I’m sorry…what?

Youtiao. Beijing breadsticks. Chinese churros. Strips of deep fried dough that resemble what we call “crullers” or “long johns” here in the States. Only in China they’re not sugared (though sometimes salted) and are a lot bigger, up to about two feet long. I’d like to try and make some that are that long, but don’t think I have a frying vessel that big anymore…I’ll have to look around.

Anyway, like doughnuts or crullers, youtiao are eaten mainly as a breakfast food in China, dunked in a cup of hot soy milk (what is it about doughnuts and dunking that seems to transcend all cultures?). However depending on where you are in China you may find them eaten with porridge, wrapped in pancakes or flat bread or stuffed with beef, pork or seafood.

And those are just the Chinese versions. For indeed youtaio are popular all over Southeast Asia, from Burma to Indonesia and beyond. Even the Australians get into the act with their versions which they call “chopstick cakes.” More on why that’s a particularly apt name soon.

9 thoughts on “I’m sorry…what?”

  1. I’m so glad you’re doing more Chinese/Asian dough products. As a person who has grown up and lived her whole life in Hong Kong, it’s nice to see the food I eat everyday being attempted by more bloggers from other regions of the world 🙂

    1. It’s my great pleasure, Annie! The French and Austrians can’t have all the fun. Any tips you can provide are most welcome!

      – Joe

      1. I’m French and still get the fun of what you’re going to do.
        I live in Taiwan and Youtiao is the traditional breakfast here. Usually we dip them into hot soya milk called Doujiang (it can be pure or sweetened with cane sugar/ or even salty in the chinese desert like in Xinjiang province). All soy milk sellers are making Youtiao they also have chinese doughnuts, and puff pasty rectangles with sesame seeds on the top. Yummy Food is not bad there too 🙂

  2. Hi Joe,
    I live in Hong Kong and I’m quite excited about your venture into Asian breads. Maybe next you could deconstruct the famous “Pineapple Buns” so called not because they have any pineapple in them, but because the crispy topping looks like a pineapple. These are eaten either just split and buttered or with a pork filling.

    Looking forward to more Asiana.

    All the best,

    1. Very interesting, Bina. I’ll look into those. Are they anything like melon pan?

      – Joe

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