Here's the Deal on the Grilled Balut You've Been Seeing on Social Media

And where to find it in Manila!

grilled balut trending
PHOTO BY Hans Arao, Screenshot/@laaainebernardo on TikTok

( Balut's long been notorious of a Filipino street food (so much so that some would deem it among the worst of our cuisine). But screw 'em. Those of us who can appreciate its charms are rewarded with the soul-soothing tastes and varied textures that lie within its off-white shell. In its most popular iteration, balut is served in as straightforward a manner as can be—think simply steamed, with spiced vinegar or a small bag of rock salt for sprinkling over—but a more recent development that's been all over social media showcases the fertilized duck egg in a feistier light. We're talking, of course, about grilled balut.

grilled balut tuguegarao
This grilled take on balut is local social media's new food darling. 
PHOTO BY Hans Arao

Also read: The Glossary of Street Food in Manila

Grilled balut turns up the heat on a popular Filipino street food:

The appeal of balut is multifold—there's the thrill of trying the delicacy in all its Fear Factor-esque glory (what with the head of the chick and all), but also the chicken-y taste with fermented undertones of the proto-poultry within. But grilled balut (also called inihaw na balut) brings the element of smokiness to the party. The top of the egg is cut off, exposing a portion of its contents to the heat of the charcoal grill over which it's then placed.

grilled balut sauce spooning
Chili sauce is spooned over the fertilized eggs before they're grilled.
PHOTO BY Screenshot/@laaainebernardo on TikTok
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From there, a chili sauce is then dolloped over—and after a brief period of being covered (which lets the insides continue to cook and the sauce to infuse the embryo!), it's done, dusted, and ready to serve. Most folks we've seen on TikTok would just eat it plain using its accompanying stick; with the chili sauce already in there, it's a self-sufficient snack that doesn't call for anything else for pumping up the flavors. But hey, it's a free country! We don't see why you couldn't have it as a viand of sorts with rice. 

Today you'll find a number of grilled balut vendors around the Philippines. But for us Manila folk, one in particular's become Internet-famous for the dish: MAX Grilled Balut in La Loma, Quezon City. Just keep a lookout for the stall with smoke coming out of a tent (and, likely, a line outside); they open 4 p.m. until supplies last. Fingers crossed more sellers pop up around the Metro soon!

@laaainebernardo INIHAW na Balut na Super TRENDING?-️1st ever in Metro Manila! SOLD 300pcs in just 3hrs‼️#balut #grilledbalut #streetfood #foodtrip #foodvlog #minivlog #foodtiktok #foodie #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #putokbatok ♬ original sound - Laine Bernardo

The La Loma Grilled Balut stall is at Tendido Street, Barangay San Jose, Quezon City.

Also read: Trending: This Mesmerizing Matcha Dessert Is a Must-Try When in Tokyo

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