Night It Up 2013

The infamous Markham “Night It Up!” festival with long stinky tofu lines is THIS WEEKEND (July 12 to 14, 2013)!!! I wish stinky tofu was available everywhere :P



Taiwan Street Food – Stinky Tofu

If I haven’t said it yet, I will say it again – I feel like never eating again! This trip to Asia has been brutal on my body! I had soo much food!! All so very delicious – well I suppose save some – like this bowl of street noodles I had, wasn’t sure what the hype was all about.

I was in Hong Kong for a while (post to come soon…I hope. There is a lot in HK!) and then I went to Taiwan for a few days. Everyone always talks about Taiwan and how the food is awesome there – so how could I not?

It all starts with the island of Taiwan aka Formosa (learned that in TW)…it looks like a potato!

But seriously. It had some good street food and FRUITS!

Let’s start with my main food item I wanted to eat – STINKY TOFU!!! Here’s the wiki link for all those who don’t know what it is.

In Toronto stinky tofu is hard to find. It’s not served everywhere and the only time when it’s somewhat more accessible is once a year when there is a Taiwanese Night Market up in Markham. That’s where I had my first taste of stinky tofu. The name pretty much sums it up, it’s stinky and it’s tofu – but sooo good! I’d describe it like Durian – it’s acquired and you either love it or hate it, no inbetween.

One of our stops in Taiwan was to this really touristy place called 九份 (Jioufen). It’s located in the mountains, the air is fresh and it’s always raining! I heard it rains about 200+ days in a year…that must suck! Anyway, it’s very quiet and nice town otherwise…also really cold since I went there in the winter and it’s up in the mountains.

They have a little market there, where the streets are narrow and crowded and lined with shops, food stalls and whatnot. It winds and turns, goes up and down. It’s covered with various awnings to shelter the masses from never ending rain.

The aroma of food is a bit overwhelming as you approach the street. Different smells and I could pick out the smell of stinky tofu!! WOOHOO!! I was super excited!

I had sampled some stinky tofu in Hong Kong. I met up with my cousin one day after work – she works in 灣仔 (Wan Chai) and she took me to try some! It was my first time having HK-styled stinky tofu because even in Toronto, I always have Taiwanese-styled stinky tofu. The difference between HK and TW is in TW they serve it with sauce and pickled vegetables and in HK they just serve it straight up and you add some hoisin sauce and/or chilli sauce to it.

HK-Style Stinky Tofu

Alright, so the first stinky tofu food stall – bought stinky tofu for 30NT (which is $1 CAD – so cheap~!! at least $3-5 here!) OMG THE SMELL!! SO POTENT!! SO STOKED TO TRY IT!!!

This one was fried then grilled with sauce. I didn’t get it with chilli sauce because I can’t eat spicy foods :P But I did get it with the pickled vegetables – which are my FAV! Pickled cabbage and carrots!

Here you can see more clearly the sauce and the tofu – they were big!

This stuff was SOO STINKY = VERY DELICIOUS!!! The ones in Toronto and HK aren’t nearly as stinky as this was. This was absolutely fabulous! I ate this pretty quickly…Conan had some and said that it was too stinky for him and that he didn’t like it. He also doesn’t like Durian – so go figure. MORE FOR ME!

Once you bite into the tofu, it’s juicy, flavourful and the texture of the tofu was perfect. If you haven’t noticed, this stuff is the firm tofu – much better for eating like this than soft tofu (which should be reserved for desserts :P) After I finished this, I didn’t need any more stinky tofu – it was enough for the rest of my trip. That’s how stinky it was! And the best part, I didn’t even get sick!!!

(I was so afraid that I would after my Toronto Starbucks latte and HK milk tea incident – another story, NOT lactose intolerant because I have diary with no problems otherwise!)

Taiwan – the BEST STINKY TOFU~~!!!!!