This, my friends, is stinky tofu. This fermented tofu has one hell of a strong odor and one smelly taste. Wait, can a taste smell bad? Let us assure you, it most certainly can.
On our visit to Beijing we left the food ordering up to our veteran pal who we were staying with and who has lived in Beijing for the past four years. When this ‘delicacy’ showed up to our Peking table, we didn’t bat an eye. Afterall, our buddy hadn’t let us down before. That was our first mistake. The second mistake was sampling the stinky tofu, which made an unforgettable, repugnant impression. Imagine chewing on a pair of sweaty, dirty socks that had been laying in the hamper for two weeks. Get the picture?
We had the pleasure of sharing the meal of stinky tofu with fellow round the world traveling friends at www.FollowOurFootsteps.com. This scene of our pal Ashley sampling stinky tofu tells it all.
This snack can be found all over China but is particularly popular in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan, where it is usually found at night markets or roadside stands, or as a side dish in lunch bars. To make stinky tofu, you marinate fresh tofu for a couple of hours in a brine of vegetables and dried shrimp that has been fermenting for six months or more. Once it has been correctly fermented, it’s cut into bite-size squares. It’s then either steamed or most commonly deep-fried. A typical dish is deep-fried squares of tofu drizzled with black vinegar, chopped black beans and kimchi sprinkled over the top.
We’ve had our fill and won’t be going back for seconds.