Thursday, March 12, 2009

Homemade Gluten Puffs

Making gluten the traditional way is time consuming. It calls for mixing 8 cups of flour with 3 to 5 cups of water and forming a dough. The dough is then kneaded and rinsed under running water to remove the wheat starch. After about 20 to 30 minutes of kneading and rinsing, which to me seems like a considerable amount of time, the resulting 2 or so cups of stretchy gluten is evident. At that point the gluten needs to be simmered in broth for at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours or more or deep-fried to make gluten puffs
Luckily there are some shortcut methods for making gluten that make it a convenient food to prepare. I have had the most luck using high gluten flour or vital wheat gluten, although I have found that until you become familiar with the texture you are aiming for during the mixing and kneading process, the results will vary somewhat.

The added benefit of using this method is that you can flavor the gluten during the kneading process by adding herbs and spices of your choosing other than the traditional ginger and garlic. You can use poultry seasoning or chicken flavor broth powder to make a "chicken" flavored seitan, or a blend with paprika, cayenne, fennel, garlic, and Italian seasoning for a "sausage" flavor. Flavoring is limited only by your imagination.


4 ozs Vital wheat gluten
5 ozs lukewarm water
1/4 tsp salt


Put the wheat gluten in a large bowl.
Dissolve salt in lukewarm water and pour over the wheat gluten.
Mix into a dough and knead 8 to 10 times.
Cover dough and let it stand for 2 hours.
Heat a wok with 2 cups of oil and when temperature is 350 f, drop tiny pieces of dough to fry until golden brown.
The puffs are now ready for a variety of recipes.



Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Thanks so much for this recipe. I have been trying to make my own gluten but unsuccessful. I would love to try your method. Where can I find the vital wheat gluten? Is it the same as wheat gluten which I have seen in the chinese store advertised for use in bread/ buns?

lilyng said...


labels in asian stores can be deceiving, if the pack has pictures of bread or buns then it is bread flour. look for the pack that says wheat gluten 100% - the color of the flour is yellowish like soyabean flour

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I will venture to find this on my next trip to the store.

Anonymous said...

can I use bread flour ? anyway I will try it bcos I have a lot! I cant get 100% gluten wheat flour in M'sia,

lilyng said...


yes, knead the bread flour dough thoroughly until very elatic. Rest it for 1 hr and then wash the dough in a bazin of water, squeezing to remove all the flour and leaving you with the gluten. Let the flour in the basin of water, settle down to the bottom, then pour away as much water as possible. Pour the flour into a cloth bag and let the water drip. Dry the flour and you will get 'Wheat Starch' - Tung Mein Fun

The Yum List said...

Where can I buy vital wheat gluten/ gluten flour in Malaysia? I've looked in supermarkets but have not been successful.

lilyng said...

the yum list

it is available in malaysia, i have bought them before when i was in malaysia. Ask for 'mein kan fun'.

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