To those who have tried the Chinese food “Stinky Tofu”, you know it is a dish quite aptly named. I’ve asked around before, and got two different explanations on why it stinks.
From my Taiwanese friend: Stinky Tofu stinks because it is fermented. You can just buy it at the store and deep fry it and make Stinky Tofu.
From my Hong Kongese friend: No, that’s not it at all. Stinky Tofu stinks because it is deep fried in animal fat. The Stinky Tofu vendors at the beginning of the day have a big wok full of oil. They then heat it up and put various animal fats in it, which turn into oil themselves. Animal fats stink when turned into oil like that, so when the tofu is deep-fried, it stinks as well.
So… anyone know for sure?