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Apr 9, 2009 10:09 AM

Best Zha Liang? (Rice Sheet-Wrapped Chinese Doughnuts)

I've been craving these lately, and want to venture out of my comfort zone (Yung Ho or Har Lam Kee) and hopefully find better versions (HLK's version, particularly, has gone downhill as of late) so want to see what you 'hounds can recommend for the best zha liangs, whether in a dim sum place or a casual Chinese breakfast/lunch spot.



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  1. check yi mei. they should have it.

    Los Primos
    744 Skyline Blvd, Avenal, CA

    11 Replies
    1. re: wilafur

      Ding! Ding! Ding!

      We have a winner!

      Yi Mei also makes the finest "dan bing" and "mi jiang" in the SGV.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Thanks wilafur, ipsedixit.

        I can't believe my SGV Hounds never told me about this place! This sounds great.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          AND WHAT WOULD "dan bing" and "mi jiang" BE?


          1. re: Ciao Bob

            dan bing = kinda like an egg burrito
            mi jiang = rice/sesame paste soup thingy.....i think.

            1. re: wilafur

              Yup, except that "mi jiang" is peanut rice milk.

              Unless you grew up on it, most likely you'll find it rather "off-tasting".

          1. re: wilafur

            Cool, I didn't know they have rice sheet-wrapped youtiaos too, and I've been there for years for their rice-minced/dried pork-youtiao rolls (which are also tasty).

            Thanks! Maybe I can do a side-by-side comparison (literally) with Silver&Gold Amazing next door ;)


            1. re: wilafur

              Hmmm...I've never noticed that Yi-Mei makes Zha Liang because you usually find them in dim sum places as opposed to Taiwanese deli such as Yi-Mei. I know they make Fan Tuan, steamed sticky rice (not rice shee) wrapped around Chinese Doughnut, which is probably the best around. Actually almost everything from Yi-Mei is very good.

              1. re: fdb

                my thoughts exactly - I know about (and love) Yi-Mei's Fan Tuan, didn't know they make Zha Liang as well... guess something for me to look into this weekend! If they don't have it, I can always swing next door to Silver&Gold Amazing to try their version.


              2. re: wilafur

                We just came back from Yi-Mei this afternoon, and no zha liang to be had. :(

              3. Good 'n cheap at Yum Cha Cafe.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Chelmoon

                  Zha Liang from Yum Cha Cafe is cheap but not very good. Their you-tiau is not crunchy. Elite and The Kitchen make much higher quality ones. NBC also has pretty good ones.

                  1. re: fdb

                    fdb -- I agree with you that "Yum Cha Cafe is cheap but not very good," but my main objection with Yum Cha is that nothing is served hot. Everything we ordered that was supposed to be hot was cool to luke-warm. The items appeared to be rapidly coming from the kitchen fresh and hot, but it all tasted tired and old. How could that be? It looks so good!

                    1. re: liu

                      Odd, never had that problem before.

                      Although to be honest with you, most of the "dim sum" type items at Yum Cha should not be eating piping hot. Lukewarm is about right.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Always nice to hear from you, ipsedixit!
                        Thanks for your input on my issue with the temperature of these dim sum items.

                2. Yum Cha Cafe: poor.

                  Elite dim sum: excellent

                  Yung Ho: pretty damn good

                  Har Lam Kee: pretty damn good

                  Silver and Gold Amazing: Freaking perfect gorgeous supple crunchy wonder.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Thi N.

                    You should check out Yi Mei sometime Thi.

                    Yung Ho used to be sooo damn good. Alas, a change of ownership is never good for food stability.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Yi Mei I love - but I love the sort of dense deep rice supple-yet-grainy thing of the ones at Silver and Gold Amazing even more.

                      I was just at Yi Mei - the one at San Gabriel Superstore - slurping down some soy and dumplings, last Friday.

                      Which Yung Ho changed? The Yung Ho on New (?), or the one to the east... Yung Ho Tou Chien? That one's been my favorite for a while.

                      1. re: Thi N.

                        Yung Ho King Tou Chiang. Original owner sold the joint because of health problems; been probably about 2 years now since the change in ownership.

                        Back in the day the "tsao-bing" was nice and chewy (almost al dente, if you will) but still crisp and flaky -- if that's possible. It was in this case. And with a golden fried cruller nestled in the middle, and a big bowl of soy broth to wash it all down with, I was more than happy to beg my doctor for an extra scrip (or two) of Lipitor ...

                        1. re: Thi N.

                          Yi Mei at the San Gabriel Superstore became Yee May a couple of years ago. I presumed that meant a new owner and perhaps a new operation. Can anybody confirm?

                      2. re: Thi N.

                        Thanks, tried the S&G version this past weekend and it's really good. Yung Ho has regressed a bit recently, the youtiao (by themselves or in a zhaliang) came out way too oily in my last few trips there. I'm all for freshly-fried, but would prefer a little draining/soaking up before it lands on my plate.


                        1. re: AquaW

                          i stopped going to both young ho tou jiangs due to the cruller grease issue you experienced in addition to the slight smell of ammonia. no bueno.

                          1. re: wilafur

                            S&GA's version is pretty shockingly greaseless, given that it's a donut in the center.

                            1. re: wilafur

                              agreed. i find their yo tiao to be excessively greasy. and i know they're fried. i prefer yi mei.