China

Youtiao – Traditional Chinese Crullers

July 18, 2016

Youtiao are traditional Chinese crullers / breadsticks / doughnuts / oil sticks. They have plenty of names! Basically, it’s fried dough served either alone or with a cup of warm soy milk for dipping. It is believed that the famous Spanish Churros were inspired by this Chinese creation!

These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com

When I made the Spanish Churros Con Chocolate a month ago, I told you that, according to some sources, they were inspired by Chinese Crullers called Youtiao, and I promised to make them for the blog someday. Today I am fulfilling this promise and making these Chinese fried dough sticks! They can also be called Chinese donuts, Chinese breadsticks, Chinese oil sticks, and the list goes on and on. These crullers are a popular Chinese breakfast option.

These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com

The main difference between the Spanish and Chinese versions of these fried sticks is the sweetness. Spanish Churros are supposed to be sweet. They are covered with a cinnamon and sugar mixture and dipped in a hot chocolate. Churros are considered to be a dessert. Chinese crullers though are not sweet at all. No sugar, no cinnamon, and by all means, no chocolate. There is actually some sugar added into the dough, but you won’t feel it at all. There is one more difference: Youtiao are made by pulling the dough, while Churros are made using a star shaped nozzle.

These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com

If you are in doubt about the taste of Youtiao, keeping in mind the lack of any sweeteners at all, don’t be. They are actually really good! But there is a way to make them even better. To raise them to another level (in my humble opinion). I read that in some places in Asia Youtiao are dipped in warm soy milk. Yes. Warm. Soy milk. I tried it and it’s a total winner. They say that soy milk in Asia differs from the one we use, but I loved every bit of these breadsticks dunked into the local soy milk I usually buy. SO GOOD!

These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com

The majority of Youtiao recipes online use alum and ammonia, adding them to the dough. I guess it’s a traditional Chinese method of making the crullers. However, there are recipes that avoid these substances and I adapted one of them, by Yummy Easy Cooking. I did that, because it’s really complicated to find these ingredients in my country, and somehow I have a feeling that it won’t be easy for my readers too.

These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com

Anyway, my Youtiao turned out really great even without the alum and ammonia. Perfect snack! I loved soaking them in the warm soy milk until they absorb it. Divine. I can really understand why they are so popular for breakfast in China. I would love to wake up to such a treat every morning! These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com

5 from 3 votes
These Chinese Crullers, or Chinese donuts, called Youtiao, are a traditional breakfast staple in China. They can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or dipped in a warm soy milk! | cookingtheglobe.com
Print
Youtiao - Traditional Chinese Crullers
Prep Time
3 hr 40 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
4 hr
 

These traditional Chinese fried dough sticks can be served either alone or with a cup of warm soy milk for dipping. So delicious!

Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 people
Calories Per Serving: 305 kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • vegetable oil , for frying
  • warm soy milk , for dipping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of sugar and yeast in the warm milk. Keep in warm place for about 20 minutes, until bubbles form on the surface.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, remaining 3 teaspoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon oil. Add the yeast mixture and mix well. Let rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours, until the dough doubles or triples in size.
  3. Sprinkle some flour over the dough, kneading the dough inside a bowl few times. Then transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead well for about 25 times. Cover with a damp towel and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough is puffy.
  4. Knead well for about 25 times, adding a teaspoon of oil to the dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1 inch thick. Cut into 1 inch wide strips. Stack them two by two, and press the center with a chopstick (lengthwise).
  5. Take the strip, one at a time, hold the two ends and stretch to 8-9 inches long. Repeat with all the strips.
  6. Heat the oil to 400Β°F (200Β°C) and fry the strips in batches (1 or 2 at a time). Flip the strips over continuously many times with chopstick when frying until they have puffed up and become golden brown. Repeat with the remaining strips.
  7. When done, drain on paper towels. Serve alongside warm soy milk, or alone. Enjoy!

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply Amanda @ Old House to New Home July 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I love churros so I bet I would love these too! They look delicious!

    • Reply Igor July 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      They really are, Amanda! πŸ™‚

  • Reply MyCookingSecrets.com | Krystallia Giamouridou July 19, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Cool! I ‘ve never heard of this recipe… Love chinese cuisine, but I luck of knowledge about the chinese breakfast and it’s recipes. Even though that you ‘ve mentioned that we shouldn’t add sugar or chocolate with the crullers, I will be tempted to make them and a little bit of chocolate! At the end of the day… culinary rules are made to be broken he he he. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:15 am

      Krystallia, a little bit of chocolate for dipping sounds really tempting πŸ™‚ Talking about the Chinese breakfast, I will add a big post on it really soon!

  • Reply Lisa | Garlic + Zest July 19, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Wow! I’ve never heard of these before, but they look and sound really interesting. I would never have thought of dipping them in soy milk either! Fabulous!

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:16 am

      I would have never thought about it either, Lisa, but it’s amazing!

  • Reply safira July 19, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    These look divine and sound delicious! πŸ™‚

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:16 am

      They really are delicious, Safira!

  • Reply Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy July 19, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    These look delicious. I love the fact they are not sweet either….sometimes too much sweetness takes away from the actual taste.

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:19 am

      I agree, Gloria, sometimes you just want something not-so-sweet πŸ™‚

  • Reply Laura | Wandercooks July 20, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Yum, I’m so glad to have come across your recipe! We saw these everywhere in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, and I’m so looking forward to trying them at home. Dipping them in soy milk is a MUST in Taiwan, and it’s gotta be hot. Yay, can’t wait!

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:21 am

      I envy you so bad, Laura. I would LOVE to visit Taiwan someday too!

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine July 20, 2016 at 11:17 am

    O wow, what a fantastic recipe! Never had them!

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:21 am

      You have to try them, Rebecca!

  • Reply Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry July 20, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Interesting recipe. I haven’t heard of these before. Great that they are not too sweet but I would be tempted to dip them in chocolate!

    • Reply Igor July 23, 2016 at 6:22 am

      I can perfectly understand you, Bintu. Chocolate is really tempting πŸ™‚

  • Reply Amy August 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    These looks so delicious! They’re my favorites πŸ™‚

    • Reply Igor August 15, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      They really are delicious, Amy!

  • Reply Tony October 26, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I dip mines in sweetened condensed milk … delicious!

    • Reply Igor October 28, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      That’s a great idea, Tony. I am sure the taste is amazing πŸ™‚

  • Reply Michael December 7, 2016 at 5:19 am

    If you don’t mind, can I use your recipe for a school project? I will be sure to cite it.

    • Reply Igor December 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      You can use it Michael, no problems at all πŸ˜‰

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