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Stinky tofu, anyone?

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Last night, I went to the Toronto Night Market. I thought I would try some tasty eats that wouldn't break the bank.

Shortly after I entered the market, I could smell this horribly putrid smell wafting towards us with the breeze. None of us were sure what the smell was, but, as we made our way deeper into the market, the smell become more intense (and more putrid).
We finally saw a sign that marked the source of the smell:

stinky tofu.

That's right, the name says it all. Its a Taiwanese tofu dish that sits in a broth that's fermented for 6 months.

If you haven't experienced stinky tofu - eating it or casually smelling it - more information can be found here: http://www.ellenskitchen.com/faqs/sti...

People were lining up for it in droves. I tried a piece and, well, it was incredibly not to my liking (is that PC enough?). The tofu almost didn't stay down after I swallowed and, 24 hours later, i still get olfactory flashbacks of my experience.

Anyone else have positive or negative stinky tofu experiences? And I wasn't aware of any GTA restaurants that made and sold stinky tofu.

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  1. I ate 4 pieces of stinky tofu today from Wei's Taiwanese booth at the Night Market. My philosophy at such events is "join the longest lineup and enjoy". (Besides, Mother Bear's stinky didn't set up until 4 pm.)

    My two friends kept referring to stinky feet and wouldn't give it a try.

    I actually enjoyed it, though by the 4th piece, I was starting to get overwhelmed by flavour. Several hours later, we noticed the smell still surrounded us.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Food Tourist

      Four pieces! I don't know how big they were but I think in Hong Kong, each serving was like one or two pieces, the size of a lemon.

      Few years back, I was at the Market too and was hoping to wait through the lineup to get a helping of this delicacy. I remember that the crazy thing was that, as the night progressed, the line actually got longer and longer, as if everyone saw that (the lining up, not so much the act of eating the tofu) was the highlight fo their experience at the Market.

      Sadly I didn't get to try it because halfway through the lining up, my companion complained of "foot pains" and we had to leave.

      I have another hazy stinky tofu experience years back. Some restaurant in the GTA, I cannot remember which but probably a Taiwanese-style one, where I ordered a plate of ST. The pieces were quite small so the deep-frying made them quite hard and dry. I will agree with everyone else that while pleasant, they are nowhere as stinky and full of character as the stuff in Hong Kong.

      I completely agree with the "amazing" element mentioned by skyline, and share the same reminiscence of the good stuff from the old days...

      1. re: tarteaucitron

        We were at the Night Market around 3 to 4 pm on Saturday, before the rain started. The Wei's lineup took maybe 10 minutes. Parking was easy ($3 in the field).

        Each piece was about 3" x 2". Maybe three bites each?

    2. That stall is there every year. Agree with Food Tourist it is completely "join the longest lineup and enjoy".

      It is not stinky at all when compare to the one in HK, which is 10 times more stinky and 100 times more tasty. The good ones are less and less in HK nowaday because it is really too stinky, the amazing thing is when you actually eat it, you don't notice any stinky smell but only the crispy and smooth texture from the outside and inside of it.

      I miss the good old days...

      1 Reply
      1. re: skylineR33

        I have tried the ones at Mkt Village Night Market and the metrosquare. And some in TO restaurants. I agree - none I've tried so far compare to the ones in HK.
        Each time we go to HK to visit, we make sure we stop by the stall on 'Goldfish Street' in 'MongKok'. It is extra yummy with the right amount of chili sauce.

      2. Where is this available in Toronto? I'm guessing most places would be hesitant to make it due to the smell. The smell was noticeable from way down the street of the Night Market, and my clothes still smell of it. I did want sample it, but the lines were ridiculous. Anyone know of anywhere? Preferably in the city.

        2 Replies
        1. re: flibbertygibbet

          I don't know if they are still around, but several years back, the Taiwanese grocery store in Metro Square (inside the core building) sold slabs of them in vacumm packs in their fridge section. I actually got a pack and noticed that they were more stiff and dry than the typical HK-style ones, more like the consistency of dried tofu curds, though.

          1. re: tarteaucitron

            http://www.cn411.ca/views01.aspx?Link...

            they sell it. i forget if this was the operator of the big stinky tofu booth that had people lined up.

        2. Had it when I was on vacation in San Francisco,it does not taste as bad as it smells.....what i liked was the crispy fried texture of the tofu,but not too crazy about the taste.....