Smelly Tofu!

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

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  • Michelle Chin

    Durians. Natto. Chicken testicles. Fish eye. Pig’s trotters. Pork nipples. Offals. Rabbits. Venison ( The lady who sold it to me asked me who is eating the venison and I said me. She gave me a strange look and she was the one selling it to me!)

  • honeyandsoy

    Oh my goodness, Michelle, that is one long list! I saw pig nipples on Heston’s Feasts, but you are the first person I know who actually eats it and enjoys it. Soy will join you with the fish eye… she also sucks out the brain, and makes it a point to do it very noisily to gross me out!


  • Michelle Chin

    Haha. It came with the pork belly and they did not remove it, I did not remove it. Ate it and found it to be very delicious. :)

  • celia

    Wow, I’ve never heard of this before! Thank you..I think.. ;-)

  • Anna Johnston

    I’ve never heard of ‘smelly tofu’; this HK adventure sounds so much fun….. smelly tofu you say… how does it get so smelly?

  • honeyandsoy

    Hi guys,

    totally agree that being in a different country is about immersing yourself in their culture and just try things 8).
    Smelly tofu is a variety of fermented tofu and gets its odour from the brine marinade and fermentation process.


  • InTolerant Chef

    Part of the fun being in other countries is enjoying their food culture. Sometimes it means being very brave, but the memories are well worth it!

  • mademoiselle délicieuse

    I actually find blue vein cheese much more pungent than ‘stinky tofu’, and definitely in flavour. ‘Stinky tofu’ seems to have a lot of aroma but doesn’t taste all that different from deep-fried tofu puffs!

  • Yuki

    u are so brave!
    i have to admire you =)
    i couldn’t even get close to that tofu stall in HK =(

  • honeyandsoy

    I totally agree, which is why the sauces that come with smelly tofu enhances the taste… I remember my 1st experience with King Island’s Roaring Forties’ blue vein cheese…whoa, what a strong taste and aroma.


  • honeyandsoy

    lol, thanks Yuki, the trick to eating smelly tofu is to ignore the smell and just eat it. It’s a bit like ripping off a band aid 8)


  • Lauren aka Ms Baklover

    Oh boy! I can’t even eat blue cheese. Friends brought over “some cheese” recently, but when I went to put it on a plate I realised it was just one wedge of blue. Not wanting to be rude, I ate some. Oh, horrible. I just can’t stand it! Weird because I eat other strange things like jellyfish, but I can’t do the stinky stuff.

  • honeyandsoy

    OMG, not many people can take smelly tofu, so if you can’t take blue cheese, you definately should stay away. I feel your pain though, sometimes some of the blue cheeses get to me.