Fast Food

Youtiao

Good old fry up

What is it?

Youtiao, also known as Chinese fried bread, is a typical breakfast food. Translated as “oil strip,” it’s a long golden brown deep-fried strip of dough usually eaten with soymilk or congee.

The history…

According to popular folklore, youtiao was originally cut in the shape of two human-shaped pieces of dough. As such it represented Qin Hui (an official from the Song dynasy) and his wife, who were vilified for betraying a much-loved general called Yue Fei.

Thus youtiao is deep fried as if taking Yue’s scalding revenge on the traitorous couple. In keeping with the legend, youtiao is often made as two foot-long rolls of dough joined in the middle.

Other variations?

If you think youtiao on its own to be a bit bland, there are plenty of accompaniments. Zhaliang, which is made of youtiao wrapped tightly in rice-noodle roll, is a very popular breakfast item in Guangdong province. Youtiao is also an important ingredient in cifan, a popular Shanghainese breakfast.

The best place to eat it:

Pick a popular place that serves congee in the morning.

Since youtiao is deep fried, it is better eaten when it’s straight out of the fryer.


© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Exclusively sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.