China’s Traditional Breakfast Combination: Soy Milk and Fried Dough Sticks (Part I)

Most mornings people don’t have much time before work or school to make breakfast. Its a troublesome problem for many that still want something filling to have in the morning. But, in China, the perfect solution has been found! This simple, yet delicious, breakfast consists of warm soy milk “豆浆(dòujiāng)” accompanied by crispy, deep-fried twisted dough sticks “油条(yóutiáo)”. This tasty traditional breakfast is paired together for a reason. The creamy soy milk warms the belly and the crunchy dough sticks give a happy feeling of being full. Many feel that is it the perfect breakfast combination!

HSK 3 quiz

Aside from being delicious, the reason this pairing is the best for the busy is its quick and convenient. Many venders set up their carts along the road side and sell the dough sticks and warm soy milk to passerby’s on their way to work. If you happen to visit China, you can see the yummy dough sticks, or “油条(yóutiáo)”, being made for yourself! Your nose will be greeted with the homely smell as they are fried right in front of you. Then you can drink a cup of warm soy milk, or “豆浆(dòujiāng)”, to wash them down. This soy milk is made of ground up soybeans and is then filtered and boiled, fresh and ready for breakfast. The soybeans are filled with nutrients that help with digestion. So, its a a healthy breakfast option that is considered the people of China’s characteristic food!

HSK 3 quiz

If you ever want to make the crispy “油条(yóutiáo)” for yourself, it is a very simple recipe. The main ingredients are: flour, water, an egg, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Look at the photo  and see the steps to making the tasty treat. A version of the fried dough stick, the “old fried dough stick,” has another meaning that it is used for. The “老油条(lǎoyóutiáo)” are the same as the “油条(yóutiáo)”, they are just fried longer and are comparatively crisper,but it can be used to describe a person that is very experienced. The “老油条(lǎoyóutiáo)”, or wily old fox, is clever and crafty and knows all the tricks of his trade. Keep in mind, sometimes this is a derogatory term so its best just to use it to refer to the delicious breakfast food!


Wǒ měitiān zǎoshang hē yìbēi dòujiāng.
我    每天      早上        喝  一杯  豆浆。
I drink  a cup of soy milk for breakfast every day.

Wǒ jīntiān xiǎng chī yóutiáo, bùxiǎng chī bāozi le.
我   今天     想     吃   油条,   不想      吃  包子 了。
Today, I want to eat fried dough sticks instead of steamed buns.

Jīntiān māma méi zuò zǎocān, Wǒ zài wàimiàn mǎi le dòujiāng hé yóutiáo.
今天     妈妈   没    做   早餐,  我  在   外面       买  了  豆浆      和   油条。
My mother didn’t make breakfast today, so I bought soy milk and fried dough sticks outside.

Tā kě shì gè lǎoyóutiáo a, jīngcháng piànqǔ nǚháizi de diànhuà hàomǎ.
他 可  是  个 老油条      啊,经常       骗取     女孩子 的  电话      号码。
He is a sly old fox, daily tricking girls into giving him their number.

Related Post:
The Breakfast Chinese People Are Crazy About!
Conversation-早点 (zăodiăn) Breakfast; Coming Early
HSK 3 quiz
1. Which of these words means breakfast?
A. 食物(shíwù)
B. 早上(zǎoshang)
C. 早餐(zǎocān)
D. 晚餐(wǎncān)
2. What is a “油条(yóutiáo)”?
A. Oil twig
B. deep-fried twisted dough stick
C. Soy milk
D. Bread with oil in it

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