You Tiao (Chinese Fried Dough Fritters)

I’ve had this in mind for a pretty long time, and I finally got around to making it.

You tiao, a fairly easy dish but is sold for $1 at times in Singapore. Which is pricey for something this easy. It is similar to Churros or Crullers, but offers more flexibility in terms of food pairing.

You Tiao with Sweet Soy, a typical Chinese breakfast food in China, Taiwan, Hongkong, Malaysia and Singapore and probably more
Youtiao in the Singaporean dish, Rojak.

Rojak means a mixture in Malay, and in some sense, it is a mixture of strange combination of items, including cucumber, turnip, pineapple, beansprouts, and sometimes fruits mixed in Belachan, Lime juice, Ginger flower, peanuts.

You Tiao paired with Bak Kut Teh, a Chinese peppery soup

Recipe adapted from thewoksoflife.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons softened (NOT MELTED) butter
  • about 1/3 cup water (Add in small increments, the dough should be very soft, but not sticking to the mixing bowl)

Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients together. If you are using a electric mixer, use the dough hook attachment and mix on low. Add the water in batches. Knead for 15 minutes. The dough should feel very soft, but should not stick to the bowl. Cover the dough, and let rest for 10 minutes. If you are doing it by hand, add 5-10minutes of kneading.

2. On a clean lightly floured surface, form the dough in a long flat loaf about 1/4-inch thick and 4 inches wide.

3. Place it in the center of a large piece of plastic wrap on a baking sheet or long, flat plate, and wrap the dough, tucking the two ends of the plastic under the loaf, and ensuring that the dough is completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.

4. In the morning, take out the dough. I like to cut the dough when it’s cold so it will not stick to the knife as much. Cut them into 1 inch width, an making sure it is an even number of strips.

5. Let the dough sit on the counter (wrapped) for 1 – 2 hours until the dough is back to room temperature and VERY, VERY soft to the touch. This step is critical. If you don’t let the dough come back to room temperature, it won’t fry up properly.

5. Now prepare the oil for frying using a wok or large pan with some depth. The goal is to have a large vessel, so that you can produce authentically long sticks of dough. The oil should be about 200°C.

6. As the oil is heating up, unwrap the dough. Stack two strips together and press the center, lengthwise, with a chopstick. I made mine shorter as I found it easier to store and portion for each meal.

7. Hold the two ends of each piece, and gently stretch the dough to a long strip.

8. Carefully lower the stretched dough into the oil. If the oil temperature is right, the dough should surface almost right away.

9. Using a disposable chopstick (the oil will burn your chopstick or melt the plastic) and quickly roll the dough in a continuous motion for about a minute. You can fry one to two or three at a time. Just be sure to take the time to continuously roll the dough in the oil. The youtiao is done once they turn light golden brown. Try not to over-fry them as they become unpleasantly crunchy rather than chewy and delicious.

10. Repeat with the remaining dough.

There you have it, yummilicious You Tiao/Chinese dough fritters to go with your numerous dishes!

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