How about eating chicken heads in Manila

(and intestines).

My mate tries to do life without limits. This frightens me when he doesn’t think things through. It stresses me when he doesn’t listen. And it exhausts me when he doesn’t stop. But he is an explorer. He seeks experience and is driven by adventure. And I admire his swashbuckling attitude towards life, and in particular, food. Nothing phases him. He is a culinary sicko and eats everything from pig intestines to duck embryo to chicken heads off a stick.

Watch as Daniel bites into that thing and its eye pops. He also points out its pea brain and pulls a beak out of his mouth, which he understandably doesn’t want to swallow.

“No chicken parts are wasted in barbecuing — not even the head of the chicken, which in Filipino street food vernacular is called helmet. Unlike chicken feet, the chicken head has more fat deposits under the skin. You may break open the skull and suck out the brain and other entrails.” – Matador

weird-food-06He is a whole lot of fit eating a whole lot of fish on the streets of Manila.

“One of the first street eats you will be dared to try as soon as you step into Manila soil, balut looks like your typical hard-boiled egg on the outside. What lurks within is no ordinary egg yolk, but a three-week-old fertilized duck embryo. Welcome to the Philippines.

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There’s an art to eating the balut. Start by cracking a small hole on the hollow end of the egg and sucking the broth (which is amniotic fluid, if you must know) before peeling half the shell off. Bite off the yellow part to introduce your tongue to the texture of boiled yolk mixed with cartilage, and as you remove the rest of the shell, try not to focus on the wings, beak, and other parts of the duckling that you may see. Before you get squeamish, chomp on the rest of the balut quickly until you get to the tough white lump of egg white. It’s edible, but some people prefer to throw it out. Rock salt and vinegar are optional.

Beginners may try the tamer version: penoy. All your tongue will feel is a mass of white and yellow underdeveloped embryo, and none of the discernable baby duck parts.” – Matador

I tried chicken intestines… taste like chicken, texture like dry hokkien noodle.
Tongues and intestines
I simply can not eat that.
Chicken intestines! Get your fresh chicken intestines! Right here!
Chicken heads – helmets.



  1. I fond your blog inspiring and fun at the same time. I remember taking a fascinating trip to Krakow with DiscoverCracow company (also, Auschwitz, Wieliczka Salt Mine, etc.) where I was introduced to czernina soup – a soup on duck’s blood a rejected guy was to be served in Poland back in times. Sounds similar 🙂

  2. I really shouldn’t have read that post whilst eating my lunch! What I remember about the Philippines are the lovely mangoes and avocados! A whole different culinary approach and make a much better salad than embryos and entrails! But I admire your courage and enthusiasm to try new things!

What do you think?

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