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Stinky Tofu Treats: Just Gotta Have Them

Stinky Tofu Treats in Taiwan
“Taiwan’s Famous Stinky Tofu” Love or hate it, just gotta have it!

Stinky Tofu Treats In Taiwan

Stinky tofu Treats, processed by soaking fresh tofu in a brine. How amazing they are!  This brine is made of  fermented milk, meat or vegetables juices. Many times, the recipes are kept under the hat, as  the best kept family secret.  The recipes vary greatly, though the trick is to learn a basic recipe and then play with it until you come up with your own personal recipe. Stinky Tofu Treats are a national obsession in Taiwan! You can buy them on the street coroner, at the night market, and everywhere in-between.  Stinky tofu is often known  as the blue cheese of the tofu world.   This amazing snack  can be  served barbecued, stewed, braised, steamed or even deep-fried.  What is there not to like about Stinky Tofu Treats?  Stinky Tofu, you just gotta have it!

Stinky tofu treats…..some find them malodorous, foul or evil-smelling, but all agree……You just gotta have it! Some consider it aromatic, fragrant, or perfumed. It is something to be sought after, like a craving seeking to be satisfied. Stinky Tofu is loved all over the Asian World, but feared by many tourists.  Stinky Tofu is like a well-loved and worn-out shoe……you just gotta have it!

Many people are put off or scared by the strong smell of stinky tofu. They become fearful, panicky, and intimidated. Only the brave take the plunge. These pilgrims will not soon forget its distinctive flavors. This national dish is most commonly prepared by deep-frying.  Fermented bean curd is placed  in hot oil and cooked until its surface becomes crisp, Once this delicious treat is crisp, it is  removed from the heat and cut into bite-sized quarters. Often, at the night market,  a stick is inserted to make eating easier.  When in small cafes, it is prepared crispy on the outside and tender on the inside . This National  dish is usually served with pickled cabbage. What a delightful start to any good meal!

Where on earth did this fabulous dish originate? One legend tells the story of a scholar who lived during the Quin Dynasty of the years between 1644 and 1911.  Wang Zhihe traveled from Anhui Province to the capital city to take the Imperial Scholars Examination.  He completely  failed his examination and choose to remain in the capital  to open a tofu shop. One day  he was left with a large amount of tofu that did not sell. It was then that he decided to preserve it. He cut it into squares and sprinkled salt on the out-side. Having it ready, he placed it in the sun to dry. A few days passed and  the tofu unexpectedly fermented and turned a greenish color. That was the birth of Stinky Tofu Treats!  It was  a wonder of aromatic tofu,  with a soft, creamy texture.  This new tofu was  presented as a special gift to the royal court of the Quin Dynasty. The Empress Cixi was so delighted by it, that she named it the “imperial green cube.”  And this was the humble beginnings of Stinky Tofu Treats.

Whenever you visit Taiwan, take time to browse the night markets and don’t forget to sample Stinky Tofu…..if you so dare. No trip to Taiwan is  complete without it. You just gotta have it!

This was published on traveler on March 13, 2017 at:

Also published on Crowdify on March 15, 2017 at:

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