Friday, November 21, 2008

Yaw Char Gwai, Yu Tiao = Chinese Doughnuts??

One thing that I missed a lot when I was in the States was "Yau Char Kwai" or "Yu Tiao". I could get it at most of the Chinese dim sum restaurants and also frozen ones are available in supermarkets BUT there is nothing like the hot sizzling ones sold right out of the wok like in Malaysia.

The Cantonese name of "Yau Char Kwai" literally means "Oil Fry Ghost" I kidding? I kid you not!!!

A quick search on wiki - and I found this description -
The Cantonese name yàuhjagwái literally means "oil-fried ghost" and, according to folklore, is an act of protest against Song Dynasty official Qin Hui, who is said to have orchestrated the plot to frame the general Yue Fei, an icon of patriotism in Chinese culture. It is said that the food, originally in the shape of two human-shaped pieces of dough but later evolved into two pieces joined in the middle, represents Qin Hui and his wife, both having a hand in collaborating with the enemy to bring about the great general's demise. Thus the youtiao is deep fried and eaten as if done to the traitorous couple. In keeping with the legend, youtiao are often made as two foot-long rolls of dough joined along the middle, with one roll representing the husband and the other the wife.

Interesting tale isn't it?

Essentially "Yu tiao" (mandarin) or "yau char gwai" (cantonese) is a deep fried strip of dough or fried bread stick or I have even heard some people call it the "Chinese doughnuts". In Chinese culture it is usually eaten for breakfast and normally eaten as an accompaniment for rice congee (porridge) or soy milk.

Let me introduce the best "Yau Char Gwai" in PJ, Malaysia. If you go to Chowyang in PJ, infront of the Mee Yoke coffee shop at 8pm at night, you will find a little stall, a husband, his wife and their son busy at work. You will also see a crowd of people around the little stall waiting for their "Yau char gwais".

The master at work preparing the dough before deep frying.

All the hungry "Yaw Char Gwai" buyers waiting and waiting...

See, the people crowing beside his son (in orange shirt). This is what you need to do. First thing, please go to the son and place your order. Do not stand around, wondering who to order with. Just go to the son and tell him what you want. They are 4 choices of yutiao and you just need to tell him how many of each you need. And then prepare to wait for 30-45 minutes as there would be at least 20 orders ahead of you. :)

This is the wife who is solely incharge of deep frying the "yaw char gwai"

These are selections of yu tiao available.
1. Ham cheen peng (salty dough)
2. Ham cheen peng with Tau sar (Salty dough with red bean paste)
3. Yu Tiao with Loh mai fan (Dough with glutinous rice)

But my favourite is the Original "Yu Tiao" or "Yaw Char Gwai".

Now, let me tell you the way to enjoy this delicious "Yu Tiao". It is true, we eat this commonly with congee (porridge) or in Hong Kong, they eat this with soymilk. But, I love to eat this with black coffee. The combination is super yummylicious!

Just dip into a hot black coffee and put it in your mouth. Yummy!

I wanted to take a photo of me eating it, just to show how delicious it is but then again, I decided against it. errr...don't think it will be a pretty photo of me eating a long strip of dough, if you know what I mean :)

Anyway, this is one item that I have never attempted to make myself, I don't know if I ever will but then again who knows.

Click here for a link Lily Wai Sek Hong's recipe who has made this at home.


Salt N Turmeric said...

No need to take pic of you eating it. Just by looking at the cakoi dunked in the coffee pun sudah lain macam. hahaha.

mysimplefood said...

Lol!! is crunchy not hard though :)

shavedicesundays said...

Wow, I 've never had this with coffee. Will have to try this sometime, maybe with Starbucks?

mysimplefood said...

shavedicesundays - it works best with black coffee - hmmm the cheap chinese types - Kopi-O... :)

Lace_Alicia said...

what is the recipe for this yaw char gwai? we call it cakoi..hehheh

mysimplefood said...

hi Alicia, Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for this. Maybe one day I will attempt to make it.

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