During your trip to Taiwan, if you have a chance to visit Taipei, don’t forget to pass by YongHe in New Taipei City – an ideal place to experience hot springs and enjoy various specialties. One of the must-try dishes there is soymilk served with “weird” yet yummy you tiao (Chinese crullers).
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Text: Cac Truc Photos: Thanh Liem
Locals add you tiao and fluffy pemmican to a cup of soymilk, season it with spices, mix the whole thing well and enjoy it like porridge. You should try this dish in the morning since most of restaurants selling breakfast dishes in Taiwan close after 12:00pm.
I stopped by YongHe Soy Milk King near the MRT station and bought a hot cup of soy milk with good you tiao for about 20 NT$ (about 0.64USD). Here, you are offered a wide range of traditional Taiwanese breakfast dishes such as egg rolls and rice roll crepes. Savoring you tiao in hot soy milk during the the chilling early morning in Taipei will bring you a gentle feeling of warmth and contentment for sure. I love such lazy days, getting away from busy markets full of visitors, strolling down streets and just enjoying the simple life of the locals.
It’s quite easy to make you tiao. Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and water then add chicken egg. Knead the dough, and let it rest in a warm area for about an hour. Put some flour on a wood board (to prevent sticking) roll the dough and cut itinto strips. Deep fry pairs of strips of the dough, two at a time, until they become crispy and rich golden-yellow you tiao. You tiao has its origins dating back to the story of prominent military general Yue Fei.
During that period, the traitor Qin Hui and his wife fabricated charges against Yue Fei leading to his execution. The people hated Qin Hui afterwards. Inspired by popular Buddhist belief of punishment in hell for evil doers, they shaped two pieces of dough into Qin Hin and his wife, and dipped them in boiling hot oil. People began to call this food “You Zha Hui”, today’s You Tiao.
The food gets more exciting and diverse as you tiao has different variations in different countries. While people in Taiwan enjoy the mixture of you tiao, pemmican, spring onion, and spices in soy milk like porridge, Singaporeans have stuffed you tiao with fish or squid (sotong) with mayonnaise. In Hanoi, Vietnam we love you tiao with a hot bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodles). And thousands of you tiao “versions” can be found in Thailand, Laos, and China.
Yong He Soy Milk King
- Address: No. 102, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (Google Map)
- Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
- Phone: +886 2 2703 5051
- Price range: Under NT$150
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yonghe-soy-milk-king-taipei
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