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Dihua Street Chou Dou Fu

The aroma of chou dofu, the infamous "stinky bean curd," has been compared to that of rotting cabbage and sweat-soaked gym socks. But despite its odiferousness, this deep-fried treat is delectable.
ADDRESS
Corner of Dihua Road and Nanjing West Rd, Taipei, Taiwan

The Overview

The aroma of chou dofu, the infamous "stinky bean curd," has been compared to that of rotting cabbage and sweat-soaked gym socks. But don't judge a snack by its stench; despite its odiferousness, this deep-fried treat is delectable. At the mouth of historic Dihua Street, a vendor fries fermented bean curd until it's crispy and amazingly grease-free and serves it in a pool of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar with shredded garlic and ginger, pao cai (pickled "cabbage and onion), sliced cucumbers, and fiery chili sauce on the side. Crunchy and chewy, spicy, sour and a little bit sweet, with the chili burn countering the bean curd's slight funkiness (more along the lines of mild Roquefort), it's a surprising and utterly successful muddle of flavors, textures and temperatures bordering on revelatory. But one word of caution: linger too long and you'll walk away smelling like your meal.

 

Published on Jul 23, 2010

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