Of course there is a story associated with the You Tiao, a story of treachery and tragedy.


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon alum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon *ammonium bicarbonate (Baker's ammonium)
  • 7/8 cup water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 cups oil for deep-frying


  1. Place salt, alum, baking soda, and ammonium carbonate in a mixing bowl. Add water and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Add flour. Stir with chopsticks to make the dough soft and smooth.
  2. Knead the dough until it is elastic. Cover and let stand at least 4 hours.
  3. Remove dough and stretch it into a long strip, 1/3-inch thick and 2 inches wide. Sprinkle with a little flour.
  4. Using a knife or cleaver, cut dough into 20 strips 1/2-inch wide. Pick up a strip from the end with a spatula, turn it around and place it directly on top of the next strip (10 pieces).
  5. Lay a chopstick on top of these double strips. Press down. Repeat process with remaining pieces.
  6. Heat oil for deep-frying. Pick up one double strip. Hold the two ends and stretch it until it is 9 inches long.
  7. Drop into hot oil. Turn dough on both sides continuously with chopstick until it is golden brown and expands. Remove and drain. Repeat with other strips.
Tip: Re-heating Crullers

Typically the cruller is crisp on the outside and soft inside, when first cooked. The temptation is to re-fry but this will dry out the crullers and make the inside hard. The best way is to place them into a pre-warmed oven for 10 minutes or so, wrapped in brown paper or sitting on kitchen paper and covered with brown paper. They should not be stacked vertically. The papers prevent the crullers from sweating and drying too much, absorbs the little oil that will tend to drain and prevents any direct radiant cooking from happening. Brown paper has a greater strength when moist compared to kitchen tissue.

*Baker's ammonia is a very old ingredient generally replaced by another being sodium carbonate or Baking Soda.