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'Stinky Tofu' and Bubble Tea Among Delicacies at Taiwanese Night Market

By Meredith Hoffman | April 16, 2013 7:07am

WILLIAMSBURG — Taiwan may be half a world away, but for one night its shaved ice, soup dumplings, "stinky tofu" and native brews will flow in full force under one Brooklyn roof.

The city's Taiwanese-American vendors are creating a festival of snacks, sweets and carnival games at their second annual — and biggest yet — night market, which organizers said served to mirror an East Asian culinary celebration.

"Although Taiwan is a small island, it has a big and delicious food culture," said Alex Shih, the cultural affairs officer for Taiwanese American Professionals, the organization holding the festival.

"We're hoping to emulate that environment as much as possible and bring that spirit not only to our members, but also to the entire NYC community."

The market, which offers unlimited food and Taiwanese beer to visitors who buy tickets to enter, includes Taiwanese fried chicken from Taichen Chicken, summer rolls from Best Summer, bubble tea from Thirstea Cafe and "stinky tofu" from Mama Stank, Shih said.

"Stinky tofu is fermented tofu and is a savory dish usually eaten with a light sweet sauce. It does have a very distinct smell that most people find to be not so pleasing, but in Taiwan, many people would argue that the 'stinkier' it smells, the better," Shih explained.

"If you ask a Taiwanese person what Taiwanese food is, chances are, he or she will mention stinky tofu... At our night market we'll have a fan and enough ventilation to make sure people aren't too bothered by the smell."

TAP's Taiwanese Night Market will be held Friday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. at The Villain on 50 N. 3rd St. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online.