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Published: Sunday June 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Sunday June 22, 2014 MYT 10:42:58 AM

Chinese crullers: Two recipes plus how to use them

Recipes for youtiao, horse shoe crullers and kung po crullers.

Chinese Crullers (Youtiao)

dough

250g plain flour, sifted
½ tsp instant dried yeast
1 tbsp double-action baking powder
2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp fine salt
175ml water
½ tsp sodium bicarbonate
1.5 litres vegetable oil for deep frying

The youtiao making process

To make the dough: Place all the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a dough hook.

In a bowl, stir together the water and sodium bicarbonate, and pour it into the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed to form a smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

With oiled hands, pull the dough from the sides of the bowl towards the centre of the dough – you can also do this with a plastic dough scraper. Repeat this a few times. Cover dough and rest for 10 minutes. Repeat the process two more times to get a smooth and elastic dough.

Turn dough over and lightly coat the surface with oil to prevent it drying out. Cover dough and proof for 4 hours.

To make the dough in advance, after 2 hours of proofing, keep the dough in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours, covered. Remove dough 1 hour before shaping.

To shape: Divide the dough into two. Place the dough portions on a lightly floured work surface. Stretch each portion to a long strip that is 8cm (3”) wide and 1cm (½”) thick, patting gently to even out the surface (Pic 1). Cut into 1cm (½”) wide strips (Pic 2). Dip a bamboo skewer (satay stick) or chopstick in water and press it into the middle of a strip. Place another strip on top and press the bamboo skewer in the middle again (Pic 3). Set aside to rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough.

To deep fry: Preheat the oil in a wok until hot, or in the fryer at 190°C. Hold a dough strip at both ends and gently stretch it to a length of about 25cm (10”) (Pic 4). Drop the stretched dough into the hot oil. Make a few more and fry the crullers in batches (Pic 5). When the crullers expand and float to the surface, turn them over to brown them all over. Remove and drain on paper towels (Pic 6).

Serve hot or warm. Best eaten fresh.

Tung Po style stir-fried youtiao

Kung Po Crullers

3 pairs of fried Chinese crullers
2 tbsp vegetable oil
10 dried chillies, soaked, drained, and quartered
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (fah chiew), rinsed
15g ginger, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, quartered
1 small carrot, sliced
½ each green and red pepper, diced
30g cashew nuts or walnuts, toasted
2 stalks spring onion, cut into 3cm (1”) lengths

seasoning

2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp thick soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp Chinese rice wine
60ml water

starch mixture

1 tsp potato starch, mixed with 1 tbsp water

To toast crullers: Cut the crullers into 2.5cm-thick pieces and toast in a preheated oven at 160°C until very crisp – about 10 minutes.

To stir-fry: Heat the oil in a wok. When hot, add the dried chillies and peppercorns, and fry until fragrant. Turn off the heat. Strain the oil and discard the peppercorns and some of the dried chillies.

Return the chilli oil to the wok. Reheat the oil over medium heat. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the vegetables. Stir-fry for a minute. Add seasoning and bring to boil. Add the starch mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Add in the crullers and cashew nuts. Stir-fry until well coated with the sauce. Dish out and serve hot.

Horse hoof fried dough.

Horse Hoof Crullers

dough

250g plain flour, sifted
½ tsp instant dried yeast
1 tbsp double-action baking powder
75g caster sugar
1 tsp fine salt
160ml water
½ tsp sodium bicarbonate
1 tbsp vegetable oil

flour paste (mixed together)

1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp corn flour
45g caster sugar
45ml water
sesame seeds for coating
1.5 litres vegetable oil for deep frying

For the dough: Place all the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer attached with a dough hook.

In a bowl, stir together the water and sodium bicarbonate, and add it to the flour mixture along with the oil. Mix on medium speed to form a smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and let the dough ferment for 4 hours at room temperature.

To make the dough in advance, after 1 hour of fermentation, keep the dough in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours, covered. Remove it 1 hour prior to shaping.

To shape dough: Remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Stretch and roll out dough with a rolling pin to a 1cm (½”) thick, 20x40cm (8x16”) rectangle. Brush the dough sheet with flour paste leaving a 1cm border on both ends of the long sides. Sprinkle sesame seeds generously all over the top. Press down lightly on the seeds to make them stick.

Fold the dough sheet in half to get a 10x40cm (4x16”) strip. Cut up the strip at 2.5cm (1”) intervals.

To deep fry: Preheat the oil in a wok, or in the fryer at 190°C. As you lift the strips, pinch the ends to seal them before dropping into the hot oil. Deep fry the strips in batches, turning over to cook the other side. Remove and drain the fried dough on paper towels.

Best eaten hot when it is crisp.

Related story:

Youtiao with a twist

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, youtiao, chinese crullers

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