Ingredient 24 – Fried gluten balls

I think this was actually the ingredient that inspired this MoFo theme. I picked them up in a Chinese supermarket years ago and they’ve been in my cupboard ever since. I occasionally get them out, have a look at them, browse the internet for ideas then throw them back in the cupboard and forget about them. I still wasn’t particularly inspired when I came to use them today but MoFo made me do it.

I decided that since they were such cute balls that I’d stuff them. All the ideas I saw on the internet were very meat heavy so I just winged it really. I fried some onion, garlic and ginger and then added chopped chestnut mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, about half of each. Then I added a pinch of 5 spice, a small glug of vegetarian oyster sauce and a bit of tofu and food processed the mixture so that there weren’t any big bits left.

I poked a hole in each of the balls and stuffed as much of the mixture as I could get in. These balls are seriously weird. They remind me a bit of the flying saucer sweets we used to get as children:

Then I braised the stuffed balls in some good strong broth I had leftover from seitan making, to which I added ginger and soy sauce. Once the balls were soft, which took no time at all, I added in some chopped pak choi and a bit of cornflour mixed with broth to thicken up the sauce a bit, and served it over rice.

This was a very unusual dish indeed. The balls were very mushy but in a comforting sort of way and the filling worked very well. Even where some of it had leaked out a bit it only served to flavour the sauce, so it didn’t matter. I wouldn’t buy these again but using them was quite interesting and the filling was tasty.

Have you used fried gluten balls? What did you think of them?




3 thoughts on “Ingredient 24 – Fried gluten balls

  1. way to go! those little creations are fun and mysterious. I love that they inspired your theme, and still had to wait until the last week to finally get put to use! ha ha. Your dish actually sounds really amazing. I’m so in awe of people who can just wing it and end up with something tasty. I am seriously lacking skills in that department.

  2. I’ve seriously seen these, picked them up and then put them back at my Asian supermarket on like twenty different occasions. They seem like a good idea but then I have no idea what to do with them! Well done for solving one of life’s great mysteries.

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