Cháo quẩy, also known as Youtiao, is a long golden-brown deep-fried stripes of dough much like a straight donut. The dish originally belongs to Chinese cuisine but is also consumed in other East and Southeast Asian cuisines. In Vietnamese cuisine, this dish is called “Cháo quẩy”.
Generally consumed during breakfast time, cháo quẩy is slightly salted and usually served with rice congee, soy milk, or regular milk mixed with sugar in China. In Vietnam, Cháo Quẩy is consumed with congee, pho in Hanoi, and occasionally with wonton noodles.
Cháo quẩy is also known as Chinese cruller, Chinese fried churro, Chinese oil stick, Chinese doughnut, Chinese breadstick and fried breadstick.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The origin of cháo quẩy is believed to date back to the Southern Song Dynasty. A military general named Yue Fei was locked up by chancellor Qin Hui on false charges.
Fei was ultimately executed, and the reason given was treason (a crime he never committed). Fei was considered to be one of the most beloved heroes in China and his unjustified execution led to public outrage.
Hence, in order to curse the chancellor and his wife, people made two pieces of human-shaped dough linked in the middle (that denoted the couple), deep-fried them and consumed them to express their rage. Later, the shape was changed into two long pieces of dough connected together.
- All-purpose flour - 220g
- Baking powder - 5g
- Kosher salt - 1.6g
- Baking soda - 1.4g
- Large egg - 1
- Vegetable oil - 12.3g
- Filtered water - 3 fl oz
- Neutral cooking oil for frying (preferably vegetable oil)
- Begin by taking a medium-sized bowl. Add all the dry ingredients and mix properly.
- Now, take a large mixing bowl, add all the wet ingredients, and mix properly to combine.
- Once done, add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine everything until it takes the shape of a ball. Take a towel or bowl, cover it and allow it to rest for about20 minutes at room temperature.
- Shift the prepared dough to a slightly floured surface. Begin kneading the dough using the heel of your hand and make sure to push the dough upwards. Place the dough at 45 degrees and keep repeating the kneading process. Do it about 3-4 times until the dough is somewhat smoother. Keep in mind to neither add a lot of flour at this this point nor knead the dough too much.
- Now, using your hands, move the dough in circles until it takes the shape of a ball.
- Take an airtight container and put about 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in it. Transfer the dough to the container and move it around properly, so it’s coated with oil. Place a lid on top and put the container in the fridge. Allow it to rest overnight, or if possible, up to 2 days.
- Remember to take the dough out of the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking it.
- Take a pot and pour cooking oil in it about 2 inches from the bottom and pre-heat it to 390 °F.
- Spread a little bit of flour on a flat surface. Take the dough and cautiously try to stretch it out to approximately 6-8 inches wide and put it on the floured surface.
- Roll the dough using rolling pin horizontally in the same direction till it gets about 13 inches wide and 5-6 inches tall.
- Cut 12 even, vertical strips of dough using a knife. Get rid of the rounded sides.
- Dust a bit of flour on top of the strips and then place one strip of dough over another. Repeat until it has 6 pieces.
- Using a chopstick, make an indent in the middle of one dough strip (vertically). Press down a little hard and release. Make sure that it’s concave in the Centre. Repeat for the rest of the dough strips.
- Pick up the strips and grip the sides and bottom with your fingers. Softly pull the dough until it’s about 3-4 inches longer than its actual size.
- Carefully place it in the oil and wait till it rises to the top. Allow it to fry for around 5 seconds once it rises. And then keep turning it in the oil using tongs. The cháo quẩy should start to swell and double in size instantly. Let it cook for around 1-2 minutes, or until it turns golden brown in color.
- Shift to a cooling rack that is already lined with a paper towel.
- Repeat the process with the rest of the dough stripes and voila! Your dish is ready!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g
Photo credit: Myra Siason