We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Stinky Tofu?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

As its name implies, stinky tofu is a type of tofu with a strong odor. The bean curd is prepared in several different ways, depending upon the region of Asia where it is prepared. The food is considered a popular treat in China, Indonesia, and Taiwan. In Mandarin, the dish is known as chou doufu.

Rotting garbage is the typical description attributed to the smell of stinky tofu, though people are known to come up with other colorful descriptions for the unpleasant odor. The food was once considered a staple for Asian soldiers. The tofu's flavor is typically much milder than its scent.

A popular way of preparing stinky tofu involves soaking the tofu in a brine of rotted vegetables and shrimp, providing it with its trademark scent. This starter bacteria, however, can also be made from fermented milk, various meats, and Chinese herbs. The fermented tofu is then usually deep fried or boiled and served with chili sauce.

Street vendors in Asia, such as those who operate roadside stands, often sell stinky tofu. Though its scent can be very off-putting, the flavor of the food is popular. In addition to being fried and boiled, the tofu may also be steamed or stewed. Like other types of tofu, it can also be eaten plain and cold, if desired.

Stinky tofu is traditionally soaked in brine for a number of days. The process can take several months, depending upon the recipe and flavor desired. In order to quicken the process, however, most street vendors only soak the tofu for just a day. Depending on its treatment, and the cooking methods used to prepare it, the tofu can be a wide variety of colors, from black to golden.

The production methods of stinky tofu make it potentially harmful if not prepared correctly. It is possible to acquire food poisoning from improperly handled fermented tofu. The bean curd should only be purchased from a trusted source. One reason that the food is a popular street item, however, is that its preparation in the home is considered an unwanted task, due to the impact of the smell indoors.

Cooked stinky tofu typically is accompanied by many other flavors. Like typical tofu, it can be treated with many different herbs and spices, such as garlic or soy sauce. It is also typically served alongside, or as a garnish, of many other typical Asian dishes, such as Sichuan mala soup, fish balls, or Congree rice soup. When eaten alone, sweet sauce or other garnishes may also be served with the tofu.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for DelightedCooking, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
Discussion Comments
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for DelightedCooking, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.