I have always been curious about stinky tofu or what we term in Cantonese, Chou Taufu after hearing about this snack from the Hong Kong television serials I follow. Finally had the opportunity to try it for the first time at the Cheras pasar malam (Malay for night market). It's not hard to find this particular stall as all you need to do is follow the stink. People don't seem to mind the smell as there was a small queue waiting patiently while they fried up the tofu.
The tofu is cut into small square pieces and deep fried in hot oil. Once it's brown and crispy it's ladled out to be served. As they fry it batch by batch using a normal sized wok, there will always be a queue waiting for the tofu to be ready. The outside is extremely crispy while the inside is holey and spongy. It's strange as the tofu looks fine when it's cut up i.e. no holes but the brine which they soak it in has micro-organisms which causes fermentation. Tastewise it's nice because of it's crispy exterior and not as stinky as it smells. You eat it with lots of chilli sauce and cabbage pickles that they give you or else there's no taste. Pricewise, it's 4 cubes for RM2.40.
It's definitely an acquired taste and not for the faint hearted as the stink can be extremely overwhelming. The tofu is packed in these plastic containers which contain brine made from fermented vegetables and shrimp. The brine is said to take approximately six months to make to allow proper fermentation while the tofu is soaked in the brine for six hours. See how the tofu is even getting a bit of mould from soaking in the brine.
Incidentally if you intend to pack them home, beware as the smell follows you around until everyone knows you bought the stinky tofu. Hence it's appropriate that even the stall has the tagline, "aroma across thousand miles". Fluff Puff, the ever greedy kitten sniffed the tofu and also declared it off limits when I offered her a bit.
Chiew Chiew Chou Taufu
Cheras Taman Connaught Pasar Malam (Every Wednesday)
The stall can also be found at Kepong Baru's pasar malam (Sunday), Sri Petaling's pasar malam (Tuesday), OUG pasar malam (Thursday) and Taman Putra Cheras pasar malam (Friday).
*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from the restaurant for writing this review
Tagged with: Malaysian Food + Stinky Tofu