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Youtiao Chinese Oil Stick Doughnuts

Youtiao Chinese Doughnut

Youtiao Chinese oil stick doughnuts are typically served for breakfast with soy milk.
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Dough Rest: 9 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 55 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: savory soy milk, youtiao, oil stick, doughnut stick, chinese doughnut
Servings: 10 pieces
Author: Hsiao-Ching Chou


  • 2 cup (260 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil plus more for frying
  • ¾ cup water


  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add 2 tablespoons oil and water. Stir until clumps begin to form.
  • Gather dough with your hands and press together. Knead for 3 minutes to form a ball. Place back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Knead the dough for another 3 minutes until smooth. Press or roll dough into a 6-by-8-inch rectangular disc. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight (8 to 12 hours).
  • In the morning, remove dough from the refrigerator. Let sit on the counter to warm up to room temperature for 1 hour (up to 2 hours).
  • Fill a large Dutch oven pot with about 3-inches of oil. Attach candy thermometer to pot. Heat oil to 350°F.
  • Meanwhile, roll dough to a rectangle about 20 by 5 inches. Cut the dough into 20 even strips. Take a pair of dough strips and stack them together. Repeat with the remaining strips, trying to match similar sizes and lengths together. You should end up with 10 pairs.
  • Take a chopstick and place it lengthwise in the middle of the stacked dough. Press down firmly to create to an indentation and to adhere the top piece with the bottom piece. (*Don't press so hard that it cuts through the dough.) Repeat with remaining pairs. Place assembled dough on parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Line another baking sheet with paper towels. When the oil is ready, fry the assembled dough in batches. Do not overcrowd the pot. Use your fingertips to pick up each end of one strip. Give it a gentle stretch as you carefully place it in the oil. It will sink and then puff up and float to the top. Turn the dough a few times to ensure even cooking. Fry until rich golden brown. Remove from the hot oil and transfer to paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy with savory soy milk or sweetened soy milk. Alternatively, you may also coat the freshly fried dough in granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar for a sweet version.


(c)2021 by Hsiao-Ching Chou. Recipe excerpted from Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food by permission of Sasquatch Books.
Storage and Leftovers:
  • These are best eaten and served immediately after frying.
  • Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Gently reheat in a toaster oven before serving.
Savory Soy Milk (one serving)
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk*
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green onions (scallions)
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • dash white pepper powder
  • 1 piece youtiao, cut into 1-inch chunks
Bring soy milk to a boil. Pour into serving bowl. Immediately top with vinegar, green onions, sesame oil, and white pepper. Let sit for about 3 minutes to curdle. Top with cut youtiao. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional seasonings as desired or top with finely chopped Chinese pickles (such as pickled Chinese mustard green, cucumbers, or other preserved vegetables). 
*Use the freshest unsweetened soy milk you can find. Use soy milk that only has TWO ingredients: soybeans and filtered water. Find this pure soy milk at any Asian supermarket. This recipe will not work with American soy milk that is made with a ton of other ingredients, such as Silk.