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Get to Know Taiwan’s Stinky Tofu

Get to Know Taiwan’s Stinky Tofu
on April, 29 2013

There are so many great things about Taiwan. Other than the fact that it is slowly becoming a prime tourist destination in Southeast Asia, Taiwan is also expanding its borders and reaching to more and more people around the world through their educational system. Taiwan has also heavily invested on their military service and all Taiwanese citizens who are male are required to join for a minimum number of years to give back to their country.

But other than all of these wonderful things about Taiwan, this newfound tourist destination is also home to the tastiest yet most unique foods and flavors in Asia. Taiwan, along with other countries of Chinese descent, is one of the first to promote their popular street food, which they call stinky tofu.

Stinky yet flavorful

It is quite ironic though to think that if this street food is as stinky as the Taiwanese and tourists claim it to be, how come thousands of guests flock the streets of Taiwan where this is sold? In Ximending alone, one of the most popular shopping districts of Taiwan, this kind of treat is being sold at almost a hundred different food stalls. Some small restaurants in the country also serve it as part of their most popular food’s list.

The reality behind Taiwan’s stinky tofu or choudoufu is that this product smells a little odd because it is made of tofu slices that are fermented in a one of a kind fish and vegetable brine that are later on fried with small strips of bitter cheese. It is left with no other option but to stink. But once you bite into a slice of this stinking tofu, you will immediately forget about how it smells. The crispy layers of the tofu is reminiscent of the tofu served in other Asian countries but what makes Taiwan’s version stand out is its uniqueness.

Different Taiwanese flavors

To make this treat even tastier, the Taiwanese people make it a point to give a number of options for their sauces. Some like to dip their stick of tofu into a sweetened barbeque sauce while others prefer dipping it into something spicy. You can also put a little twist to its taste by adding a few drops of pepper on top of every slice.

This Taiwanese treat is definitely a crowd favorite. It is also best served along with noodles as one’s main dish. Just imagine enjoying this kind of meal when the weather is cold. What’s more, this treat is also very cheap. A stick at the local market or the food stalls on the streets of Taiwan should only cost you around 15 TWD.

Which is the best stinky tofu in Taiwan?

Since there are a lot of food stalls and restaurants in Taiwan that service stinky tofu, it is quite difficult to pinpoint which one exactly is the best for first-timers to try. The truth is that, most Taiwanese people recommend those that can be bought on the streets because other than the fact that they are much cheaper compared to those sold at restaurants, their flavors are more authentic as well.

Bear in mind that your vacation in Taiwan is not complete if you don’t taste their stinky tofu. Even if it smells a little off, it is definitely worth a try.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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