Speaking of stinky tofu, many might have tried. Likewise, there is also another delicacy that “smells bad yet tastes good” - Smelly Vinegar Porridge in Foshan. Have you ever heard of it?
闻其臭 懂其“香” Bad smell but good flavor
The dish might seem stinky from its name, but it’s actually a pot of long-boiled porridge, with rich vinegar flavor, vegetable, and meat. If eating it on a regularly routine, people are expected to live a longer life. Thus, it enjoys a nickname as "vinegar of longevity". It also offers many health benefits - softening blood vessels, digestion, working up appetite, skin care, warming stomach and dispelling the cold.
Many people joked about it as "liquid durian", but few can resist once they try it.
选材讲究 熬制有道 Unique ingredients and cooking methods
A 100-day soaking before smelly vinegar is produced
To make nice smelly vinegar, you need to soak pure glutinous rice in vinegar for 100 days straight. During this process, lactic acid bacteria will be fermented, giving off a special smell. The chef uses smelly vinegar as soup, put in some fan bones, pig small intestine, soybeans, sweet potatoes, mui choy and simmers them on slow fire for one hour. After that, long-boiled porridge can be served.
Various kinds of ingredients used for long-boiled porridge
The milky-white rich soup, floated with chopped mui choy, looks just inviting enough to you. The sourness from vinegar slowly melts into the meat, decomposing the greasiness from the meat itself. The meat tastes slightly sour-sweet and chewy as well.
臭屁醋有段“古” Delicacy with a trace in long history
Soaking pots with vinegar stand at the corner of a restaurant for 28 years
How did the recipe come into being? There was a story to tell, which goes way back to the Pearl River Delta in the late-Yuan Dynasty. During that period, people were caught up in a chaotic war. A man named Mai Fu, who earned a living as a coolie, has to take care of his bedridden mother. In order to keep the food from the mice, he put fried rice soaked in a jar.
A few months later, slack farming season arrived. Mai and his mother hadn’t had any rice for two days. They had no choice but to open the jar they hid, only to find out that the rice had gone bad. For the sake of survival, he decided to boil rice soup for his mother. Unexpectedly, it tasted delicious. His mom kept drinking, had sweat all over her body and surprisingly felt great. After Mai kept it as her diet for half a month, his mother’s complexion got better, got out of bed and walked around again!
People from their neighborhood were all curious about it. Mai shared the rice soup around with villagers. From then on, people called this porridge, which smells bad but tastes good, as “smelly vinegar”.
As smelly vinegar porridge was passd down from generations in Foshan, you get a taste in various districts. Follow our guidance. Let's go!
Author | Jersey
Revisor | Jessica, Eleanor
Photo | Foshan News Network, Official Wechat Account of "南海旅游"