Vegan Youtiao Recipe: Best Fried Breadsticks [Chinese Donut]

I’ve always loved Taiwanese food, and one of my all-time favorites is the vegan youtiao recipe (pronounced yoo-tey-yaow). The word youtiao literally means “oil stick.” A traditional breakfast dish made from deep fried batter to form a crispy exterior and chewy interior can be coated with sugar or salt before being served.

In Taiwan, you can find it at any time in the morning. In addition to breakfast shops and street carts, some bakeries will also sell them as danish pastries in the morning. It is not uncommon for people there to eat this heavily sweetened pastry with their coffee or tea as they go about their day.

There are many variations of the youtiao recipe out there in the world. Some recipes use eggs, milk, or even cheese, but this vegan alternative recipe is my favorite and uses no animal products!

Vegan Youtiao Recipe
Vegan Youtiao Recipe

What Does Youtiao Mean In Chinese?

The word youtiao literally means “oil stick.” However, as it is a type of dough, we usually refer to youtiao by its English translation. The literal translation for youtiao would be “oil ball” in Mandarin Chinese.

Vegan Youtiao Recipe

Prepare Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 45 minutes

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Yield: 10 sticks

Recipe Ingredients

  • 260 g (2 cups) of all-purpose flour
  • 10 g (2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1.25 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
  • 1 tsp of instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 8 g (2 tsp) granulated white sugar
  • 15 ml of canola oil
  • 175 ml of warm water

Step By Step Instructions

Step-1: Put your flour on the work surface. Sift your dry ingredients into it and make a well in the center.

Step-2: Heat 4 tablespoons of water until lukewarm and add the yeast to it. Stir gently, then let stand for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add this mixture, sugar, and oil to the well in your flour and mix together. Knead until you have a soft dough (the longer you knead, the chewier your dough will be).

Step-3: Cover your bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow this dough to ferment for 3 hours at room temperature.

Step-4: Pinch off a quarter of the dough, roll it into a ball, then roll it out the same size as you would for pizza.

Step-5: Cut the circle in half and make two scrolls using the water and oil mixture as dough. Roll them out to long strips and then cut these strips into small sticks of any shape. Place them on an oiled baking tray. You will need enough space between each one, so they don’t stick together while frying.

Step-6: Heat the oil (you can use a wok or any metal pot) to 170°C in a wok over medium heat. Drop your youtiao sticks into the oil carefully and fry until golden brown (approximately 1 minute). Remove and drain on a paper towel.

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Step-7: Place them in a sieve to drain for about 15 minutes to make them crispier. Then, dry fry them in an open pan for about one minute until they’re dry and crunchy.

Youtiao can be served warm or cold

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

NutritionAmount
Calories134 kcal
Carbohydrates24.7 g
Sugars3.8 g
Protein3.2 g
Fat2.5 g
Saturated Fat0.3 g
Sodium116 mg

Can I Keep Youtiao Overnight?

If you store the sticks in a sealed container, you can keep them for up to 3 days. I suggest eating them within 2 days of making them, as the oil will separate and they’ll become soggy if they are left too long.

How Long Can You Keep Youtiao?

You can keep this vegan youtiao at room temperature for up to a week. They’re also good when cold (also known as Bonzai). But you might like to freeze some of them. Simply wrap each stick separately in plastic wrap before freezing.

I’m looking forward to eating this crispy vegan youtiao after my morning soy milk!

Can I Make Gluten-Free Vegan Youtiao?

There are many variations of the youtiao recipe out there in the world. Some recipes use eggs; others use milk or even cheese. This vegan alternative recipe is my favorite and uses no animal products!

Yes, this recipe is easily gluten-free if you use gluten-free all-purpose flour and gf baking powder/soda. All-purpose flour is just a mix of all wheat: hard wheat for elasticity and soft wheat for tenderness. So do pick up gluten-free flour if you have grains sensitivity.

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Are Vegan Youtiao Good For You?

Vegan youtiao is actually quite filling and can be a good way to get some protein into your day. They are full of carbs from the flour but contain a fair amount of protein from the soy milk and oil used.

However, this is not a replacement for an actual meal – even though it tastes pretty good, I wouldn’t call that something that you could eat on a regular basis (I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “good for you”).

Are Vegan Youtiao Good For Your Appetite?

If you’re going to eat vegan youtiao, I recommend pairing it with something else – otherwise, it can be very easy to overeat this.

Are Vegan Youtiao Good For Making You Fat?

A pastry is always easy to make. It is fattening for the people who like eating pastry every day. It contains many fats, proteins, and proteins that are easily accessible to the body in a short time.

Eating too much of it will add more fat and overclock your body. I think this is not good for people who want to eat many healthy foods.

The Bottom Line

Since I like to eat this vegan youtiao with soymilk, I will save them for the weekend when I have some free time. The rest of the week, I’m usually rushing around in the morning, so I just make a cup of tea!

You can buy vegan youtiao at Asian grocery stores or Chinese bakeries. If you have trouble finding it, there is a recipe here for making your own homemade vegan youtiao!