What better way to inaugurate my No Fear Foodie-Eating On The Edge blog, then with STINKY TOFU. Thank you Andrew Zimmern's, as I now want to tackle the one item that made him queasy. Tracked down Stinky Tofu in the Brooklyn, Chinatown 5806 8th Avenue. LINDA'S MINI KITCHEN operates and sells these delicacies off a cart. Already I'm suspicious as I am with most items sold from carts, but there's no turning back.
Initially I couldn't smell anything "offensive," but when I leaned in close thats when it hit me. THE TOFU SMELLS LIKE GARBAGE...LITERALLY. Its not unbearable, just unpleasant like spoiled milk sitting on the countertop. You really need to get in close to smell it.
The Stinky Tofu tasted like "freshly" made fried tofu. A light crispy texture, drizzled with a mediocre spicy sauce and a soft silky inner core. Despite the smell, I wouldn't be able to discern the taste at all from several varieties of non-stinky tofu. If I didn't know what I was eating, I would've gagged a bit and assumed it had spoiled and tossed it out.
Take a big bite and don't nibble. Its not that bad, its just the initial smell that seems to hold you back. Although it linger in your mouth, lips, hands and hair, the taste was no different from fried tofu you can find in most Chinatown or Asian restaurants. Is it Authentic? Not sure as I've read mixed reviews, but its the most authentic I could find.
I eventually brushed my teeth, washed my hands and face to get rid of that stinky smell. One piece of advice, don't drink anything carbonated as I burped up the Stinky Tofu a couple times throughout the night.