5 Weird-Smelling Asian Foods That Could Land You In Trouble Overseas

If you were born and bred in Malaysian, you’ve probably been exposed to a variety of ‘stinky’ foods that you’ve grown accustomed to, despite the smell. In fact, the pungent smells of these foods don’t bother you at all.

The French police knocked on a Malaysian woman’s door, presumably because her neighbor had reported the smell of a dead body coming from the Malaysian woman’s apartment. All she wanted to do was grill her sambal belacan. Apparently, people who have never been exposed to belacan before can compare the smell to a dead body.

First of all, that’s our belacan you’re talking about. Here is a list of weird-smelling Asian foods that we probably smelled before we tasted (and we love them anyway).

1. Petai

Our favourite beans are often served as sambal petai. It’s nicknamed as ‘stink bean’ by those who aren’t fond of it’s strong scent, which can waft across the room if you’re not careful.

2. Durian

You simply can’t bring the king of fruits anywhere! It’s banned from buses, trains, shopping malls, and some people won’t even have it in their homes. Stay outside, durian. The durian has a strong, pungent odour that can penetrate through your body if you’ve eaten too much. It’s actual fruit is actually rather soft and pleasant, unlike it’s spiky exterior. Maybe that’s how the durian protects itself from predators but it won’t work on Malaysians, hunny.

3. Budu

What do you get when you mix salt and anchovies into a bottle, and then fermenting it for up to 200 days? Budu, of course. The fermentation process gives it a pungent aroma, and it’s often served with rice, fish, and raw vegetables.

4. Century egg

Century egg is a traditional Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of calcium dioxide, sea salt, and wood. When uncooked, it gives off a strong scent of ammonia that slowly fades as it’s being cooked. Century eggs are often served in alongside porridge dishes.

5. Cincalok

Cincalok is a Malaccan and Penangite’s favourite mixture of fermented shrimp. Made of small shrimps, salt and cooked rice, it’s pleasantly stinky, like most fermented food. It’s usually served with rice, alongside chillies, shallots and calamansi lime juice to balance out the saltiness.

Love ’em or hate ’em, these foods certainly make their presence smelt!