Stinky Tofu: A Taiwanese Speciality

Taiwan's stinky tofu
Taiwan’s stinky tofu at Shihlin Night Market in Taipei.

Stinky Tofu: The Stinker, The Better

Stinky tofu is a fermented tofu that has a very strong order. In fact, the stinker they can get it, the happier they are!  It is so stinky that you seldom find it in a restaurant. Stinky tofu is the king of the night market! It is sold as a snack in every Taiwanese Night Market. You will also find it in roadside markets and lunch bars serve it on the side. Taiwan loves, it’s stinky tofu.

Stinky tofu fermentation varies greatly from region to region. There are many variations in the way it is made. The traditional process for making stinky tofu is to prepare a brine of fermented milk, vegetables, and shrimp. The brine fermentation can take months. The finished tofu is excellent fried or boiled. It is often put in soups together with locally grown vegetables.

Modern Asian factories often only let the tofu ferment for a day or maybe two. This is fine for fried or cooking it in a dish. The short fermentation only adds to the odour. It does not let the tofu ferment complete. If you want the real thing, go to the markets and buy the tofu that is made in the home. Stinky tofu is a delicacy in Taiwan.

Stinky tofu is eaten cold, steamed, boiled, or fried. The most common way to eat it is fried with hot sauce. The color of Tofu can be everything from golden to black. One of the best is the Zhejiang-style. The zhejiang-style is golden in color. The Human-style is black and is one of the best.

So what does it smell like? Some say it smells like rotten garbage! Others compare stinky tofu  to blue cheese. Others come a long and say it is similar to rotten meat. What ever it smells like, stinky tofu is here to stay. It is a Taiwanese favorite!  Try some, on your next trip to Taiwan.

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