Stinky Tofu

Discover the unique taste of Stinky Tofu, a Chinese delicacy with a bold flavour and intriguing aroma. Learn its history and how to make it at home! 🌟 Embrace the bold flavours of #FermentedTofu! 🌟 Dive into the rich history and tantalizing taste of this Chinese delicacy. 🍲 #FoodieAdventures 🍴

I’ve been itching to recreate this infamous dish at home, but the thought of its pungent aroma wafting through the neighbourhood keeps me at bay. Stinky Tofu, a delicacy that divides opinion, holds a special place in my culinary journey. It all began near the apartment I stayed in during my stint in Hong Kong, where the scent of this fermented delight would linger, almost like a mischievous companion. Despite its overpowering aroma, the taste is a revelation, transcending its odorous reputation.

Stinky Tofu, a Chinese staple, is a result of intricate fermentation, yielding a bold flavour profile and a distinct scent. Unlike the predictable formulas of cheese fermentation, stinky tofu boasts regional and individual variations in its preparation, adding to its mystique. Traditionally, it undergoes a prolonged fermentation process in a brine teeming with vegetables and meats, a testament to patience and craftsmanship.

My first encounter with this culinary enigma left an indelible mark. Picture this: bustling streets of Hong Kong, with food stalls adorning every corner. It was amidst this vibrant backdrop that I stumbled upon a stall selling Stinky Tofu. Initially oblivious to its identity, I was baffled by the peculiar scent that seemed to follow me like a curious shadow. It wasn’t until I dared to take a bite that I realized its allure transcended its aroma. The taste, a symphony of savoury, slightly sour, and a hint of sweetness, left me craving for more.

Moving to New Zealand, I longed for another taste of this exotic delicacy. My search led me to “My Kitchen,” a food stall present in Auckland Night Markets that offered a surprising twist on tradition. Despite its unassuming exterior, the stall boasted Stinky Tofu sans the signature aroma. As I savoured each bite, memories of Hong Kong flooded back, albeit with a Kiwi twist.

Modern production techniques have streamlined the process, marinating fresh tofu in brine for a shorter duration, sacrificing the depth of fermentation for convenience. Despite this, the essence of stinky tofu remains intact, offering a myriad of culinary possibilities. From cold servings to steaming and deep-frying, each preparation method unlocks unique dimensions of taste and texture.

Legend has it that stinky tofu traces its origins back to Wang Zhihe, a resourceful scholar who transformed unsold tofu into a culinary masterpiece during the Qing dynasty. Over time, this once humble creation ascended to imperial tables, captivating palates across China and beyond. My recent encounter with stinky tofu, albeit sans its signature aroma, reignited my quest to recreate this delicacy at home.

Determined to replicate the flavours without the olfactory assault, I delved into the realm of stinky fermented bean curd, uncovering the secret to a milder yet equally tantalizing rendition. Stinky tofu may not boast universal appeal, but its nutritional benefits and unique flavour profile make it a worthy addition to any adventurous palate. So, dare to venture beyond the aroma and embrace the complex allure of stinky tofu.

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Stinky Tofu

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Discover the unique taste of Stinky Tofu, a Chinese delicacy with a bold flavour and intriguing aroma. Learn its history and how to make it at home!


Units Scale


  1. In a large sealable container or plastic food storage container with a fitted lid, combine the white vinegar, water, and stinky fermented bean curd. Mix until you have a consistent liquid.
  2. Place the tofu cubes into the liquid, ensuring they are fully submerged. Seal the container and refrigerate for at least 48 hours. The longer you store it, the stronger the flavour will develop.
  3. After marinating, remove the tofu chunks from the liquid and drain them thoroughly.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or deep fryer over medium-high heat.
  5. Carefully add the marinated tofu cubes to the hot oil and deep fry until they are golden brown and crispy.
  6. Once fried, remove the tofu from the oil using a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  7. Serve the stinky tofu hot, garnished with pickled cabbage or spring onions, and accompanied by your favourite sauce.


To accompany this dish, you have a variety of sauce options to elevate the flavours further. You can opt for classic choices like chili sauce or hoisin sauce, which pair wonderfully with the savory and aromatic elements of the dish. Alternatively, you can create a quick and flavourful garlic sauce by sautéing garlic in a bit of oil until fragrant, then adding fennel powder, oyster sauce, and half a cup of water. Allow the mixture to simmer until it reaches a boil.


3 Responses

  1. Didn’t know that you can make stinky tofu at home….they do look very good.

  2. I’m fascinated by this Raymund — but it might be one I’ll skip at home!

  3. Very very interesting!!! I love tofu, but never knew it could be stinky!

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