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Zhaliang: Easy Homemade Rice Noodle Rolls Wrapped Around Chinese Doughnuts

Posted June 16, 2019 by Stephanie

Do you love carbs? Do you love carbs wrapped in carbs? Then you’ll love zhaliang: a crispy doughy Chinese donut tucked inside a slippery, chewy rice noodle, doused with sweet soy and served with hoisin and creamy sesame sauce. They serve it up at dim sum and it’s consistently a must order for me and Mike.

If you too love noodles and eat all the noodle-y things, zhaliang is right up your alley. The rice noodles wrapped around the outsides are essentially giant sheets of rice noodles rolled up like a delicious savory fruit roll up. And the best part is, if you can’t wait in those super long dim sum lines, you can make this at home, easy.

Zhaliang is super popular dish at Cantonese style dim sum made cheung fun (rice noodle sheets) wrapped around crispy youtiao (Chinese fried dough). It’s insanely tasty and easier than you think to make at home! #chinesefood #recipe #dimsum #zhaliang

Zhaliang is super popular dish at Cantonese style dim sum made cheung fun (rice noodle sheets) wrapped around crispy youtiao (Chinese fried dough). It’s insanely tasty and easier than you think to make at home! #chinesefood #recipe #dimsum #zhaliang

The bestest and easiest way to make zhaliang is to buy the ingredients and put them together. It sounds like not cooking, but it absolutely is. You can totally homemake both the rice noodles and donuts, but even easier than steaming rice rolls and deep frying doughnuts at home is heading to the Asian grocery store and buying store bought ones.

The rice rolls (cheung fun) are kept in the refrigerator section and can be sold either in giant sheets folded up or pre-rolled. They’re called rice rolls or rice noodles and you want the ones that aren’t cut into strips. You’ll find the Chinese doughnuts (youtiao) in the bakery section. You tiao is THE BEST. What’s not to love about deep-fried dough? It’s like a breadstick but even better because it’s deep fried, crispy on the outside soft and doughy on the inside.

Zhaliang is super popular dish at Cantonese style dim sum made cheung fun (rice noodle sheets) wrapped around crispy youtiao (Chinese fried dough). It’s insanely tasty and easier than you think to make at home! #chinesefood #recipe #dimsum #zhaliang

Zhaliang is super popular dish at Cantonese style dim sum made cheung fun (rice noodle sheets) wrapped around crispy youtiao (Chinese fried dough). It’s insanely tasty and easier than you think to make at home! #chinesefood #recipe #dimsum #zhaliang

Once you have all your ingredients, all you have to do is put them together, douse them in sauce and devour. A couple of tips:

1. Toast the doughnuts to heat them up a bit so they taste nice and fresh. Before you toast them, split up them up – they come twinned, so you just want to separate them into single sticks for easy rolling.
2. Warm up the rice rolls before unraveling and rolling. I usually do this in the microwave in 30 second intervals. You want them soft and pliable, but not burning hot, so just pop them in, heat them up, touch them and if they’re hard, keep going. When they’re hot, soft and squishy, they’re good to go.
3. Don’t forget the sauces. The sauces are the best part because who doesn’t love carbs dipped in sauce? Traditionally they drizzle sweet soy sauce on top and serve it up with hoisin and creamy Chinese sesame paste for dipping.

Zhaliang are sweet and salty and a mix of slippery, chewy, and crisp, and really really good. I hope you make them soon because carb life.

In carbs we trust,
xoxo steph

Zhaliang is super popular dish at Cantonese style dim sum made cheung fun (rice noodle sheets) wrapped around crispy youtiao (Chinese fried dough). It’s insanely tasty and easier than you think to make at home! #chinesefood #recipe #dimsum #zhaliang

Zhaliang Recipe
serves 2-4


  • 1 youtiao/Chinese doughnut
  • 2-3 sheets/rolls of cheung fun/rice rolls
  • sliced green onions
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • sweet soy sauce
  • hoisin sauce
  • sesame paste
  • chili oil, if desired

Heat the oven to 350°F. Separate the Chinese doughnut into two sticks and lightly toast for 3-4 minutes, just until warm but not at all brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While the doughnuts are in the oven, heat up the rice rolls in the microwave on a plate covered with a slightly damp paper towel. Microwave in intervals so the rice rolls don’t get too hot. When they’re warm and soft and squishy, they’re ready, maybe 1-2 minutes.

Carefully unroll the rice roll and place the crispy Chinese doughnut on and roll up tightly. Repeat with the remaining rice roll and doughnut. Cut into bite sized pieces, then drizzle with sweet soy sauce and top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with hoisin and sesame paste and enjoy immediately.

Note: if it’s easier, you can trim the Chinese doughnuts and rice rolls into more manageable lengths.

5 Comments

  1. John says:

    The spelling of zhaliang and youtiao don’t make these rice rolls sound Cantonese. Shame!

    1. Stephanie says:

      we call them both youtiao/yaotiew and zhaliang/zhaleung at home bc my family actually speaks putonghua but when we’re out at dim sum, which is naturally cantonese, we speak cantonese. the internet skews towards the mandarin spelling of things though

  2. Katerina says:

    So let me get this straight… this is a doughnut in a rice roll seasoned with some lovely flavours and you have it for breakfast? It looks amazing!

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes! a savory doughnut :) it’s so good!!!

  3. Marcia Ng says:

    My daughter loves eating this at dim sum. I can’t wait to try to make this for her.
    Seems easy enough that she could probably help me to roll. :0) thanks for the receipe.

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