The strangest food in Hanoi – Balut or ” trứng vịt lộn”

Vit lon

“Trứng Vịt Lộn” ranked among the strangest food by travel and leisure magazine. Foreigners might get shocked when they first see these fertilized duck eggs with nearly developed embryo inside but to us Vietnamese (or at least for me), this is a part of childhood and a good choice for a quick breakfast. It is boiled and eaten with salt and some special spices/vegetables. A stall never sells “trứng vịt lộn” alone but along with porridge and other  menu for breakfast.

A balut (or Hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese) is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. They are considered delicacies of Asia and especially the Philippines, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, baluts are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available. They are often served accompanied with consumption of beer.

Balut are most often eaten with a pinch of salt, though some balut-eaters prefer chili and vinegar to complement their egg. The eggs are savored for their balance of textures and flavors; the broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled and the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten. All of the contents of the egg are consumed.