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26 Oct 2013

You Tiao - Chinese Crullers @ Cintra Street , Penang

Penang [檳城] • 26 OCTOBER 2013
Chinese Crullers, also known as Youtiao (油条), is a traditional Chinese fried treat. It is often considered as a part of the Dim Sum because it is often eaten for breakfast, despite the fact that it is rather oily.

Youtiao is more popularly known as You Cha Kwe (油炸粿) in my hometown. It is a Hokkian term for “deep-fried cake” or “oil-fried pastry”. Youtiao is called as Ca-kue in Indonesian language. 

Fairy Tale
The story of fried crullers originates from China, when a devil couple made a bundle of evil actions to the Cantonese people. As a result, people caught and fried them in a giant hot oil wok. That’s why you see two parallel strips adjacent to each other in one cruller. It’s scary to hear this story, but the reason why ancient people ate crullers is so lovely. They ate crullers to reminisce of the evil things that their ancestors had in the past, thus avoiding to do brutal actions in practice.

I got the chance to capture the shot - they use the traditional way for frying, a wok of oil ). Even though I don't eat it everyday, I am still loving it. They are also frequently served with Tau Suan 豆爽 , one of our nation favourite dessert made of mung  beans. It is also a familiar ingredient often found in the making of Rojak. My absolute favourite is when served with Bak kut teh, perfect for dipping into the rich herbal broth to soak up all those flavours. And a bowl of congee (Cantonese rice porridge) will not be the same without slices of this crunchy toppings.

It uses 'wet' dough which means that it is trickier to handle and has a tendency to stick so getting that signature 'twins' look require skills. And like making a loaf of fine bread, it is not something that can be knocked up in a hurry. 

Youtiao is sold in “pairs”. It looks like two bread-sticks joined together like Siamese twins.

Golden brown deep fried $1.20 each

Cintra Street You Tiao
76, Cintra Street, Penang
12pm to 7pm daily


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