Mom has tried to master her youtiao (Chinese donuts sticks aka gio chao quay in Vietnamese) dough all summer. Here's a brief run down of her trials and errors.
May 25-26th, 2009:
One of the first times she tried to make youtiao, it was actually an attempt at making hang jing bian, or something like that. It's the disk shaped deep fried dough with sesame seeds that you can find at Vietnamese banh mi shops. You can also find them in some Asian supermarkets, depending on if they sell youtiao and the bread for banh mi.
Anyway, after making the dough and letting it rest, my mom cut out circles of dough (for the hang jing bian) and cut some sticks for the youtiao. This isn't the traditional hang jing bian at all. It just resembles them a bit. I don't even know what they're called in Chinese. I think it's supposed to be ham chim peng... Does anyone know?
To finish off making the hang jing bian, she would put a bit of water and then gently press sesame seeds onto both of the sides of the circle of dough before adding it to the hot oil.
To make youtiao after cutting the dough, she would take two skinny sticks, add a bit of water in between the two, press them, stretch them, then throw them in the pot of hot oil.
Here's the finished product. Hang jing bian on the left and a tiny youtiao on the right.
The hang jing bian look like sesame balls, because they were so small. In theory, I'm sure you could fill it with some sweet bean paste or something, just like you get at dim sum.
The youtiao are tiny because my mom wanted to make them like they do in Cambodia, which are really small, according to my parents.
Since the oil was already hot, we took out some frozen spring rolls - that my mom made and froze (here's the recipe) - and fried them up. We also had some shrimp chips and tossed them in, too. Man was that an unhealthy dinner.
June 4th, 2009:
Mom experimented with making her own yeast and used it by using to make more hang jing bian and youtiao. We decided to eat hot pot that night, so the deep fried carb sticks were perfect for absorbing the soup. Omnomnomnom!
June 16th, 2009:
Bananas had gone on sale and we had a lot lying around the house. Since my mom had leftover dough from making youtiao some other time, she tried wrapping some dough around slices of bananas to see if they would turn out.
It would appear that they were perfect, but the oil was too hot so there was still some parts of the dough uncooked. These were dangerous once they were cooked, because the banana juice would burn you if you weren't careful.
My mom still needs to do some tweaking, but other than that, they taste perfectly fine. It tastes even better when you eat it with coffee, soy milk, or soup.