy thing, the older the egg the better: think it’s more universal in Vietnam. A dare? Have you ridden a motorbike in HCMC traffic yet?

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      Thanks for the comment.
      I’d try it again with a more matured egg. There were spices I could put on but since it was my first time, I didn’t want to try experimenting with a bunch of different things.
      I’ve motorbiked many of the cities in Vietnam. I have a harder time on the back-roads or highways when the drivers really speed than I do in the major cities when at least everyone is going slow.

  • http://www.bohemiantraveler.com Stephen

    Well done. Recently I ate silkworm larvae in Korea, but they are not even in the same league as a fertilized duck egg.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      That’s still intense. Kudos to you as well. I’ll have to check this out when I make it to Korea.

  • http://www.bohemiantraveler.com Stephen

    Well done. Recently I ate silkworm larvae in Korea, but they are not even in the same league as a fertilized duck egg.

    • http://artofadventuring.com/ Michael

      That’s still intense. Kudos to you as well. I’ll have to check this out when I make it to Korea.

  • Nostrabellafamilia

    I highly suggest you place a warning message before watching the video something like ” warning, do not eat before or during the watching of this video, you may vomit yourself!” that was so nasty I felt so bad for you, I almost wanted to look away when you took that bite! But at the same time I laughed watching you made all those funny faces. You guys are a true traveler Michael and Stephanie.

  • Nostrabellafamilia

    I highly suggest you place a warning message before watching the video something like ” warning, do not eat before or during the watching of this video, you may vomit yourself!” that was so nasty I felt so bad for you, I almost wanted to look away when you took that bite! But at the same time I laughed watching you made all those funny faces. You guys are a true traveler Michael and Stephanie.

  • FreelanceBackpacker

    Yo Michael -I tried both scrambled and egg form balut in Manila. Let me tell you that scrambled balut was A LOT more disgusting than out of an egg.

    I almost threw up in this up market restaurant in Makati City.
    >> http://www.freelancebackpacker.com/eating-duck-embryo-in-manila

  • FreelanceBackpacker

    Yo Michael -I tried both scrambled and egg form balut in Manila. Let me tell you that scrambled balut was A LOT more disgusting than out of an egg.

    I almost threw up in this up market restaurant in Makati City.
    >> http://www.freelancebackpacker.com/eating-duck-embryo-in-manila