Chinese Cruller / You Tiao / 油条


油条(you tiau) is one of the most popular breakfasts among Chinese communities in Asia. I am not sure what it called in English, I heard people called it bread-sticks, Chinese crullers or doughnuts. I called it Chinese doughnut (easiest to say amongst those three) when I talk to Tak. Chinese doughnut served with soy milk - the most popular way of enjoying this delicious snack. Whenever Chinese doughnut is mentioned, it is always associated with soy milk and vice verse. The next popular way of enjoying it I suppose is serving it with porridge.

As my family once sell this snack, I got the chance to eat it hot from the wok. We used the traditional way for frying, a wok of oil over the firewood. Even though I used to eat it almost everyday, I am still loving it. I like to dunk it in curry gravy or yong taufu sauce (my favourite).

I am now picturing the morning market at my hometown, a Chinese village with slightly more than 100 households. I wish I could bring my today’s camera back then and capture some great old memories. I have not visited there for more than 10 years?

You Tiao

Anyway, in my opinion a good 油条 should be crispy on the outside, and soft inside with the honeycomb-like texture (just like in the photo above *wink*).

Recipe updated on 14 Jan 2014, omitted alum, ammonia, and baking soda but added baking powder instead. End result was perfect!

Ingredients (makes 10, 6"):
200 ml water
220 g bread flour
½ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

*Oil for deep-fry

Directions:
  1. Put all the ingredients into the bread maker. Select dough mode and turn in on.
  2. Once the kneading is completed, turn the dough out on a floured surface. This dough is stickier than bread dough so remember to dust generous amount of flour on the working table.
  3. Divide the dough into two portions and shape each one into a 40cm long rod. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let raise for 45 minutes.
  4. Lightly flatten the dough (approx. 1cm thick and 5cm wide) and cut into 2cm strips. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Heat oil in a medium pot or wok. Dip the skewer in water and wet the middle of dough as shown.
  6. Place another piece of dough on the top and press in the middle with a skewer. Hold both ends and pull the dough until 20cm long. Then carefully put it into the hot oil straight away. Stir rapidly as soon as the dough is surfaced, and deep fry until golden browned.
The size of 油条 I made is pretty small about 15cm long as I used a medium pan for deep-fry.


Comments

  1. ahhhh yummy!! bila sehhh i nak buat ni!!

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  2. I wish I could bring my camera back then and capture some great old memories.
    Many times I wish I could go back in time with my digital camera of today.
    The doughnuts look perfect.

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  3. the amateur, ok... i give u a date, 1 april u buat.

    mykitcheninhalfcups, definitely with today's camera!

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  4. Hi

    Well done and with a good description of how to make yu tiao.

    Can i ask - what is 'alum' as listed in your ingredients?

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  5. Alum is one type of chemical, can be found in chemist. Other usage of alum: making playdough, bubble play, etc.

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  6. Thanks Lydia for the explanation. Can this chemical be omitted for making yu tiao?

    Thanks and have a good weekend!

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  7. I suppose you can make without it, but the texture of the end product will not be the same. Taste wise, not much different.

    Have a good weekend too... and happy cooking.

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  8. Hi Lydia, i'm still insure what alum is. is there another name for it? what does it look like and what kind of texure as well as colour? Thank you. hopefully, i can make it one day and then i'll give you a feedback.:)

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  9. hi scenedee, alum looks like salt in term of colour and texture. I am not sure where to buy in Msia, maybe you can try at baking supplies shop.

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  10. hi lydia..you're such a great cook...i made bakpao using your recipe..taste very nice..thks for sharing the recipe...i'm tempted to try you tiao..it is very diff to find here ..only frozen one and it smell funny...btw, do you happen know how to make hum chim paeng?..not sure if it is right pronounciation...anyway..thank u so much for sharing all of those good stuff..=)

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  11. Ita,
    For hum chim paeng, u can use any doughnut recipe for the bun. Filling wise, red bean paste, crushed peanut+sugar, or savory version. Btw, my mom used to sell him chim paeng. :d
    Hope this helps.

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  12. thank you...i just bought alum today will try to make it tomorrow..can't wait..^_^..for the ham chim paeng...i tried it before..but can't get the cobweb texture..not sure if you know what i mean..i saw some recipe using alkaline water & ammonia..just wonder if those ingredient make the HCP has cobweb texture?..btw..all of your food photo look so pretty..make me drool2..hehehe...

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  13. Ita, how's your "U Tiao" making? I am not sure about cobweb texture you mention, is it similar to u tiao in my photo? I remember my mom's hcp had very soft texture, like doughnut. I loved the savory version made with dried radish and dried shrimp.

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  14. hi lydia,
    i'm so excited...i made u tiao yesterday and was jumping up and down when i got it right..haha..my husband thought i'm gone crazy..but my u tiao the shape is not as nice as yours..i guess i need to practise more..yes, the cobweb texture like the one in your pic..sorry if my term confuse you..for hcp prob will try again w/ dnut recipe ....thank you so muchh....^_^

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  15. thank u so much for posting dis...my mom used to buy this when i was little...now i can ask my mom to make dis hehehehe

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  16. Hi Lydia,
    iam in Perth where can I buy bread softerner and alum?
    thanks
    aishah

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  17. Hi Aishah,
    You can get alum in pharmacy. As for bread softener, I am not sure where to get it in Aust. Some ppl said it is not available in Aust. I lived in Sydney before, could not find it in anywhere too.

    For your info, you can use sweetened condensed milk in baking bread as it contains emulsifier/softener. I am using it for my Basic Bun recipe (use 1-2 tbsp condensed milk and omit sugar) recently, and do without the softener. My buns always turn out nicely... soft and fluffy.

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  18. Hi Lydia,

    I love all your posting... looks yummy... just try to make bakua (barbeque pork) and turn out yummy...
    What is Alum? can I make chinese cruller if I'm not using the ammonia and alum? Thank you...

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  19. Hi Lydia,
    thanks for the tips!
    Aishah

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  20. Jenny,
    Please refer to previous comments about alum. Yes, you still can make you tiao without them.

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  21. Thank you... I'll try to make it without alum...

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  22. Your you-tiao is so perfect!! Dunking it in curry gravy is new to me, shall try that method. We normally have it with bah kut teh only other than porridge.

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  23. hi Lydia,

    I have tried making this u tiao yesterday, but i omit the alum & ammonia. The end result was hard dense u tiao...:( . Please advise what happen. thanks a lot....
    wendysabah

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  24. Wow, you're good of making things. And it looks very yummy.

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  25. Your you tiao looks really yummy. I am a you tiao lover and we in Kuching here have 12 inches long or 1 foot long Bee J you tiao, you tiao is such a versatile product that it has been turned into chinese burger by Bee J. You should try it out. http://beejyoutiao.blogspot.com/2010/11/bee-j-you-tiao-products.html

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  26. Thanks for sharing. Frankly, your yu tiao is the best I've seen so far. In fact, my bakery teacher refused to teach this, saying that she herself has not mastered it and still finds it challenging, despite knowing almost everything else.

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  27. Oh my, these look so delicious.

    What is Alum in the ingredient list?

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  28. Debs,

    Here is the link to wiki about alum, hope you will find it useful.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Alum

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  29. hi there,

    may i know what is alum and ammonia for? what is the difference if i not include these 2 ingredients?

    Thx

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  30. Hi Lydia,
    I love all ur recipes..I've tried ur cruller recipe last nite but it turned out to be not crispy on the outside but managed to get the honeycomb texture. It was my 8th attempt times :) (i kept looking for this recipe) but with urs my cruller was d best. Please assist me on this crispy problem. Tq very much n have a nice day!

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  31. Where can I buy alum??

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  32. Hello - thank you for sharing the recipe! I just stumbled upon your log after researching the youtiao recipe and yours looks the best by far! can you please share what the original recipe was? (With the alum and ammonia?)I have both bad would like to try it. Thank you!

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  33. hello madam... thank you for sharing the receipe ... even i malays ... ilove this cakoi sooooo much... i learn alot from you thank mem...

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  34. Thanks for sharing this lovely and delicious recipe! Didn't realize how easy these were to make. Your step by step instructions made it practically painless!

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  35. May I know if I don't have a bread machine, how long should I knead the dough?

    Thanks.

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  36. Hi Edith C,

    I made my last batch not long ago without a bread maker or mixer, with a large mixing bowl and a wooden spatula!
    Mix everything till well combined, leave it to proof then turn out on a table top.

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  37. not bad but not too authentic. you don't make youtiao with yeast. yeast is not used in chinese cooking. these are like chewy doughnuts. fast, yes. real, no.

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  38. Hi Lydia, I love this Chinese doughnuts, and I was so glad you used only Baking Powder. I don't have a bread machine instead I have a stand up mixer. By mixing everything till combined, how long do I need to proof before turning it out on a table top to knead.??? Thanks you in advance.

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  39. Like making bread, proof till doubled in size then turn onto a table top to make you tiao.

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  40. Thanks for sharing, I did yesterday, still crunchy after 1h in the fridge. The texture wasn't hollow enough, it was similar like Chinese fried bread (don't know the name but used to eat). Could you or anybody confirm the amount of flour 220g n water 200g? It was like batter, when I make steamed bun usually 600g/350g. Thanks

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  41. The amount of water is correct for the flour I used. Just made 1/2 batch minutes ago to test the premium bread flour in Japan, turned out alright.

    The dough suppose to be soft and sticky but not runny. If you wish, reduce the amount of water a little bit, 10ml maybe, for firmer texture.

    For crispy surface, do not cover the dough in (step 4) let it dry a little.

    ---------

    Previous comment about chinese snack not using yeast, please enlighten me with the reference/reliable source.

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  42. Hi,

    Could you please let me know what flour did you use for table top?

    Thanks

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  43. Bread flour, but you can also use all purpose flour if you want.

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  44. The best recipe youtiao and it is same texture also the taste

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  45. vivi cutes & Fifi Fei,

    Thank you for your comment.

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  46. I have try the recipe,it's great. Even though my 'you tiao'shapes was not satisfy, but the taste turned out very good. Thanks a lot

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  47. Need more practise to get the good shape, thanks for trying!

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  48. I don have the bread maker.At 1st I'm using hand to whisk it,it took me 1 hour but my dough is very sticky i did not form a dough at all. Izzit 200ml water is the correct ingredients? Try to fried it and came out look like a pretzel

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  49. Thank you for the recipe. It's the best I've had. They were delicious, crispy on the outside but soft and honeycomb on the inside. The dough perfectly easy to shape. We had then with salty soy milk. Delicious!

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  50. Hi Jane, great to hear that. You've just reminded me that it is time to make some.

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  51. Hi Nicole, the amount of water is correct.
    The dough is very very soft unlike bread dough.

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  52. Hi Lydia,

    The dough I made was really soft and really sticky. I can't form the rods like you mentioned. My dough does not look as tight as your pictures. Do you have a video of the process? It would be nice to see the consistency of the dough. I made a batch of you tiao yesterday and it was flat and not airy. I am making another batch right now. Hopefully this will come out better.

    Thanks
    Thai

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  53. Hi Thai,
    Sorry, I don't have any video of the process. If the dough is too soft to handle, add a little more flour. Unlike bread, YT needs lots of dusting/hand flour.

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