Youtiao is a common breakfast staple that can be found all over Asia. It is extremely crispy on the outside, extra fluffy and soft on the inside, and is just full of flavor. In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make this classic Chinese breakfast dish with only a few ingredients while achieving a restaurant quality type dish.
You have no idea how many memories this recipe brings back to my mind.
Growing up as a kid, Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条 was a staple food item for us to eat almost every week. Our family would usually eat this delicious food paired with porridge or sometimes just a glass of warm soymilk.
And it was a fantastic experience!
Depending on my mom’s mood, we would either make it from scratch (which was a really fun family bonding experience), or we would just go to the local Asian supermarket and buy some.
Both of which, brought us some really good Youtiaos to eat. Although I have to confess, I did love my mothers freshly made Youtiao better.
And in this post, I want to share with you all exactly how to make this delicious food. This way, you all can try to make it and enjoy it just as much as I did.
So if you’re ready, lets get started!
What Is A Youtiao?
What is a Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条?
When looking at a Youtiao, you’ll notice that it is a long fried stick of dough that is kind of fluffy with a crispy shell and soft interior.
Usually you’ll see this food being served in many different restaurants as a breakfast item and is usually accompanied by other foods as well.
But besides that, what is a Youtiao?
Well for starters, in Asia we consider Youtiao to be a type of a doughnut. Although it definitely does not look like a doughnut, especially when compared to the western versions of a doughnut.
Youtiao is typically made out of a dough that is then fried until crispy and eaten with a variety of other foods. For instance, it is almost always eaten during breakfast and accompanied by things like porridge, soup, douhua or any other breakfast items you can find in Asia.
What Makes It Different From Regular Doughnuts?
In Asia, Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条 is typically considered to be an Asian version of the western doughnut.
But if you ever had or seen a Youtiao, you’ll see that it is actually quite different from a doughnut. Mainly because Youtiao is typically not full of sugar, which means that it isn’t really that sweet. Plus, unlike western doughnuts, Youtiao doesn’t have any type of fillings or toppings on top of it.
The only similarities between a Youtiao and a western doughnut is that it is generally fried and has a crispy outer shell with a soft and a bit chewy interior.
Ingredients Used To Make Youtiao
The ingredients you’ll need to make Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条 can be found at any of your local supermarkets.
Basically, the ingredients you’ll need includes:
- All-Purpose Flour – 2 and a half cups of flour
- Milk – 1 cup of milk
- Baking Powder – 1 Tablespoon
- Baking Soda – 1/2 Teaspoon
- Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
- Egg – 1 Egg
And that’s basically it!
Youtiao only consists of a few ingredients which makes it a very simple food to make.
How To Make Youtiao
Making Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条 is a very fun and exciting thing to do.
In order to make it, the process will consist of:
First, you’ll want to grab a large mixing bowl. Then inside the mixing bowl you’ll want to add in all of the ingredients which will consists of (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and an egg).
Then stir the contents in the bowl around while slowly adding in the milk.
Once the contents are all mixed together, you’ll want to use your hands and start kneading the mixture until it becomes a dough. This should take about 5 to 10 minutes of kneading. The dough should be soft to the touch while not being too sticky.
Then cover the dough and let it rest somewhere warm for about 10 to 15 minutes.
After that, uncover the dough and knead it again for a few more minutes.
Now, you’ll want to cover the dough again and let it rest in the fridge for about 12 hours. (Best to do this over the night time when you are sleeping).
Once time is up, you’ll want to dust your work surface with some flour. Then take the dough from the bowl and transfer it to the work surface.
Knead the dough for a few minutes and then cut it in half.
Then take each half and roll it into a long log shape.
After that, use a rolling pin and roll the log shape into a flat rectangular shape dough. Try not to make the rectangle shape dough too thin, preferably about 1 cm thick should be fine.
Once you make your rectangle shape dough, it’s time to cut it into pieces. Grab your knife and cut the rectangle shape dough into sections about 1 inch wide.
After you have cut the dough into sections, it is time to make the Youtiao shape. Grab 2 sections and place it on top of each other.
Grab a stick or a chopstick, and lay it flat alongside the middle of the sections. Then press down hard so that you can make a dent along the middle of the section. this will ensure that both of the sections will stick to each other.
This will eventually be your future Youtiao.
Now you’ll want to transfer your new Youtiao shape onto a plate that is lightly dusted with some flour.
Repeat the steps until you have made all of your Youtiao shapes and have placed them onto a plate.
Now is the time to cook the Youtiao.
In a large wok or pot, pour a bunch of oil into it until it is enough for frying these Youtiao. Then turn on the heat to medium-high and wait for the oil to become hot enough to start frying.
Once the oil is hot enough (400 Degrees F), it is time to start frying! Grab your Youtiao piece from both ends, and slowly stretch it till it becomes a elongated shape. Then slowly put it inside the oil to fry. (Do this in batches, so you might want to fry around 4 to 5 Youtiaos at a time).
Let it fry for about a minute or so until they turn golden brown in color. During the frying process, you’ll want to use some chopsticks or tongs and flip the Youtiao around so that they can cook evenly on all sides.
Once they turn golden brown in color, you can remove them from the oil and transfer them to a plate. (Try not to overcook the Youtiao as they will not be as delicious).
Repeat these steps until you have fried all of your Youtiao.
And that is basically it!
How To Store/Keep For Future Use
Although Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条 is usually best when served fresh. If you are wanting to store them for future eating, then you are definitely able to do so. In fact, storing Youtiao is actually a pretty simple thing to do.
Basically, you’ll want to wrap them up in plastic wrap tightly and you can store it either on the countertop, your fridge, or even your freezer. All of which will work perfectly well. For me however, I would suggest to store it in the fridge as you won’t have to re-heat it as long.
Speaking of re-heating, if you want to get it to become just like new, you should use the oven to heat it back up. Simply turn the oven to about 400°F and heat it up for a few minutes until they become your desired crispiness.
Youtiao Recipe (Chinese Doughnuts 油条)
- 2 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Egg
Making The Dough
- Grab a large mixing bowl and add in your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and egg. Then mix things around while slowly stirring in the milk.Once the contents are mixed completely, use your hands and start kneading the mixture until it becomes a dough. You should do this for about 5 to 10 minutes. Your dough should be soft to the touch while also being somewhat not sticky anymore.
- Cover the dough and let it rest somewhere warm for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then uncover the dough and knead it again for a few more minutes.Now cover the dough again and let it rest inside the fridge for about 12 hours. (Best to do this over the night time when you are sleeping)
Shaping The Dough
- After the dough has rested for about 12 hours, you'll want to start shaping it.Dust your work surface with some light flour and transfer the dough from the bowl onto the work surface.
- Knead the dough for a few more minutes and then using a knife, cut the dough in half.Take each half of the dough and roll them into a long log shaped dough.
- Then use a rolling pin and roll the log shape dough into a flat rectangular shape dough. Make sure not to roll the dough too thin, preferably about 1 cm thick should be fine.
- Once you have your rectangle shape dough, its time to cut it into pieces. Grab your knife and cut the rectangle shape dough into sections about 1 inch wide each.
- Grab 2 sections and place them on top of each other. Then use a chopstick or a stick and place it along the middle of the sections. Then press down hard so that it makes a dent along the middle. (This will make both sections of dough stick to each other and become your new Youtiao shape)Transfer the new shape onto a plate that is lightly dusted with flour.Repeat with other sections until you have made all of your Youtiao shapes.
Cooking The Youtiao
- Grab a wok or a large pot and fill it with oil. Turn on the heat to medium-high and wait for the oil to get hot enough to start frying.
- Once the oil is hot enough, grab your Youtiao shape by both ends. Gently stretch your Youtiao until it becomes elongated, and then gently put it inside the oil to fry.Note: Do this in batches, so you might want to fry around 4 to 5 Youtiaos at a time)
- Let the Youtiao fry for about a minute or so until they become golden brown in color.During the frying process, you'll want to use a chopstick or some tongs and flip the Youtiao around so that they can cook evenly on all sides.Once they turn golden brown in color, you can remove them from the oil and transfer them to a plate.
- Repeat these steps until all of the Youtiao have been fried and cooked.That's basically it!Enjoy!
Did you try making my Youtiao / Chinese Doughnuts / 油条? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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