Fermented tofu is affectionately known as smelly tofu or stinky tofu in Asia. It’s definitely an acquired taste and not for the faint hearted. Think of smelly tofu as Chinese version of blue cheese. You can smell it a mile away though! Smelly tofu was on my must-eat list in Hong Kong and I actually found it quite difficult to find a place that sold it. UPL asked the locals where we could find smelly tofu. After many tries, we finally found out that we could find it in Tsim Sha Tsui. And, how aptly, along Soy Street!
I was very excited at Soy Street as it had all the roadside snack stalls and it held the promise that my smelly tofu stall was around the corner. We walked through the whole street with no sign of it. Asking around and following sketchy directions, my nose finally led me to my treasure.
At this point UPL and Jie (my older sister) crossed the road to escape the smell, and left me on my own to savour the aroma and taste of my smelly tofu. I was in my own land of smelly tofu and was really ecstatic as it had been years since I last ate it.
I’ll be honest and say that blue cheese smells a lot better than smelly tofu. In fact smelly tofu really lives up to its name- it stinks! But, get it deep fried, put some chilli sauce on it and wow, that little stink bomb has a great texture.The tofu was soft, multi-layered on the inside and crispy on the outside. The chilli sauce was not spicy and the slight sweetness and saltiness of the sauce enhanced the flavour of the smelly tofu, in the same way that fruit pastes add to the flavour of cheese when eaten together.
Before I re-joined UPL and Jie, I just had to have another one! If you are in Hong Kong, I hope that you’ll try this, it really is not for everyone, but it will be an experience you will definitely remember! But please do put some of the 3 choice of sauces on it, as smelly tofu alone might put off even the bravest of us.
So tell me, what is something that you love to eat that others might find distasteful?
Snack Stall with Smelly Tofu
Corner of Sai Yeung Choi St South and Dundas St, Mong Kok