Reek havoc Like epoisses de Bourgogne cheese and the durian fruit, chou dou fu has a bark that's much worse than its bite - the flavour is nowhere near as pungent as the stench.

This "stinky tofu" is made of regular beancurd that's fermented in brine, often with other ingredients that give depth and complexity to the finished product.

People who like it find the smell enticing; those who don't have compared it to any number of uncomplimentary (and inedible) things. I once saw some tourists in the vicinity of a chou dou fu vendor checking the bottom of their feet - they thought they had stepped in dog excrement, when, actually, it was just the smell of the stinky beancurd being fried.

Although the beancurd can be prepared in many ways - including pan-fried, grilled or simmered in broth - in Hong Kong, you're most likely to find it fried. The vendor fries it in a large wok, drains it briefly before putting it in a bag, and asks if you want chilli sauce or sweet sauce (the correct answer is "both"). Two sticks will be added with which to spear the chunks.

Although it's not the easiest thing to eat elegantly, it makes an inexpensive, delicious, pungent and satisfying snack.