You can smell the unmistakable sour, stench of the "stinky tofu" from many feet away. It lures you via a game of "follow your nose" to the little fried fermented tofu food stall that is bustling around the large wok of boiling oil. As rancid as this may sound (or smell), this is a traditional Taiwanese snack that must be experienced! On the contrary it actually tastes quite good as opposed to its rank, foul odor. The texture is a chewy, fried puff of tofu skin with a sparse bit of doughy, custard-like tofu inside, with hints of seared garlic oil. Usually it is served with a side of pickled cabbage and drizzled with black vinegar. You can add chili sauce on the side too as we usually do.
So, imagine yourself wading through the night market street stalls smelling of fried foods, oil in the air, feeling the natural Taiwan sticky steam on your face and skin, seeing the many random knick knacks the small shops are selling, and hearing the shop keepers sometimes advertising the sale of their goods through a megaphone, as if at an auction. It is a bustling and thrilling experience indeed, and all of your sense will be tantalized. This is a unique experience to Taipei and I love it!