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Oct 7, 2006 08:42 PM

NEED stinky tofu. Not the squishy hotpot kind.

Having just returned from six months in Asia and having (finally) acquired a taste for the Taiwanese night market stalwart of chou doufu (stinky tofu), I am now on a mission to suss out the best representation of night market chou doufu to be found in the San Gabriel Valley.

My Lovely Tasting Assistant (LTA) is Taiwanese (of course... why else would any westerner try the stuff of their own volition? :) and so language barriers are not an issue.

She loves Boiling Point (the stinky tofu hotpot place in Hacienda Heights) but I really need the deep fried crispiness that the night market variation brings... it helps to temper the bouquet of the rotten vegetable and shrimp brine and also adds a really lovely crispy texture that is quintessental to enjoying the experience (and gets me past the smell.)

So... lay it on me. Previous stinky tofu posts on chowhound have led to now defunct operations. I am beginning to believe that we will just have to go to Rowland Heights and just keep sniffing around until we find a suitably dis/pleasing aroma.

Many thanks, fellow hounds

Mr Taster

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  1. My Taiwanese friends always prefer the non-fried version, but say it is too much (for even very, very adventerous) Westerners. So, they ply me with the fried version most often when in Taiwan. Can't say I like it much...either way.

    Never had a "good" version here in LA but, for what its worth this is from an old post by Porthos:

    "My family and I've been going to the Yung Ho on New for years now. It has gone downhill a little but it's still very good. Their strengths are the salty soy milk, the you tiao, and of course, the stinky tofu. The yuo tiao varies from mediocre/a little too greasy, to very good."

    1. i'm sure there's places in rowland heights with fried stinky tofu, but the place that comes to mind for me is sin ba la in arcadia.
      there used to be a taiwanese place called nice time deli in san gabriel (i think there was a branch in rowland also) but not sure if it is still around.

      1. The BEST stinky tofu I've had in LA was from a cart in the HK Supermarket Plaza in Rowland Heights. It was right at the entry of an alley, just a few storefronts north of the Bin Bin Konjac. From what I can tell, the cart is only there on the weekends. It's kind of elusive, sometimes it's not there when I get my tofu cravings so if someone knows where it hides normally that might be more helpful.

        18414 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA

        4 Replies
        1. re: Quik

          I agree this is the BEST stinky tofu and is the closest to what you might expect to get from Taiwan. It used to be a cart and was shut down for a while. It has since reopened. Here's the address: 18414 E. Colima Rd. Unit #S-2, Rowland Heights. They are no longer on a cart, but it's now prepared inside the restaurant. You can't miss the big fan blowing as they are frying the tofu. Just follow the aroma.

          1. re: mages

            Thank you so much for the update mages! I'm so happy that it is there permanently.

            1. re: Quik

              Yup, it's there alright...I had to smell it last Monday while I was eating my fish ball noodle from the stall two doors down. Someday I'll try it, but not yet...I haven't nurtured my tolerance of the stink.

              BTW, if you haven't done so, you must try the Hong Kong Fish Ball House...

              Here are photos and a short review I did a while back.

              1. re: elmomonster

                Oh yes, this guy is good. you know he's good when all he has in his closet-size restaurant is a wok w/ oil and a table full of cut up tofu. i love his pickled cabbage (pao4 tsai4).

        2. I seem to recall that the Ay Chung chain (I believe San Gabriel Square and Irvine locations are still open) has the fried version.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chandavkl

            i've had stinky tofu at the ay chung in san gabriel. it was good, but imo, it was less stinky than what i am used to (night markets in taiwan).

          2. There's a place in Walnut that sells homemade stinky tofu--raw. If you're interested in deep frying it yourself I'll ask SO where it is. It's been awhile since I've been, but it's the best I've had in LA.

            Welcome back, and happy to hear you've joined the lovers of stinky tofu club!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pei

              You know, my girlfriend's mom will be visiting us soon and it would be great to have a stinky tofu purveyor on my list so that she can cook some up for us.

              Thanks for this!

              Mr Taster