Yoo Tiao has a rich tradition in Chinese culture. According to legend, in the Song Dynasty there was a traitor named Qin Hui who orchestrated a plot to frame a celebrated and patriotic general named Yue Fei. Together with his wife, Qin Hui succeeded in having false treason charges brought against the general, who was executed in prison. The story goes on to say that grieving and angry people made two human-shaped pieces of dough --- representing Qin Hui and his wife --- and fried it in boiling oil, calling it “Fried Hui”. Later this kind of food evolved into two pieces of dough joined along in the middle, which is how Yoo Tiao looks today.
According to legend, Prince Liu An, the grandson of Liu Bang, the founding Emperor of the Han Dynasty, some 2,000 years ago, made soy milk for his mother that was ill. She wished to taste soybeans but being old and unwell, she could not chew. At her suggestion, the kind prince soaked, grinded and boiled soy beans and then filtered out the thick liquid and so soy milk was developed. Soy is naturally high in essential fatty acids, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals. There are many health benefits to drinking soy milk. Soy milk has zero cholesterol and unlike cow’s milk, it has little saturated fat.
Yoo Tiao, also known as chinese doughnuts have long been part of daily life in China. Soy Milk and Yoo Tiao is one of the most popular chinese breakfast and snacks around Asia. This long golden brown deep fried breadstick is familiar to everyone in the East. It is savoury and lightly salted, and made to be torn lengthwise in two. It can be eaten on its own, or as an accompaniment with rice congee or soy milk or coffee, or with whatever takes your fancy.
In Malaysia, it is known in english as "You Char Kway" or "Yoo Tiao" and in Bahasa Malaysia as "cakoi". Cakoi is usually sold in morning street markets or "pasar malam" night markets. In November 2007, we brought this popular street food into a more comfortable dining space @ Pavilion Mall KL.