Are Chinese Donuts Vegan?

By Olivia

Chinese donuts, also known as youtiao or fried dough sticks, are a popular delicacy in Chinese cuisine. However, when it comes to their vegan status, it depends on the ingredients and cooking methods used. Let’s explore whether Chinese donuts can be considered vegan and what factors to consider.


The ingredients used in Chinese donuts can vary, but the basic recipe typically includes flour, water, yeast, and sometimes salt. However, some variations may include additional ingredients such as eggs or milk, which can make them non-vegan. It’s important to check the specific ingredients used in the Chinese donuts to determine their vegan status.

Cooking Methods

The cooking method plays a crucial role in determining the vegan status of Chinese donuts. Traditionally, Chinese donuts are deep-fried in oil. While the frying process itself doesn’t make them non-vegan, it’s essential to consider whether they are fried in shared oil with animal products, such as meat or dairy. Cross-contamination can occur, making the donuts non-vegan. Furthermore, some Chinese donuts may be cooked on the same surface as non-vegan items, like meat or seafood, which can also affect their vegan status.

Vegan Alternatives

If you’re following a vegan lifestyle and want to enjoy Chinese donuts, there are alternatives available that are specifically made without animal products. Some vegan versions of Chinese donuts are made using plant-based milk, like soy or almond milk, and substitutes for eggs. These alternatives offer a cruelty-free option for those who avoid animal-derived ingredients.

Restaurant and Store-Bought Donuts

When dining out at Chinese restaurants, it’s advisable to inquire about the ingredients and cooking methods used for their donuts. The staff should be able to provide you with information about the vegan options available. Similarly, when purchasing Chinese donuts from stores or bakeries, checking the ingredient list or asking the staff is important to ensure their vegan status.

Making Vegan Chinese Donuts at Home

If you have a passion for cooking, making vegan Chinese donuts at home can be a fun and satisfying experience. By using plant-based ingredients like non-dairy milk and suitable egg substitutes, you can create delicious and vegan-friendly donuts. There are numerous recipes available online that cater specifically to vegans, offering step-by-step instructions for making homemade Chinese donuts.


In conclusion, the vegan status of Chinese donuts depends on the ingredients used and the cooking methods employed. While traditional Chinese donuts may not be vegan due to the inclusion of eggs or milk and the potential for cross-contamination during cooking, there are vegan alternatives available. By checking the ingredients, inquiring at restaurants or stores, and exploring homemade recipes, vegans can enjoy Chinese donuts that align with their dietary choices.