You Tiao

You Tiao
Pronunciation: yoh tiow

You Tiao is a long, golden-brown, deep fried strip of dough and is usually eaten for breakfast. Conventionally, You Tiaos are lightly salted and made so they can be torn lengthwise in two. You Tiaos are normally eaten as an accompaniment to rice congee or soy milk.

The You Tiao has a very interesting story behind it that dates back to the story of Yue Fei during the Southern Song dynasty. Yue Fei was a patriotic and well-respected General who fought many wars to protect the kingdom. The Prime Minister of the time, Qin Hui, resented him out of thirst for power. Together with his wife, Qin Hui fabricated charges which resulted in Yue Fei's death. The general public despised Qin Hui for killing their beloved war hero. Out of anger, a baker invented the You Tiao which resembles two people being twisted together to signify Qin Hui and his wife. This fried bread was named “You Zha Gui”, meaning deep-fried ghost. Patrons who ate the “You Zha Gui” did so as a sign that they had burnt Qin Hui and his wife in hot oil and eaten them up.


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