Fried tea cake, also known as “youtiao” or “you tiao,” is a popular Asian food item that is commonly enjoyed as a breakfast item or snack. It is a long, deep-fried strip of dough that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

The history of fried tea cake can be traced back to ancient China, where it was commonly enjoyed as a breakfast food. It was said to have originated during the Song dynasty and became popular throughout China. Over time, the popularity of fried tea cake spread throughout Asia, and it is now a staple food item in many countries, including China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia.

Fried tea cake gained popularity due to its delicious taste and versatility. It can be enjoyed plain, with dipping sauces, or as a sandwich filling. In many cultures, it is also believed to bring good luck and is often served at special occasions, such as weddings and festivals.

Another reason for its popularity is its easy and quick preparation. Fried tea cake can be found in street stalls and bakeries, and it is also easy to make at home. The dough is simple to make, consisting of just flour, water, yeast, and sugar, and the deep-frying process takes only a few minutes.

Overall, fried tea cake is a beloved food item that has been enjoyed for centuries, and its popularity continues to grow due to its delicious taste, versatility, and easy preparation.

Here’s a simple recipe for making fried tea cakes, or “youtiao,” at home:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the yeast, warm water, and warm milk together. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it begins to froth.
  3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C). Place a baking sheet on the middle rack to warm.
  7. Divide the dough into 10-12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a long, thin strip, about 1/2 inch in diameter.
  8. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat until it reaches 375°F (190°C).
  9. Fry the tea cakes in the hot oil, in batches, until they are golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  10. Remove the fried tea cakes from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on the warmed baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm.
  11. Repeat the process with the remaining dough portions.
  12. Serve the fried tea cakes warm and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.