Hello from Taiwan, again! I have officially finished part 1 of my work in Taiwan, bid goodbye to my love as he returns to Singapore tonight and now, I am embarking on a exciting food journey with iSee Taiwan Foundation soon! Since I have some free time now while waiting for the team to arrive, I shall do a little sharing with a worth-mentioning stall I ate on my first day here.
So on the first few days, I was staying in Le Meriden Hotel, which was very near to Taipei 101 building. We arrived in the afternoon and were really hungry. So we looked through the guide book and after 15 minutes walk, we arrived at Peng Ji Smelly Tofu stall along Yong Ji Road（永吉路).
This stall is just like typical roadside stall, so you may even miss it when you walk pass. But they really take pride in frying their smelly tofu. You know, some smelly tofu stall fry their tofu beforehand and when customers place order, the stall owners will just refry it. The smell of the tofu is already something that needs courage to be eaten, if the texture of the tofu is not right, then you definitely won’t enjoy the smelly tofu at all.
However, there are many smelly tofu stalls who does it beautifully well. Some of them braise it and for Peng Ji’s case, they fry it well. The owners doesn’t pre-fry everything and left it there. Instead, they will only fry their smelly tofu upon pre-ordering. And what makes them unique is, they are very particular about the temperature and time of frying.
They will first place the tofu in a 150 degree celsius fryer and deep fry it until the moisture of the tofu comes out. This is important because if you fry it too long, the tofu may become dry and old. Then, they put it into a 200 degree celsius fryer to fry the tofu, to create the crispy outer layer. When I asked the owner if he has sets a particular frying time, he said:”The frying time differs because every piece of tofu is different.”
Indeed, very professional answer. Or perhaps that is his secret. Either way, his smelly tofu is really crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside. When he is done with the frying, he will create a hole in the middle where he will then pour his special garlic soy sauce, and topped with homemade pickled cabbage at the side. You will smell the stench before eating, but after plucking the courage to take the first bite, you realize the smell doesn’t linger in your mouth nor clothes at all.
In Singapore, you find that majority of the eateries sell a menu full of many dishes, which leaves you very confused on what to order. But in Taiwan, things are different. Most of the eateries only has a few dishes, and they are very good. If they aren’t good, they would have probably closed down within a few months.
So besides smelly tofu, Peng Ji also sells oyster mee sua. Their mee sua soup is cooked with fresh oysters from Dong Shi. Personally, I feel it isn’t that fantastic, but if you pair it with the smelly tofu, it makes a perfect meal.
Their smelly tofu is 45NT. Their oysters mee sua is 40NT (small) and 55NT (big).
Operating Hours: 11.30am – 9 pm, closed on Sunday
Directions: 市政府站4号出口，walk towards 永吉路 for 5 mins.