When I lived in China, I use to find chòu dòufu, know also as stinky tofu, due to its strong odor, in a lot of restaurants, or sold as a street snack or in open markets.
This form of fermented tofu has a lot a wide regional and individual variations and preparation that start from light smelling up to the strong stinky one.
Stinky tofu can be eaten cold, steamed, stewed, or deep-fried.
Even if the smell for someone could resemble smelly feet, rotten garbage, or a stinky toilet, the flavor is very particular that can remember the aroma of gorgonzola or blue cheese. Outside Asia, stinky tofu can be found in the Chinese food market sold in small glass jars, containing mini-blocks of cubes.
Not all stinky tofu is suitable for vegetarians or vegans, according to the method of producing and preparing the brine for its fermentation, so it’s better to read the label.
Fermented bean curd, or preserved tofu, that is usually sold in Chinese food markets close to stinky tofu, is always made with soybeans, salt, rice wine, and sesame oil or vinegar so it is suitable for vegetarian and vegan.
Its smell is not like stinky tofu but its flavor is also something creamy and alike to blue cheese.
Preserved tofu, in China, is commonly used as a condiment or it is served with chili flakes on small metal plates to add flavor to barbecue dishes.
Since they are both mouthfeels similar to dairy products, due to the fermentation, we can quickly and easily make a tasty smooth paste to add to our recipes if we like to add a different aroma and texture to our dishes.
250g firm tofu
3 cubes of fermented tofu
1cube of stinky tofu
What you need to make Tofuzola:
I put in my mixing bowl all the ingredients and blend till they all mix together.
It takes a few minutes to get creamy tofuzola.
The taste is delicate, salty with mild sweetness and the smell is pungent.
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