Chinese Crullers Recipe - A Delicious and Easy-to-Follow Guide

Chinese Crullers

Chinese Crullers Recipe - A Delicious and Easy-to-Follow Guide
Region / culture: China | Preparation time: 4 hours | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 20


Chinese Crullers
Chinese Crullers

Chinese Crullers, also known as youtiao or Chinese fried dough, are a popular breakfast or snack item in Chinese cuisine. These long, golden-brown strips of fried dough are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, making them a delicious treat for any time of day.


Chinese Crullers have a long history in Chinese cuisine, dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Originally, they were made with just flour, water, and salt, but over time, different variations and ingredients have been added to enhance the flavor and texture of the crullers.


How to prepare

  1. Place salt, alum, baking soda, and ammonium bicarbonate in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add water and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Add flour and mix well using chopsticks until the dough becomes soft and smooth.
  4. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic.
  5. Cover the dough and let it stand for at least 4 hours.
  6. Remove the dough and stretch it into a long strip, measuring 0.33 inch thick and 2 inches wide.
  7. Sprinkle a little flour on the strip.
  8. Using a knife or cleaver, cut the dough into 20 strips, each measuring 0.5 inch wide.
  9. Pick up one strip from the end using a spatula, turn it around, and place it directly on top of the next strip (10 pieces).
  10. Place a chopstick on top of these double strips and press down gently.
  11. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces.
  12. Heat oil for deep-frying.
  13. Pick up one double strip.
  14. Hold the two ends and stretch it until it reaches a length of 9 inches.
  15. Carefully drop the strip into the hot oil.
  16. Using a chopstick, continuously turn the dough on both sides until it turns golden brown and expands.
  17. Remove the fried dough and let it drain.
  18. Repeat the frying process with the other strips.
  19. The prepared dough can be refrigerated or frozen in advance.
  20. Before serving, thaw if necessary, and reheat in the oven at 400°F (204°C) for 5 minutes.


  • Add sesame seeds or green onions to the dough for added flavor.
  • Dip the crullers in condensed milk or sweetened soy milk for a sweeter treat.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure the dough is well-kneaded and elastic to ensure a light and fluffy texture.

- Stretching the dough before frying helps create the signature airy pockets inside the crullers.

- Use a chopstick to continuously turn the dough while frying to ensure even cooking and a golden-brown color.

Serving Suggestions

Chinese Crullers can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a bowl of congee or soy milk for a traditional Chinese breakfast.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying is the traditional method for cooking Chinese Crullers to achieve a crispy exterior and fluffy interior.

Ingredient Substitutions

Alum can be substituted with baking powder.

- Ammonium bicarbonate can be substituted with baking powder or baking soda.

Make Ahead Tips

Chinese Crullers can be prepared in advance and frozen before frying. Simply thaw and fry when ready to serve.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Chinese Crullers on a plate lined with parchment paper for a rustic presentation, or stack them in a basket for a casual snack.

Pairing Recommendations

Chinese Crullers pair well with savory dishes like congee or soy milk, or can be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Chinese Crullers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. To reheat, place in a preheated oven at 400°F (204°C) for 5 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Chinese Crullers contains approximately 200 calories.


Each serving of Chinese Crullers contains approximately 20g of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Chinese Crullers contains approximately 10g of fats.


Each serving of Chinese Crullers contains approximately 2g of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Chinese Crullers are not a significant source of essential vitamins and minerals.


Chinese Crullers contain gluten and may not be suitable for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.


Chinese Crullers are a delicious treat that is moderate in carbohydrates and fats, making them a suitable indulgence for those watching their calorie intake.


Chinese Crullers are a classic Chinese snack that is easy to make and delicious to eat. With a crispy exterior and soft interior, these fried dough strips are a delightful treat for any time of day.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is still fresh in my mind. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Mrs. Chang, who had recently returned from a trip to China. She had brought back many wonderful stories and souvenirs, but what intrigued me the most was the recipe she had learned for Chinese Crullers.

Mrs. Chang had always been a fantastic cook, and I knew that anything she recommended would be delicious. She explained to me that these Chinese Crullers, also known as youtiao, were a popular breakfast treat in China. They were light and fluffy on the inside, with a crispy exterior that was perfect for dipping in soy milk or congee. Mrs. Chang had learned the recipe from a local street vendor in Shanghai, who had been making youtiao for decades.

As soon as Mrs. Chang showed me the recipe, I knew I had to try it for myself. I had always been adventurous in the kitchen, and the thought of making my own Chinese Crullers excited me. Mrs. Chang graciously walked me through each step of the recipe, from mixing the dough to shaping the crullers to frying them to perfection.

I followed Mrs. Chang's instructions carefully, measuring out the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar with precision. I kneaded the dough until it was smooth and elastic, then let it rest and rise until it had doubled in size. I rolled out the dough into long ropes, then twisted them together to form the classic cruller shape.

The next step was frying the crullers, which required a steady hand and a watchful eye. I heated a pot of oil until it shimmered, then carefully lowered the crullers into the hot oil. I watched as they sizzled and puffed up, turning a beautiful golden brown color. The aroma of the frying dough filled the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation.

When the crullers were done, I removed them from the oil and let them drain on a paper towel. I couldn't resist breaking off a piece and tasting it while it was still warm. The cruller was light and airy, with a delicate crunch that gave way to a soft, fluffy interior. It was everything Mrs. Chang had promised and more.

I couldn't wait to share my creation with my family and friends. I packaged up a dozen crullers and brought them to my weekly card game with the ladies. They oohed and aahed over the crullers, declaring them the best they had ever tasted. I beamed with pride, knowing that I had succeeded in mastering this new recipe.

From that day on, Chinese Crullers became a regular fixture in my kitchen. I made them for special occasions, like Chinese New Year or birthdays, as well as for everyday breakfasts. My grandchildren loved to help me shape the dough and fry the crullers, eager to learn the recipe themselves.

As the years passed, I continued to make Chinese Crullers, adding my own twist to the recipe here and there. I experimented with different flavors, like adding sesame seeds or green onions to the dough. I even tried dipping the crullers in sweetened condensed milk, a treat that my grandchildren adored.

I often think back to that fateful day when Mrs. Chang introduced me to the recipe for Chinese Crullers. It was a turning point in my culinary journey, inspiring me to be more adventurous and creative in the kitchen. I am grateful for the friendships and experiences that have brought me to this point, and I look forward to discovering even more delicious recipes in the years to come.


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