How to Make Stinky Tofu: Traditional Taiwanese Method

Ever wondered how to make stinky tofu, a famous Taiwanese dish known for its strong smell? Let’s explore the traditional way of preparing this unique snack. This SIANG JI ASIA SAUCE How to Make Stinky Tofu journey will excite your taste and challenge your smell!

Key Takeaways

  • Discover the How to Make Stinky Tofu secrets behind the traditional Taiwanese method for making stinky tofu
  • Learn how to create the perfect fermentation brine to transform plain tofu into a flavorful masterpiece
  • Explore the unique origins of How to Make Stinky Tofu and enduring popularity of stinky tofu in Taiwanese cuisine
  • Uncover the best ways to serve and enjoy this pungent street food delicacy
  • Gain insights into the traditional How to Make Stinky Tofu accompaniments and dipping sauces that complement stinky tofu

How to Make Stinky Tofu – Introduction to Stinky Tofu: Taiwan’s Pungent Street Food Delicacy

Stinky tofu is a famous street food from Taiwan. Locals and visitors love its strong smell and taste. It’s made by a special method that is a closely kept secret.

What is Stinky Tofu?

Stinky tofu is fermented tofu. It sits in a mix of water, salt, and seasonings for up to six months. This makes the tofu change from plain to very smelly but delicious.

The Origins and Popularity of Stinky Tofu in Taiwanese Cuisine

Taiwan’s stinky tofu has a long history tied to its lively street food scene. Shops selling this distinct dish are everywhere in Taiwan, especially at night. The smell invites people to try this famous food.

stinky tofu

“The unique taste and texture of stinky tofu are the result of a lengthy fermentation process, which can take up to six months.”

How to Make Stinky Tofu – Preparing the Fermentation Brine

The key to making delicious how to make stinky tofu is the brine. It gives the tofu its strong smell and taste. This brine is mixed in big jars with vegetables and shrimp. This makes the famous flavor of how to make stinky tofu.

Making the brine is a slow, careful process. It takes up to six months to ferment. Good germs change the mix into a rich liquid. The long wait is what makes how to make stinky tofu so special.

Next, the tofu sits in the brine for just 4-6 hours. This quick step is vital for rich flavors. After, the tofu is washed and chilled for the night. Then, it’s ready to cook and enjoy the next day.

how to make stinky tofu

The first step to how to make stinky tofu is the brine. This process, done the right way, gives you the real taste and smell. Stinky tofu becomes a favorite dish by using this traditional recipe.

How to Make Stinky Tofu: Traditional Taiwanese Method

Making stinky tofu is like an art in Taiwan. The traditional way is a time-honored process. It makes the dish so pungent and flavorful. If you want to make this famous street food at home, follow these steps.

Preparing the Tofu

After tofu soaks in the fermentation brine, it’s ready for frying. Rinse it well and dry with paper towels. This step makes sure the tofu gets crispy when fried. Then, cover the tofu in rice flour.

Frying the Stinky Tofu

Heat oil, like peanut or vegetable, in a deep pot or wok to 350°F (175°C). Drop the tofu cubes in the oil. Fry them until they’re golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. For an extra crispy texture, some chefs fry the tofu twice.

The cooking tofu will fill your kitchen with its strong smell. It’s important not to cook too much tofu at once. If you do, they might not cook evenly and become soggy.

Crisping the Exterior

Once your tofu is crispy and golden, use a slotted spoon to take them out. Let extra oil drain onto a paper towel. You can fry them again for even more crispiness, but this is optional.

Following the traditional Taiwanese method makes stinky tofu just right. It smells strong, has a crispy outside, and a soft inside. This balance is why it’s a favorite dish in Taiwan.

1. Prepare the TofuRinse the brined tofu and pat it dry, then lightly coat the cubes in rice flour.
2. Fry the TofuHeat oil to 350°F (175°C) and fry the tofu for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
3. Crisp the Exterior (Optional)For an even crispier texture, you can fry the tofu a second time.

“The secret to making truly delicious stinky tofu is in the fermentation process. It’s a labor of love, but the results are worth it.”

– Siang Ji Asia Sauce, Taiwanese Culinary Expert

Serving and Enjoying Stinky Tofu

After the how to make stinky tofu steps, it’s time to enjoy this dish. Usually, it’s hot and fresh, served by street vendors in Taiwan’s night markets or busy streets.

These vendors top the tofu with pickled veggies, chili sauce, garlic, and a bit of sesame oil or soy sauce. These extras help with the strong flavor of the how to make stinky tofu.

Traditional Accompaniments and Dipping Sauces

You might get a light soup with your stinky tofu. It refreshes your taste buds in between bites. This helps you fully appreciate the dish’s unique taste.

Traditional AccompanimentsDipping Sauces
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Chili sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Chili oil
  • Vinegar
  • Garlic paste
  • Cilantro (optional)

Exploring the how to make stinky tofu fully means trying the accompaniments and sauces. This way, you get the whole experience of this popular dish.

“The contrasting flavors and textures create a harmonious dining experience that allows you to fully enjoy the unique qualities of stinky tofu.”


Making stinky tofu the traditional Taiwanese way is quite a journey. It highlights the rich food heritage of the country. The dish’s process, from long fermenting to its unique texture and taste, stands out.

Even if the strong smell throws you off at first, the bold taste is worth a try. This comes from a special fermentation process. It turns simple tofu into a dish celebrated in Taiwan for its intense flavor. Exploring how to make stinky tofu shows you a lot about Taiwanese cuisine and its street food.

You can enjoy stinky tofu in a lively market or make it at home. Either way, this journey will stick with you. It introduces you to Taiwanese food culture in a special way


What is stinky tofu?

Stinky tofu, called chou doufu, is a famous Taiwanese street food. People say it smells like an “open sewer” and call it the “durian of China.” It takes up to six months to get its unique smell and taste during fermentation.

How is traditional Taiwanese stinky tofu prepared?

Traditional stinky tofu from Taiwan is deep-fried until crispy outside and soft inside. It’s then topped with something savory and served with pickled vegetables. The key is the long, up to six-month fermentation.

What is the fermentation process for stinky tofu?

In big, open jars, a brine is made with veggies, herbs, and maybe shrimp. This brine ferments up to six months, thanks to microorganisms. Tofu sits in this brine for 4-6 hours, absorbing the strong flavors. Then it’s rinsed and refrigerated before cooking.

How is stinky tofu typically served and enjoyed?

Fresh stinky tofu is served hot, often by street vendors in night markets. It’s topped with pickled veggies, chili sauce, garlic, and a bit of soy or sesame oil. These toppings soften the strong smell and taste of the tofu.

Why is stinky tofu considered a unique and iconic Taiwanese dish?

Stinky tofu stands out in Taiwan’s street food scene. It’s famous for its bold, unique flavor that comes from long fermentation. Despite its smell, it’s loved by many for being a flavorful part of Taiwanese food culture.