Foodie Friday: Deep-Fried Ghost

Deep-fried ghost: you zha gui (Cantonese) is basically a long Chinese doughnut

you zha gui

Legend has it that during the Song Dynasty, patriotic hero General Yue Fei was persecuted by the wicked Qin Hui and his wife. The traitorous couple even had the general executed. In anger, a baker decided to make two dough sticks, which represented the cruel husband and wife, and fried them up.

Traditionally, the doughnut is made from two-foot long rolls joined in the middle. Bland by itself, you zha gui is eaten with another food, like congee or soy milk. The doughnuts are slightly salted, but their culinary magic comes from the contrast between the slightly crusty exterior and soft interior. They’re best eaten right out of the oven.

Fun fact: You zha gui was originally human-shaped and two separate long pieces.

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  1. Veronica Roth says

    That sounds really yummy. I’ve never tried one, but my grandmother used to make Czech doughnuts of sorts. They were also a bit bland by themselves but had jam, cottage cheese, sugar and melted butter heaped and drizzled on top. We used to eat them till we were so full we could burst! Come to think of it, it’s a darn good thing I skated so much in my childhood! :D

  2. They look like an unwrinkled, or smooth, churro. The salty, sweet sounds tasty.

  3. I’ve had those. Yum!

    • Jennifer J. Chow says

      Glad you’ve tried them out, Sabra. It’s nice dipping them into sweet or salty soy milk (depending on your preference).


  1. […] breakfast burrito! Glutinous rice is wrapped around different fillings. Common insides include you zha gui, shredded pork, and pickled vegetables. These rice rolls are great for breakfast on the go because […]

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