What Does Stinky Tofu Taste Like?

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In this article, we’re answering all your questions about stinky tofu.We’ll tell you about the taste and texture as well as how it’s served so you can try your hand at cooking with stinky tofu at home.

Stinky tofu on a metal oil screen

Let the learning begin…

What Does Stinky Tofu Taste Like? 

Stinky tofu is a fermented tofu product soaked in a briny liquid.The fermentation process creates very strong aromas and flavors that some people feel are even a bit rotten, though paradoxically, the taste can be very enjoyable.

What stinky tofu tastes like varies with the type of brine it’s soaked in, but the flavor is complex.Some stinky tofu is actually mild (despite its smell) and a little sweet while some is tangy, deeply earthy and “cheesy.”

Stinky Tofu Texture 

The texture of stinky tofu is like the texture of a block of soft tofu from the grocery store.It’s slightly firm but quite tender, a little creamier than typical tofu.

A popular way of eating stinky tofu is by frying it first, which makes it crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

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Is Stinky Tofu Vegan? 

The thing about stinky tofu is that it’s not always vegan.This is because the brine it’s soaked in may contain milk, meat or seafood products, usually shrimp.

But vegan stinky tofu is available and served in some vegan restaurants.If you see it on a menu, be sure to ask first.

How Do You Cook Stinky Tofu? 

To fry stinky tofu, simply cube or slice it and add it to a pan with a little cooking oil.You can also dust it in flour or cornstarch first to get it extra crispy.

For the healthiest version of crispy stinky tofu, you can bake it in the oven with a drizzle of oil or even some cooking spray.This method will also make the tofu nice and chewy.

You can even use a tofu press to drain liquid and speed up the cooking process. We made this post to help you find the best one for your needs.

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Stinky Tofu Serving Tips 

Stinky tofu is lovely with the right dipping sauce.

This video shows you how to make deep-fried stinky tofu with a dipping sauce of rice wine, hoisin, green onions, chili paste, tahini and sugar.

Further Reading: What Does Sumac Spice Taste Like?


Tofu can absorb more flavor from the spices and herbs if you remove excess moisture first using a tofu press. If you don’t have one yet, take a look at our picks for the top 5 best tofu press options.

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