Stinky Tofu, otherwise known as Chou Doufu (臭豆腐), is a common snack found in many Chinese, Taiwanese, and even Hong Kong night markets and roadside stalls.
But have you heard of its lesser-known cousin, Hairy Tofu (Mao doufu)? This dish is a popular snack from Anhui Province, China.
Videos about Hairy Tofu goes viral on Tiktok.
What is Mao Doufu(Hairy Tofu)?
Hairy Tofu or Fuzzy Tofu is called Mao Dou Fu (毛豆腐）in Chinese.
This delicacy has a texture similar to blue cheese with a “noticeable resistance.” It tastes salty and cheesy.
The process behind making this dish is fascinating – it involves a beautiful fermentation method that results in long and thick hairs on the tofu’s surface.
People from all over the world come to China just for a chance to try this unique dish.
This incredible food is prepared with patience, skill, and a lot of passion – no high-tech gadgets are used!
Hairy Tofu vs Stinky Tofu
|Outer skin with white hairs
|Navy color, no white hair
|Fermented with rice vinegar
|Fermented with stinky brine marinated with amaranth
|Similar to ordinary tofu, no special smell
|Smells stinky, but tastes good
How Is Hairy Tofu Made?
Making hairy tofu is a labor of love and requires patience, much like making macarons.
You will need firm tofu and a box or vessel lined with straw.
“Dianxi Xiaoge” 滇西小哥 with almost 10 million followers on Youtube will show you how through this video below:
- Stack the fresh tofu in the box with plastic to cover them and then lets them ferment for several days.
- The fermentation process can take anywhere from three to six days, depending on the season, and requires temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees F.
- After fermentation, the tofu will develop thick, opaque hairs resembling a soft rabbit’s tail.
How Is Hairy Tofu Eaten?
- Local Chinese prepare hairy tofu by pan-frying the egg yolk-coated ones until they become golden brown and make a flavorful sauce using spring onions, chilies, and onion. Here is the video.
- YouTuber Dianxi Xiaoge has a different method of preparing the dish. She deep fries the tofu and serves it with some dry seasonings. She also scrambles it with a variety of aromatic ingredients, creating a tofu scramble.
- YuanJin Xie just like most Chinese to eat hairy tofu along with Congee because it is super salty and plain congee balance it out.
How is Hairy Tofu preserved?
To preserve the hairy tofu, Dianxi Xiaoge recommends placing it into a glass jar or plastic jar with spicy seasonings, ginger slices, and canola oil.
A similar preparation can be found in Hefei’s Gongchen Street Day Market, where cooks freshly prepare the dish and pack it into jars for customers.
History of Hairy Tofu:
According to Chinadaily, “Hairy tofu” is a local delicacy in Huizhou district of Huangshan city in East China’s Anhui province.
Due to its unique geographic environment, after fermentation the prepared tofu is covered with white mould.
The snack thus gets its name from the hair-like filaments that grow on its surface.
Hairy tofu has hundreds of years of history.
Jiang Guangming, an inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage, uses high-quality soybeans to make hairy tofu which goes through a series of traditional processes, including sifting and cleaning, soaking, refining, filtering, pressing, dicing and fermenting.
Hairy tofu packs a striking blend of flavors, making it a delicacy loved by diners.
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Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ
What kind of mold is on hairy tofu?
The kid of mold on hairy tofu is called fungal hyphae. It is like small branches from plants.
Why does tofu get hairy?
Tofu gets hairy has two reasons. First, it really does bad. You need to throw it away immediately. Second, it is the delicacy from China. Hairy Tofu in Chinese 毛豆腐.
Is moldy tofu good for you?
Moldy tofu is safe to try. Just the thought and look that put you off.
But it’s not suggested to eat on daily basis.
What is the hair on hairy tofu?
The hair is from the fermentation process.