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Chinese Cruller/ Fried Devils (Yauh Char Kwai)

When I was in Malaysia ,I bought Agnes Chang's Hawker Delights cookbook.I would like to try each individual recipe she published.I never make Chinese Cruller or Yauh Char Kwai before,so this is a good chance for me to try out her recipe.I also bought a ammonia powder from Malaysia.Of course, I alter some of her recipe since I can't find alum(pak fun) and high protein flour.I never understand how Malaysia grade their flour!!.So I used bread flour instead.


1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp water

1 tsp flour

250 ml water

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

3/4 tsp alum(I omit)

3/4 tsp ammonia powder(chow fan)

1 tsp salt

300 gm bread flour

oil for deep frying


1:Mix yeast,sugar,flour and 1tbsp water.Leave for 10-15 minutes until foamy.

2:Mix in 250 ml water,bicarbonate soda,alum,ammonia powder and salt.

3:Sift bread flour into a mixing bowl.Form a well in the center.Add the mixed ingredients and knead well.

4:Roll out into a long rectangle,cover and leave for 1 to 2 hours.


When I took my first bite,I can smell ammonia powder is very very strong(stink).And I have no way to eat this Yauh Char Kwai with the powerful flavor of ammonia powder.Next time if I'm going to make this Yauh Char Kwai,I should reduce the portion of ammonia to 1/4 instead of 3/4.Another thought,I think I can use bread dough recipe and deep fried as Fried Deep Devil!.Did anyone of you try this alter method before,please let me know how your result:)

Well,I refried again later and coated with cinnamon sugar.Elliot love it,he thought it's cruller from Great Adventure!.

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Anonymous said...
June 7, 2008 at 10:14 PM

Lesley, you Yau Char Kwai looks really good lah.. I am going to make this soon but I will cut down on the amonia powder since you said it has a strong after taste. I like dipping my YCK in curry :)

Anonymous said...
June 8, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Wow, looks good man! You are very hardworking these days, attempted all the "more work" recipes! I'm still haven't settled down to my cooking mood yet. Since in-laws are here, have to bring them around and mostly eat outside.

Anonymous said...
June 8, 2008 at 10:07 PM

Thank you:) but really good if I know ammonia is so stink,I won't add in at all.Yes,Gert next time when you make remember to reduce ammonia to zero!! banyak busuk!!lol!!

Thank you:))take it easy now,with inlaw around also give you some time to enjoy their company and eat other ppls cooking,that good rite?

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 12:11 AM

wow...very lovely yeuh cha kwai....I have been tryin to make them without the ammonia powder..but not really successful..maybe should try it again with ammonia powder...

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 12:13 AM

Oh..beachlover, just for yr information...high protein flour is actually bread flour here...

Will blog about the many types of flour and their uses later...

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 3:27 AM

i've never tasted this they taste like fried doughnuts???

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Wow, these deep fried devils look so crispy good! I can't eat my "jook" without 'em...but have never tried making them.

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 3:44 PM

I enjoy your blog, but I cannot believe that you are promoting this kind of garbage for people to eat.

Aren't you concerned about people's health?

My god, 70% of people today are obese, over 25% of the people who live in New York City (especially immigrants) have infectuous herpes, our fresh produce (like tomatoes) is infected with salmonella and e-coli because the immigrants are deficating on the crops . . . and then you PROMOTE crap that will kill people???

Where are we headed? I can tell you . .. we are ALL headed to the GRAVEYARD, that's where.

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 4:09 PM

chiff0nade, what do you suggest we eat then? Not all of us are overweight, herpes has nothing to do with food and your comments about immigrants are nothing more than thinly veiled racism.

Nobody is forcing you, or anyone else, to eat this. And if you look at things the right way, EVERYTHING we eat is capable of killing us. We're all going to die one day.

Also, you got your facts wrong. 64% are overweight, while 30% of those are obese.

I really do wonder what you eat, and what prompted these rude comments. I'm guessing that you don't eat much fresh produce, which leads to comments about overweight people because you are overweight yourself, and you feel bitter about that.

I think I'll go make this recipe just to spite you.

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 4:30 PM


What kind of a handle is THAT?? And why did clicking on your "handle" lead me to a disgusting "ADULTS ONLY" forum . . . when YOUR definition of "ADULTS ONLY" resulted in nasty, disgusting stuff?

Yeah, I already KNOW that each of us is going "to die" sometime. But that is no excuse (although widely used) for helping "sometime" along.

And the term "thinly veiled racism" is over-used and worn out . . . so get over it. I have FORGOTTEN more about racism than you will ever know.

Please do not piss me off any further.

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 5:18 PM

Chiff0nade, look like you have nothing better to do with your time. I guess you like going around people blog and leave nasty comments. Who are you to talk about overweight and obesity when you yourself are overweight and your BF is over 450 pounds. "Pot calling the kettle black" Feel free to go somewhere else and don't come back to this blog. You are not welcome here!!

Fan of Beachlover

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 6:25 PM

sweet jasmine:
So you did try making YCK without ammonia powder and not success,rite?.Maybe you can just add a bit,since the smell is really powdeful.Thanks for the information about high protien flour,now I know

YCK texture is very different from Donut.The dough is not spongy after fried.I think Filipino chinese did eat this for their breakfast.In fact chinese created this snack for many many century ago.

Yes,I also must have this when eating congee and dip into my coffee!.Welcome to my club!

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 6:57 PM

You're not welcome to my blog with your nasty and stupid remark!!.You have no idea what the hell you're talking about since you,yourself are an italian immgrant who lived in Brooklyn ,New York!.From the way you write and talk in your blog ,I know you're a white trash and a loser!!.why don't you go to Jerry Springer show,maybe he will welcome you with open arms.Again I warn you not to come here.THIS BLOG BELONGED TO ME!.The end!

Thank you,you to take my fight.I appreciated it.Don't bother with this person,she not worth it!

Don't waste your breath with this person.She bitter about her life,so she thought going around someone else blog to fight and get attention.Now she get more attention coz we visit her blog to know who is she!.

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 11:05 PM

I believe I read somewhere earlier that chiff0nade is a troll going around the cooking blogs who is trying to pose as someone else.

Not quite sure on my memory, but I thought I'd give a heads up.

Anonymous said...
June 9, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Oooorr, we can pretend that my memory IS completely off and ignore the last part, but the first part (TROLL) is pretty obvious, I guess.

Beachlover; I love Youtiao but have never had it outside of Taiwan. I think I'd try making it, but I'm thinking that the ammonia smell might bother me.

Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 1:02 AM

Hi Beach
Char Kueh- a good snack. I bought a packet just the other day from the Vietnamese grocery.This is a must item on my shopping list every time I go to the Asian grocery store.

I say bring on more of these good stuff.Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 1:44 AM

I would not have known about the ammonia smell coz these fritters looks so perfect! Wish I had some malaysian/singapore coffee now!

Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 1:55 AM

My god,
My mouth is watering now,
I love to dip this in ice sweet soy milk,
Soooo good!

Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 8:06 AM

Once I ordered these at a very local Chinese restaurant here in Hong Kong, and the ammonia smell was so strong I thought they surely mixed in ammonia cleaner by accident. I didn't eat them. Your post explains everything. Thanks!

Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 3:44 PM

NO, I do NOT think that this post explains everything. And I think that you are endangering people's health.

Ammonia smell, when related to seafood (especially in a fish market or supermarket) is a CLEAR indication that the seafood is spoiled . . . SPOILED!

I am a fisherman in Florida, and I KNOW about ammonia smell in seafood. You eat seafood that smells of ammonia and you risk getting VERY sick.

I think your readers need some clarification here. I mean, I don't know what Asians do or eat, but I do know that this thread could make people sick or dead.

Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 9:23 PM

First of all,check your fact before you come here and lecture me about my cooking .You know nothing about ammonia and ammonia powder!!.Let me brief you what is ammonia powder for FREE!!
Originally made from the ground antlers of reindeer, this is ancestor of modern baking powder. Northern Europeans still use it because it makes their springerle and gingerbread cookies very light and crisp. Unfortunately, it can impart an unpleasant ammonia flavor, so it's best used in cookies and pastries that are small enough to allow the ammonia odor to dissipate while baking.
Look for it in German or Scandinavian markets, drug stores, baking supply stores, or a mail order catalogue. Don't confuse this with ordinary household ammonia, which is poisonous. Varieties: It comes either as lumps or powder. If it isn't powdered, crush it into a very fine powder with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. Substitutes (for 1 teaspoon of baker’s ammonia): 1 teaspoon baking powder (This is very similar, but might not yield as light and crisp a product.) OR 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 1 teaspoon baking soda .
Let me brief you why the seafood you talking about smell ammonia. Ammonia is what fish & shellfish excrete...they don't produce urea/urine like mammals. So if you're smelling ammonia, the fish or shellfish is WAY WAY past its prime. Fresh seafood has NO ammonia smell. That smell is a product of decay.Understand!!

I don't care who send you,but you're not welcome to my blog with your nasty accused!!.Goodbye!

Anonymous said...
June 10, 2008 at 9:40 PM

Where are you right now?.You can find Youtiu in any asian supermarket here in US.But of course it's come from frozen form.I think buying one is more easy than making yourself:)

Thank for your encouragement!!.I definetly will try more new recipe:)

I eat YCK whole my life but didn't know ammonia is mixed and smell until I make myself,maybe the one we bought know how to removed the smell when frying.They must have "kungfu"!!lol!

I guess you must be Taiwanese or Hongkies when you say dipping youtiu in soy milk!!hahaha!!.as Malaysian or SDingapore we love to dip our youtiu into our coffee or mixed salad(rojak):)

The seller use ammonia powder not ammonia cleaner for the household,so don't be afraid.Maybe next time you can dip into coffee or soy milk,that how we asian do when eating this snack:)

Anonymous said...
June 11, 2008 at 8:17 AM

that looks lovely

Anonymous said...
June 20, 2008 at 8:13 AM

@Beachlover: They look abosolutely divine! I came across your blog via a link while surfing through different food sites.

I wanted to share some info with you & the others regarding the negative comments made by an Internet Troll that is POSING as Chiff0nade.

Google docchuck and you will find hundreds of posts throughout the internet. He has been impersonating a real person who goes by the name Chiffonade...even to the point of setting up fake myspace pages using photos from the real person's page.

Ignore this sick bstrd, he's a stalker....again, google him and you will quickly see the pattern of his internet trolling.

Anonymous said...
June 23, 2008 at 11:54 AM

Chiff0nade and brotherchiff0nade are the work of DOCCHUCK, the drooling internet troll.

Docchuck = Charles Treuter from Columbia, MD.

Anonymous said...
June 24, 2008 at 4:09 PM

Unfortunately, my husband's infected saddle sores have poisoned his few remaining brain cells and his Medicaid won't pay for penicillin. I told him he'd better spend more time drinking blue cheese dressing and less time disgorging his diseased spleen here.

But he's never been a good listener, sorry.

Anonymous said...
June 28, 2008 at 4:51 PM

anon 8.17:
Thank you:P

Thanks for your informations..I have enough of him or she.I guess he/she must be really sick,going around condemn ppls.I guess internet have alot of crazy ppls.Look below your comment,more of this kind ppls coming..Have a good day!!

Anonymous said...
July 23, 2008 at 12:00 PM

I just thought I'd explain a bit about ammonia powder. It is indeed a leavening agent that in past times was made from heated antler (or any organic nitrogen rich source) nowadays it refers to ammonium carbonate which, when heated, gives off carbon dioxide and ammonia gases (hence the smell). You can also use ammonium bicarbonate which breaks down at a similar temperature but does not give as much ammonia. It is not the same as using regular baking powder which is normally sodium bicarbonate mixed with some kind of acid. When heated the acid reacts with the sodium bicarbonate which then gives off carbon dioxide. The thing is that the ammonium carbonates are more alkaline than regular baking powders and I believe this makes a difference to the texture of the product because of the way it reacts with the starch in the flour. With your products my guess is that you have to use just enough bakers ammonia to get the chemical effect you need and at the same time make sure they are cooked enough so that all the ammonia is evaporated off. I hope this helps - PS I am a food technologist from Europe.

Anonymous said...
December 1, 2008 at 5:31 PM

I was looking for yu tiao recipe then I got to your blog!! I saw the nasty comments... OMG.. ignore that person.. rasanya dia tu siao eh!!! :P

cikmanggis said...
April 5, 2009 at 7:40 AM

I tried to make chai kwai several times but the smell of ammonia is very strong...when I reduce the portion of ammonia,the texture become very hard but I never give up.Hope you can come up with new chai kwai recipe without it possible?....hmm I like your blog!

The_Ferret said...
May 15, 2010 at 11:33 AM

KeepItRealDoc wrote:
Charles Richard Treuter is one of the saddest and most pitiful excuses for human existence – almost on the same level of sad and pitiful as his HERO the chief B HO(le) of liberalism’s bholes/the BO stench of liberalism’s stinking armpits and other orifices. There is an entire blog website dedicated to exposing this sociopathic pathological liar. Look at DocChuck’s MySpace profile for a deep belly laugh. None of his claims to fame and fortune and academic superiority has as much credibility as a quack snake-oil salesman (come to think of it his lack of credibility is so serious that I’d stand in line for several hours to buy the quack’s snake-oil by comparison).

For the truth about Charles Treuter/Charles R Treuter/Charles Richard Treuter/DocChuck and 50+ handles (according to one Charles Richard Treuter’s emails to his brothers, Kenneth W. Treuter and Douglas V. Treuter, [add his brothers' names to Charles' handles inasmuch as he is now ILLEGALLY using their names to post his bullshit, racism, perversions and outrageous and outlandish lies]) make your way to a very thorough and thoughtful exposé of this vile and potentially DANGEROUS troll and wasted human existence:

The_Ferret said...
June 13, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Nowhere else is there to be found as thorough expose of "DocChuck"/Charles Richard Treuter as is posted by a commissioned investigator whose blog is located at:

Charles Richard Treuter, hiding behind the "DocChuck" name with all of its attached bullshit claims and venom, has trolled the Internet for years, victimized those of whom he has stalked, harassed, and threatened (including death threats)may have his weird epic of criminal behavior and enjoyment of his sociopathic psychosis reaching its finale. See:

Anonymous said...
November 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I love chinese cruller and always surfing on the net where I can find chinese cruller or you tiao then I found this Bee J You Tiao from kuching, Malaysia, it looks really delicious,seems like this Bee J You Tiao has blended with their local Malaysian taste, check it out

I surely will try this Bee J You Tiao (chinese cruller) when I get to Kuching.

Anonymous said...
May 6, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Good recipe. Thanks. But you can substitute the ammonia powder with modern baking powder. This will eliminate the smell. The ammonia powder is used only as a leavening agent, which the baking powder will do just as well, but without the smell.

Anonymous said...
December 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Hi Laurie Allanson,
Do you know of any good substitute for the ammonia powder? Thanks.

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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917(at)yahoo(dot)com. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.