Tag Archives: Stinky Tofu

Stinky Tofu in Seattle: Why You Should Try This Strange Snack

1 Sep

Learn more about stinky tofu, a smelly yet beloved staple of Taiwanese cuisine.

Stinky tofu, also known as chou dofu, is fermented tofu. As its name suggests, stinky tofu, well, stinks. Some say it smells like dirty socks, while others say its stench is akin to that of rotting cheese, dirty garbage, or manure. Despite its strong and foul odor, stinky tofu is a popular snack in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, where it is typically sold at night markets or roadside stands. Stinky tofu is also served as a side dish at lunch bars. If you want to try stinky tofu in Seattle, it’s best to eat it a restaurant, unless you don’t mind stinking up your house and feeling the wrath of your neighbors.

Stinky Tofu

Stinky Tofu

Stinky tofu is popular among tourists and locals alike in Taiwan. There are often long lines of people waiting at stinky tofu stalls. All you have to do to find stinky tofu when visiting Taiwan is follow your nose. Although stinky tofu smells bad, it has a delicious taste. Stinky tofu fans claim that the more stinky the tofu, the tastier it is. Many stinky tofu vendors build their reputation by offering the smelliest tofu on the block. The taste of stinky tofu is a lot less pungent than its smell. Biting into stinky tofu is a lot like biting into soft cheese.

Stinky tofu can be steamed, barbecued, deep-fried, or stewed with spices. The most popular way to eat stinky tofu is deep fried with pickled cabbage and chili sauce. The vendor makes a hole at the top of each cube of stinky tofu with chopsticks or tongs in order to let the toppings penetrate. Deep-fried stinky tofu is typically dripping with grease. It is crispy on the outside and soft and extremely hot on the inside. Deep-fried stinky tofu doesn’t have as strong of a smell as other varieties. Most tourists prefer to eat their stinky tofu with a generous squirt of sauce for flavor.

How Stinky Tofu Is Made

Stinky tofu is produced in a variety of ways. Traditionally, stinky tofu is prepared in brine made of vegetables, meat, and fermented milk in an earthenware jar. It can take up to several months for the brine to ferment. Sometimes, the brine may include cabbage, Chinese herbs, bamboo shoots, mustard greens, dried shrimp, or amaranth greens. Stinky tofu vendors tend to be very protective of their brine recipes. Stinky tofu is said to contain beneficial bacteria, similar to that of yogurt.

Today, modern factories use quick methods to mass-produce stinky tofu. They marinate fresh tofu in fermented brine for just one to two days so that it develops the signature stinky tofu odor without fermenting completely. This short fermentation process leads to a blander flavor.

Although some people are initially appalled at the smell of stinky tofu, they often find that they can’t get enough of it after tasting it. Stinky tofu is said to have its roots in the southeastern maritime areas of China. According to legend, a tofu vendor named Wang Zhi He invented stinky tofu during the Qing dynasty. He had a lot of unsold tofu, so he cut it into small cubes and put it in a jar for several days. The tofu fermented and turned a greenish color. He tried the smelly tofu and found that it tasted delicious, so he decided to start selling it at his store.

Try Stinky Tofu in Seattle at Henry’s Taiwan Kitchen

Henry’s Taiwan Kitchen is a leading Taiwanese restaurant with locations in Seattle, Washington and Tempe, Arizona. Get your stinky tofu fix and sample other authentic Taiwanese dishes at Henry’s Taiwan Kitchen!

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The Snacks Of Taiwan

28 Dec

The culinary culture of the Chinese people goes back a very long time; and while Chinese food can be enjoyed in every large city in the world today, true gourmets know that only in Taiwan is it possible to enjoy fine authentic cuisine from all the different regions of China.

In Taiwan, where it seems the people live to eat, it is said that there is a snack shop every three steps and a restaurant every five. These establishments serve all kinds of Chinese food, from the roast duck, smoked chicken, lamb hotpot, fish in wine sauce, beef with green peppers, and scallop and turnip balls of the north to the camphor-tea duck, salty fried chicken with spices, honey ham, stir-fried shrimp, dry-fried eggplant, and spicy bean curd of the south. As the island’s economy has developed rapidly in recent years, its culinary culture has expanded beyond the traditional Chinese foods to Chinese-style fast-food chains, thus bringing greater complexity than ever before to the art of Chinese dining.

Snack Of Taiwan

Pearl Milk Tea:
Also known as “boba milk tea,” pearl milk tea originates from Taichung and is made from a mixture of black tea, milk, and sago pearls. The combination of fragrant tea and chewy sago has made this beverage popular not only in Taiwan but in other countries as well. At many Chinatowns across the world, you can find this refreshing beverage.

Pearl Milk Tea

Shrimp Pork Soup:
With seas on all side, Taiwan enjoys a bounty of seafood that is served up in a wide variety of snack foods that have become ingrained in the culinary tradition of the island. Shrimp pork soup is one of these dishes that has become a night market mainstay. This dish is made mostly of shrimp potage flavored with stewed pork and a thickening dash of potato starch to add flavor and chewiness. Add a splash of black vinegar to complement the sweetness of the soup and make this tasty dish even more delicious. Shrimp Pork Soup

Oyster Omelet:
Sea-fresh oysters are an important ingredient in this popular snack, available at just about every night market in Taiwan. The oysters are coated in potato starch and tapioca. Eggs and leafy vegetables are added to the mixture, which is skillet fried over a high flame. A sweet and sour sauce further adds to the addictively delicious taste.Oyster Omelet
 
Meat Rice Tamales:
These tamales are made of glutinous rice, mushrooms, peanuts, egg yolks and pork all wrapped up in bamboo leaves, which impart their subtle flavor. Originally eaten only during the Dragon Boat Festival, this dish has become a year-round attraction at night markets throughout Taiwan. Meat Rice Tamales
 
Stinky Tofu:
With stinky tofu, the greater the smell, the tastier the results. And while many people are put off by the smell, those who take the plunge are usually won over by this distinctively yummy treat. Stinky tofu is made of large squares of fermented tofu fried in oil and then cut into four smaller pieces and served with a garnish of pickled cabbage. The combination of the crispy outside and soft inside is part of this dish’s charm. Stinky Tofu

Coffin Sandwich:
This Tainan specialty often turns heads for its very unusual name. The sandwich is a thick slice of bread with a hollow center filled with a mixture of chicken meat and liver, shrimp, carrots, potatoes, and milk. The filling is then covered with another piece of bread and cut into four pieces. Best when eaten hot.Veggie and Meat WrapCoffin Sandwich

Veggie and Meat Wrap:
These wraps are packed with goodies, including boiled cabbage, bean sprouts, sliced fried egg, barbecued pork, peanut powder and powdered sugar, all wrapped up in a thin spring roll skin and served warm. This delicious treat is one of the most popular snacks at night markets throughout Taiwan.Veggie and Meat Wrap

Oyster Vermicelli :
No night market worth the name is without this unassuming little treat. The quality of this dish is judged by the freshness of the oysters and chewiness of noodles. The dish is made with a type of red vermicelli that does not crumble easily. The noodles are served in a soup stock with fresh oysters and soy stewed large intestines and flavored with black vinegar, a special sauce, and a garnish of cilantro.Oyster Vermicelli