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Chinese Donut Recipe: How to Make Delicious Fried Dough with Sesame Seeds

Chinese donuts, also known as youtiao or Chinese crullers, are a popular breakfast food in Chinese culture. These long, deep-fried dough sticks are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, making them the perfect accompaniment to a hot bowl of congee or soy milk.

A hand mixing flour, water, and yeast. Dough resting, then being shaped into circles. Deep-frying in hot oil until golden brown. Sprinkling with sugar

Making Chinese donuts at home may seem daunting, but with the right ingredients and tools, it's actually quite simple. All you need is flour, yeast, salt, sugar, water, and oil for frying. Some recipes may call for baking powder or milk powder to achieve a fluffier texture. You'll also need a thermometer to ensure the oil is at the right temperature for frying, as well as a slotted spoon or spider strainer to remove the donuts from the hot oil.

Preparing the dough is the most important step in making Chinese donuts. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not too sticky. After mixing the ingredients together, the dough needs to rest and rise for at least an hour before shaping and frying. Once the dough has risen, it's time to shape the donuts. Traditionally, Chinese donuts are made by folding the dough in half and twisting it together, but you can also shape them into circles or knots.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese donuts are a popular breakfast food in Chinese culture, and can be made at home with simple ingredients and tools.
  • Preparing the dough is the most important step in making Chinese donuts, and requires patience and attention to detail.
  • Chinese donuts can be served with a variety of dipping sauces, and can even be paired with seafood for a unique twist on a classic dish.

Ingredients and Tools

A wooden rolling pin and a mixing bowl filled with flour, sugar, and yeast. A bottle of vegetable oil and a deep fryer sit on the kitchen counter

Essential Ingredients

To make Chinese donuts, you will need the following essential ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Filtered water
  • Neutral cooking oil

These ingredients are commonly used in Chinese cuisine and can be found in most grocery stores. You can also add soy sauce to the dough for a savoury flavour.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use shrimp or crab meat. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and mix it into the dough before frying.

Kitchen Tools

To make Chinese donuts, you will need the following kitchen tools:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk or fork
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife or pizza cutter
  • Slotted spoon or spider skimmer
  • Deep fryer or large pot
  • Candy thermometer (optional)

A deep fryer is the easiest way to fry the donuts, but you can also use a large pot and a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature. A spider skimmer is ideal for removing the donuts from the oil, but a slotted spoon will work as well.

Before you begin making the dough, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and tools on hand.

Preparing the Dough

A pair of hands kneading dough in a large mixing bowl, with flour and other ingredients scattered on the countertop

Making the perfect Chinese doughnuts requires a bit of patience and attention to detail. Here are the steps to prepare the dough for your Chinese donuts:

Mixing the Ingredients

To begin, you'll need to gather all the necessary ingredients. This includes flour, salt, sugar, water, eggs, and yeast. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and water.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. You can also use chopsticks or a silicone spatula to mix the ingredients together.

Kneading and Resting

Once the dough has formed, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

During this time, the dough will rise and become more pliable. If you're using high-hydration dough, you may need to let it rest for up to an hour to achieve the desired texture.

After the dough has rested, it's ready to be shaped and fried. If you're feeling adventurous, you can add seafood to the recipe for a unique twist. Some great options include shrimp, crab, or squid. Simply chop up the seafood into small pieces and add it to the dough before shaping it into donuts.

With these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to making delicious Chinese donuts at home.

Shaping and Frying

Dough being rolled, cut, and fried in hot oil

Creating the Perfect Shape

Shaping the dough for Chinese donuts is an important step in achieving the perfect texture. To create the classic long and thin shape, roll out the dough into a rectangle and cut it into strips with a knife or a pizza cutter. Alternatively, you can use a pair of scissors to cut the dough into strips.

To make sure the dough is evenly shaped, it is recommended to use a ruler or a straight edge to guide your cuts. Once you have cut the dough into strips, use a chopstick to make a hole in the center of each strip. This will help the dough fry evenly and prevent it from puffing up too much.

Deep Frying Techniques

Deep frying Chinese donuts requires a bit of technique to achieve the perfect crispy and airy texture. To start, heat up a wok or a deep frying pan with high smoke-point neutral oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil. It is important to use a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, which should be around 375°F (190°C).

When the oil is hot enough, carefully lower the dough strips into the oil using a pair of tongs or a spatula. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as this can cause the temperature to drop and the dough to become greasy. Fry the dough strips until they are golden brown and crispy, which should take around 2-3 minutes.

Once the dough strips are fried, use a wire rack or paper towel to drain the excess oil. For added flavour, sprinkle the donuts with salt or sugar while they are still warm.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese donut recipe, consider using shrimp or crab meat. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and mix it into the dough before shaping and frying. This will add a savoury and slightly alkaline flavour to the donuts.

Serving and Pairing

A plate of freshly fried Chinese donuts is being paired with a side of warm soy milk in a rustic ceramic bowl

When it comes to serving and pairing Chinese donuts, there are a few traditional accompaniments that you can consider. Additionally, there are some modern twists that you can try to add some variety to your meal.

Traditional Accompaniments

One of the most common ways to enjoy Chinese donuts is to pair them with soy milk or porridge. The mild sweetness of the donuts complements the savoury flavour of the soy milk or porridge. You can also try dipping the donuts in sugar coating, made by mixing granulated sugar with a little bit of water, or cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.

Another traditional way to serve Chinese donuts is with cheung fun, a type of rice noodle roll. The chewy texture of the noodle roll complements the crunchy texture of the donuts. You can also try serving Chinese donuts with ice cream for a fun twist on a classic dessert.

Modern Twists

If you're feeling adventurous, you can try pairing Chinese donuts with some unconventional accompaniments. For example, you can try serving them with chocolate sauce or a fruit compote for a decadent treat. Alternatively, you can try using Chinese donuts as a base for a savoury dish, such as by topping them with scrambled eggs and bacon.

For seafood lovers, you can try adding some seafood to the mix. For instance, you can pair Chinese donuts with dầu cháo quẩy, a Vietnamese dish that consists of chicken porridge and fried breadsticks. You can also try serving Chinese donuts with cháo gà, a Vietnamese rice porridge with chicken. For a more adventurous twist, you can try adding some seafood, such as prawns or crab, to the porridge or fried breadsticks.

There are many ways to serve and pair Chinese donuts. From traditional accompaniments to modern twists, you can experiment with different flavours and textures to find the perfect combination. Whether you prefer sweet or savoury, there's a pairing out there that's sure to please your taste buds.

Storing and Reheating

A hand pours oil into a pot. A dough is shaped into rings and fried until golden. Later, the donuts are reheated in the oven

Proper Storage Tips

After making your delicious Chinese donuts, you'll want to ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible. Proper storage is key to keeping them tasting great. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Store the donuts in an airtight container or plastic bag to prevent them from getting stale.
  • You can store them at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • Refrigerating your donuts can extend their shelf life to up to 5 days.
  • Avoid storing your donuts in the freezer. Freezing can cause the texture to change and make them less enjoyable.

Reheating for Freshness

If you have leftovers or want to enjoy your donuts at a later time, reheating them is essential. Here's how you can do it:

  • Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Place the donuts on a baking sheet and heat them for 5-10 minutes until they're warm and crispy.
  • Alternatively, you can microwave them for 10-15 seconds to warm them up, but this can make them soft and less crispy.
  • For an extra touch, you can drizzle some unsalted butter or caramel sauce on top of your reheated donuts.

Remember to always practice food safety when reheating your donuts. Make sure they're heated to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any harmful bacteria.

As a suggestion, you can also add seafood to your Chinese donut recipe. Scallops or shrimp can be a great addition, adding some extra flavour and texture to your dish. Just make sure to cook them thoroughly before adding them to your batter.

Frequently Asked Questions

A table with ingredients and kitchen utensils for making Chinese donuts

How do you make a simple Chinese doughnut?

Making a simple Chinese doughnut is easy. You will need flour, water, oil, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add water and mix until the dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. Roll out the dough and cut it into strips. Fry the strips in hot oil until they turn golden brown. Drain the excess oil and serve.

What ingredients are needed for a yeast-based Chinese doughnut?

To make a yeast-based Chinese doughnut, you will need flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and oil. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Add water and mix until the dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. Roll out the dough and cut it into strips. Let the strips rest for another 30 minutes. Fry the strips in hot oil until they turn golden brown. Drain the excess oil and serve.

Could you share a top-rated recipe for Chinese doughnuts?

Here is a top-rated recipe for Chinese doughnuts:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • Oil for frying

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a bowl. Dissolve the yeast in warm water and let it sit for a few minutes. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix until the dough forms. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. Roll out the dough and cut it into strips. Let the strips rest for another 30 minutes. Fry the strips in hot oil until they turn golden brown. Drain the excess oil and serve.

What's the traditional method for frying Chinese doughnuts?

The traditional method for frying Chinese doughnuts is to deep-fry them in hot oil until they turn golden brown. The oil should be hot enough to fry the doughnuts quickly without making them greasy. Drain the excess oil from the doughnuts before serving.

Can you describe the flavour of Chinese doughnuts?

Chinese doughnuts have a slightly sweet and savoury flavour. They are crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The doughnuts are often served with congee or soy milk for breakfast.

What's the English term for Yau char Kwai?

The English term for Yau char Kwai is Chinese doughnut.