Stars Michelle Yeoh, Justin Chien and Sam Song Li weigh in on the great fried dough debate
In the Netflix series, assassin Bruce Sun (Chien) heads to Southern California to protect his mother (Yeoh) and younger brother Charles (Li) from Taiwanese gangsters. After arriving, Bruce — who is as skilled at baking as he is at killing — discovers churros. He immediately falls in love with the sugar-dusted dessert and becomes obsessed with recreating it.
Churros unlock a core memory for the brothers, who haven't seen each other for 20 years. "It’s like a cinnamon sugar youtiao,” Bruce informs Charles, referencing the plain Chinese fried dough pastry with a similar shape they loved as kids.
Some historians believe that youtiao even inspired churros when trade routes between Asia and Europe opened centuries ago.
PEOPLE caught up with Yeoh, Chien and Li at the The Brothers Sun event at the 626 Market in L.A. County's San Gabriel Valley, which is the Asian American enclave where the series was filmed. They talked all things fried dough and whether they're #TeamYoutiao or #TeamChurro.
"Youtiao!" Yeoh declared, revealing that she likes hers best with congee (Chinese porridge). "I dare not venture to churros," the Oscar winner added.
"Do you want me to tell the truth?" teased Chien. "I'm gonna pick the churro, with a little bit of chocolate. I didn't have any at the premiere and I really wanted them."
However, when Chien does have youtiao, he prefers the savory version. "I like my youtiao with a little bit of soy sauce," he says.
"You weirdo," his costar Li jumped in, who like Yeoh is #TeamYoutiao. "You have to have it sweet!"
"You gotta get the sweet soy milk," Li continued. "I always add a little bit of sugar to the soy milk. I want the youtiou drenched in sweet soy milk."
"Condensed milk!" his on-screen mother suggested.
"I haven't tried that but I should," Li replied. "I have a huge sweet tooth."
The production team on The Brothers Sun were clearly #TeamChurro. Over 1,200 of the treats were made for the show, food stylist Melissa McSorley tells PEOPLE exclusively.
"Some of those were my trial and error as I provided samples to [director] Kevin [Tancharoen] and [executive producer] Byron [Wu] for their approval, many were for the background that were in the school campus scenes, and then of course the hero ones you saw on camera," McSorley explains.
McSorley also describes the meticulous planning that went behind Bruce's discovery and eventual mastery over churros.
"His perfection of the recipe was timed out over the course of the season," she explained. "From his love at first bite of churros (these were a store bought, frozen brand) there were five versions of the churros. For Charles' first try at making churros, I used a larger star tip than typical and bent the tines back, so that the churros would come out blobby and wavy, along with piping them with my left hand (I am right handed). Then with his next few versions, we progressed to making them more and more perfect."
Even if they looked less than perfect, they were still delicious.
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"All versions were edible, just ask the prop team and crew that made sure that none went to waste!" McSorley revealed.
All episodes of The Brothers Sun are currently streaming on Netflix.
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