You Tiao (You Za Kueh/ Chinese donut)

This is a really simple recipe with short ingredient list and simple steps. I used both yeast and baking powder to avoid using large amounts of baking powder like other recipes which may lead to an aftertaste. Also double insurance in case one of them isn’t working 😅.

You may also notice that my youtiaos are shorter, only because I wanted to use less oil by frying in a smaller pot. You can decide to keep the length and fry in a larger wok.

Recipe (for 6 full size or 12 short ones)

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 115g water


1. Add flour, baking powder and yeast and stir to mix. Make a well in the middle, place the salt, water then oil and stir. Then start mixing in the flour with a silicone spatula to form a rough dough. This takes a few minutes. Cover and set aside for 15 min.

2. After 15 min, knead the dough which should be less sticky by now for another 5 to 10 mins. No need for window pane, an elastic, non-sticky dough will do. Form a round dough, cover and rest for 2 hours at room temperature.

3. After 2 hours, degas. Roll into a long strip as shown about 42 cm long and 14 cm wide. Roll out slowly and rest a few minutes in between if dough is shrinking back.

4. Cut into 12 strips. Dust both sides and edges with flour.

5. Take one strip, press a wet chopstick in the middle to create a water line.

6. Place another strip on top of the first and then press down with chopstick in the middle so they stick together. Complete for 6 pairs.

7. Go back to the first pair and start pulling it gently so they double in length. Cover and rest for 5 min.

8. Heat a pot of oil till hot with lots of bubbles forming around when you place a chopstick in it. Just before adding to the oil, I used scraper to cut each strip into 2 shorter pieces, crosswise.

9. Add 1 short strip to the oil, and start turning it round and round as it expands rapidly. Once it has expand to maximum size, it will start to brown. You can add in a second strip and start turning it while keeping an eye on the first one.

I try to keep the oil around med to high heat. At one point, too much oil was absorbed until the youtiao was touching the bottom, so I had to add oil before continuing.

10. The total cooking time is only a few minutes. Keep turning till it is light golden brown and remove from oil to cool. Consume in the same day.


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