Foodie Flashcards: Stinky Tofu

Hungry to improve your Chinese vocabulary, but don’t know where to dig in? Welcome to our weekly Foodie Flashcard series. Follow along, study these morsels of knowledge, then dig in at your local restaurant to fully digest the information.

How to say ‘stinky tofu’ in Chinese

Stinky Tofu, China, Chinese food

What is it?

Legend has it that stinky tofu was invented by a young Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) scholar, who wanted to open a tofu shop in the summer, but worried the heat would spoil the tofu. So he preserved it in a jar with salt water, but he unfortunately forgot to take out the tofu of one of the jars until winter, whereupon it had become moldy. A frugal man, the scholar tasted it instead of tossing it, and concluded that it was scrumptious.

Today, Stinky tofu’s pungency comes from fermentation/ brining, which consists of inoculating it with mycelium spores that incubate for three days and grow into a smelly white mold. The tofu is then submerged in brine with other ingredients like dried seafood, fermented milk, vegetables, herbs or meat, and allowed to ripen for up to six months, much like cheese.

Where To Find Stinky Tofu In Shanghai:

钱记臭豆腐 Qian Ji Stinky Tofu

Taikang Lu #258, inside the Tianzifang complex (follow your nose!) 泰康路258号近瑞金二路. Metro Line 9 – Dapuqiao.

Where To Find Stinky Tofu In Beijing:

第一楼 Di Yi Lou 老爷爷臭豆腐 Lao Ye Ye Chou Dou Fu

Huajiadi West Section 1 #116 (By China Construction Bank) Subway: Line 14 Eastern Section – Fu Tong (1000m southwest of exit A1).  花家地西里一区116号楼楼下(近建设银行门口).
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