What is stinky tofu and why is it such a popular treat in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Mainland China?

Originated in ancient China, Stinky tofu (also known by its Chinese name, Chou Dofu), which is actually a form of fermented tofu that has a strong odor, is manufactured and prepared in a myriad of ways depending on the region where it is sold. The strong odor is formidable to say the very least and not for the faint of heart. Stinky tofu is a very popular snack in East and Southeast Asia where it is easily found with no place to hide at night markets or roadside stands.

Usually marinated in a brine made from fermented vegetables for as long as several months, the potent marinade can also include greens, bamboo shoots, herbs and dried shrimp. Once, stinky tofu was a military staple for soldiers patrolling China’s borders. Well, Is stinky tofu for you? I guess that all depends.

Stinky tofu

History of Stinky tofu (Chou Dofu)

It was said that in Kangxi Emperor of Stinky tofuQing Dynasty, a scholar named Wang Zhihe failed in the imperial examination, and he idled in the inn, intending to go back home. However, he had no money back, so he determined to stay in the city and tried the exam again. It was a long term from the next exam, so he had no choice but to earn his life in the city. Born in a poor family, as his father opened a tofu shop in his hometown, he had begun to learn how to make tofu when he was young. Therefore, he rented a house to make bean curd by grinding soybean, then hawked along the street. In one summer, some remaining tofu that had not been sold out was going bad. When he was worried about the lost, an idea occurred to him. He cut the bean curd into pieces, found a jar and preserved by salting it. To his surprise, when he opened it several days later, a strong smell came out. He tasted it boldly, it was actually good. Since then, stinky tofu had been widely spread.

Ingredients for Stinky tofu : Number of Servings: 2

235gm Stinky tofu (or regular stuff if you are smell sensitive
Canola oil (1 tbsp) (figured in the final product)
1 tbsp Hot sauce
1 tbsp BBQ sauce

Steps to cook Stinky tofu recipe:

1) Heat the oil; put 1″ chunks of tofu in and fry until golden (can also bake until golden at 400F).

2) Remove and blot to remove oil

3) Season with hot sauce and BBQ sauce as desired.

CAUTION: Tofu is about 50% fat, so if you are focused on fat calories, you might not like this.

NOTE:  Cooking Stinky tofu May smell up the whole house.

{August 28, 2010} {Tags: }