Yau char kuai - fried bread dough served with thai coconut custard

5 servings
20 min
12 min
Very Easy


Number of serving: 5
About 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 tablepsoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of ammonia (baking ammonia) or 1 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

2 cups sieve plain (all-purpose) flour - more as needed

about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

plenty of vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  • In a large bowl, mix the salt, sugar and bicarbonate with 1 cup of water, stirring until dissolved. Pour the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add a few tbsps of the prepared water.
  • Work to make a loose, dry crumb then gradually incorporate the remainder of the water as well as the oil, kneading well after each addition.
  • While kneading, occasionally gather the dough into a ball, pick it up and slap it several times, to stretch the gluten. When all is added, continue to knead and slap for at least 5 minutes - longer is better - to arrive at a silken, smooth, soft yet quite wet dough. The dough must be quite wet - if it's too dry, this will inhibit the puffing of the bread as it cooks.
  • Cover and leave to prove and ferment slightly in a warm, airy place for 6-8 hours or longer, until the dough has almost doubled in size and slowly springs back when pressed.
  • On the streets, the dough is patted and knocked back then slowly and gently stretched into long rectangular strips about 20 cm x 5 cm x 5 mm (8 in x 2 in x 3/4 in). Home cooks might prefer to roll the dough into the required shape. Make sure the surface and the rolling pin are dusted with plenty of flour to help prevent the dough from sticking. Leave to rest and prove for about 10 minutes, covered with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Now cut into smaller strips, each piece about 5 cm x 2 cm (2 in x 1 in). Brush the centre of a piece with a little water and top with another piece, pressing the middle sections lightly together. Repeat with the remaining strips. Some cooks use a skewer dusted with flour to do this, lifting one piece of the dough and pressing it against the other piece in the middle to secure the pair.
  • Pour the deep-frying oil into a large, stable wok or a wide heavy-based pan until it is about two-thirds full. Heat the oil over a medium-high flame until a cooking thermometer registers 180-190C (350-375F). Alternatively, test the temperature of the oil by dropping a cube of bread - it will brown in 10-15 seconds if the oil is hot enough.
  • Deep-fry the bread 4 or 5 pieces at a time until puffed, floating and golden. Turn each piece constantly during the deep-frying, to ensure that the dough puffs up then cooks and colours evenly. Experienced street cooks will deep-fry as many as 20 in a batch.
  • Most cooks in Thailand will use a pair of large, long chopsticks to turn the pieces of bread - you can too, or a long-handled pair of tongs will do the trick. As each batch is cooked, lift out with chopsticks or tongs and drain on paper towel. Use a fine strainer to scoop out any scraps, which would taint the oil, and repeat until all of the shaped and cut dough is used.
  • Serve warm with a bowl of sugar or some dipping custard and a newspaper, and pepper with some gossip.


Yau Char Kuai - Fried Bread Dough Served with Thai Coconut Custard, photo 1
Yau Char Kuai - Fried Bread Dough Served with Thai Coconut Custard, photo 2
Yau Char Kuai - Fried Bread Dough Served with Thai Coconut Custard, photo 3




Great breakfast food

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