West VS East in “Stinky Tofu” by Ross H. Nodell

stinky tofu

4.5 out of 5 Stars


In this hilarious clash of cultures on steroids, conservative NYC Jewish banker Sam Lowe, falls head over heels for Linda Liu, a stunning Chinese immigrant. His desire to marry her requires a trip to Taiwan to get her mother’s approval. Sam’s travels are rife with awkward and embarrassing situations as he struggles like a buffoon with the language barrier, a horde of potential in-laws, bizarre foods and befuddling Asian customs.

Upon their return to New York, tensions ratchet up to an explosive level as Linda’s large family begins their mass migration from Asia to the couple’s tiny upper west side apartment.

My Thoughts

Well, since this book is somewhat based off real instances… I don’t know how much is safe to say! Ha ha! But, I’ll be honest…. When I first started reading this book, I thought that the narrator, Sam Lowe… was a dick. There was a lot of talk about the women he had dated before, and all I could wonder was, “if this is even SLIGHTLY close to reality, I wonder if any of these people have read this book! YIKES!”

He talks about his excuses for getting out of second dates,

“Business trip, project deadline, friend in from out of town….etc”

And, how it meant, “Sorry, but I just can’t be your golden ticket to the Jewish American Dream.”Β It’s okay, though. He would always say “No offense” after these sentences! Because, that ALWAYS makes things better!

But, then Sam meets Linda Liu, and life changes forever. This is a hilarious comedy of errors as Sam tries to win over his possible new inlaws and family while immersing himself in a whole new world. You can’t help but like Sam (and feel a little sorry for him), and the lengths he’s willing to go through to impress the family and win the woman he loves. From taking the chinese cure for jet lag “Tomorrow’s headline would read ‘Funny American commit suicide by self-asphyxiation-Chinese have last laugh!'”, to learning why you don’t drink cold water in the heat (what do we North Americans know??), to taking up the challenge of a drinking contest against his future Mother-in-Law and always being referred to as a “ben4 dan4” (stupid egg).

I loved the descriptions of Taipei! The living quarters, the heat, the markets…. THE FOOD!! I could never take this book on a desert island with me because is would make me SO HUNGRY! But, Ross did an amazing job of making me feel like I was right there with him, Linda and the whole family.

Then Sam and Linda return to the United States to start their lives with each other… AND, EVERYONE ELSE! And, the laughs continue with finding living quarters, family vacations, and dealing with Ma (lovingly referred to as “The Little General”).

This is a fun summer read! Perfect for sitting back and relaxing in the sun for an entertaining afternoon.


Amazon U.S.

Amazon Canada

Amazon U.K.


Author Bio

Ross Nodell

ROSS NODELL was born and raised in Chicago. He relocated to New York City in the late 80s to marry a Chinese woman. He draws material from a wealth of life experience as a world traveler. He’s a true adventure-seeker having climbed Mount Rainer in Washington State, and The Grand Teton in Wyoming; scuba dived with hammerhead sharks off the North Wall in Grand Cayman; walked Kruger National Park searching for water buffalo; biked through the South of France; and windsurfed the Maldives. Ross has a love affair with food and wine, always seeking out new and exotic cuisines, no matter how peculiar or offensive. He brings all these adventures to his readers through the lens of a comical microscope.
Learn more about the author and his book: www.stinkytofubook.com

Stinky Tofu is Best Served with Guniang Tehui Kuan Yantai

Ok…. So, I don’t even know what this is that I’m pairing the book with. Ha ha!! It’s from China and one website describes it as wine, one website describes it as liquor. I had to special order it and, sadly, it has not yet arrived. So, be sure to circle back soon or keep an eye on my instagram or Facebook page to find out the results of my Quest!!!


10 thoughts on “West VS East in “Stinky Tofu” by Ross H. Nodell

Add yours

    1. This book is really funny. And, just fun to read in general! Actually, pizza makes a humorous appearance, as well. πŸ˜‚πŸ•
      I WISH I was eating pizza… I’m about to head in to work. 😣


  1. Fantastic! Sounds really good and I’ll look for it. Hubby and I lived in Taipei for the better part of two years. Did some sightseeing, looking for dragons in lakes, and dealt with amebic dysentery and typhoons (not fun). But it definitely waxed nostalgic. Great review–I see you were pretty enthusiastic. Now…about the drink. Rice based? And lastly, had to laugh at the title, since tofu doesn’t usually have any smell. Does it? Reminded me of the eggs they bury tho.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stinky Tofu is actually a delicacy there. Apparently it has quite the stench, like their 1,000 yr old eggs. Ha ha! It’s so cool that you lived in Taipei for a while!! You’d probably love this book. The descriptions were amazing and everything in it felt very realistic. If you read it, you’ll have to tell me what you thought! 😁
      As for the drink… I honestly have no idea!! I was trying to find some gaoliang, which is mentioned in this book. But unfortunately, it’s not available in my area. This was the closest I could find, and I couldn’t even find much about it! There was no picture, and some sites described it as wine, and some as liquor. It’ll be a surprise when it gets here!! 🀣🀣 I bet the bottle will have everything written in Chinese and I STILL won’t know what I’m drinking! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: