In Chinese cooking, especially with vegetarian cuisine, gluten is often used as a substitute for meat. Gluten and soy products have also long been the major ingredients for the Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns’ vegetarian meals in the monastery for over 2,000 years. Even those who do not follow a vegetarian diet can still enjoy eating dishes or snacks that were made with gluten.
I remember when I was little, whenever we went to a vegetarian restaurant or the canteen belonging to the temple with our parents, we would always have some really tasty dishes made with gluten cooked in so many delicious ways.
除了中國以外，東南亞很多地方、甚至蘇聯和西方國家也有發明用麵筋以取代肉食的烹飪方法。這種食品，英文叫做 Seitan ( 發音 say-tan, 日文 セイタン ) ，或 Gluten, 甚至 Wheat-meat. 有把它們做成素肉、素腸、素雞等。
麵筋傳統的做法，是由小麥粉加水搓成麵糰，靜置後放進水中搓揉沖洗約 30 分鐘，把麵粉中的澱粉全部沖洗出來，留下便是純蛋白質的麵筋。洗剩下來的澱粉如果經過乾燥處理就是用來做蝦餃、粉果等廣式點心的澄麵粉了。
這樣的做麵筋方法非常費時費水費力。幸好現在可以隨時買到活性麵筋粉 ( vital wheat flour )，那是一種從小麥粉中把所有其他含量抽去而只把麵筋留下的筋粉。可以讓我們直接把它加水或液體揉成麵筋。 完全省去沖洗的步驟和時間。
Also fondly missed are those stewed marinated gluten in different flavours: barbecued pork, oyster sauce and curry. They were a type of hugely popular snack food back in those days. Not forgetting the scrumptious small nuggets of “chicken” and “duck’s kidney” bite size snack pieces. They were all made from gluten, shaped and formed differently; then boiled, baked, steamed or deep-fried to achieve the desired effect and taste accordingly. We can see what an important role gluten has played in the culture of Chinese cooking.
Apart from China, other regions in Southeast Asia as well as Russia and some Western countries have also invented and discovered methods of using gluten in their cookings. These types of gluten are called Seitan (pronounced say-tan, Japanese: セイタン ), or wheat-meat. They can be made into veggie meat, veggie sausages and veggie chicken etc.
The traditional way of making gluten is adding water to wheat flour, kneading into a dough, resting, then kneading and rinsing the dough in the water for about 30 minutes, until all the starch has been washed out, and becomes pure gluten. Putting the rinsed out starch through a drying process to turn into a type of wheat flour is used to make dim sum such as shrimp dumplings in Cantonese restaurants.
This method of producing gluten is very time consuming, hard work and wasteful of water. Fortunately, you can now buy wheat flour (pure protein gluten flour), which allows you to skip the timely washing and rising steps and simply adding water into the flour and then kneading and resting, then the gluten is ready to be cooked.
Today I wanted to share with you the way to cook boiled gluten.
此外，請參考 : 特別為佛門設計的清淡口味版本 :
Homemade Wheat - Meat
- 麵筋粉 (wheat protein / gluten flour / vital wheat gluten flour) 1 1/2 杯 (250ml 容量的杯)
- 營養酵母片 (nutritional yeast flakes) 1/3 杯
- 鷹嘴豆粉 1/4 杯 (chickpea flour / gram flour / besan flour)
- 煙紅椒粉 (smoked paprika) 1/2 小匙
- 白胡椒粉 1/2 小匙
- 洋蔥粉和蒜粉各 1 小匙 (佛教持素者如我自己會用薑粉和芫荽粉代替)
- 鹽 1/2 小匙
- 糖 1/2 小匙
- 水 1 3/4 杯
- 生抽 (醬油) 1 大匙
- 麻油 1 大匙
- 橄欖油 1 大匙
- 蔬菜高湯 2500ml (或用有機蔬菜高湯塊 2 -3 粒溶於 2500ml 的開水代替)
- 鹽 1 小匙
- 薑 3 片
- 紅或青辣椒 1 根切片
for the dough :
- 1 1/2 cup of wheat protein (sometimes it's called gluten flour, or vital wheat gluten flour)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour (or gram flour / besan flour)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1tsp onion granules & 1tsp granulated garlic (buddhist vegetarians like myself will use ground ginger & ground coriander instead )
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 1tbsp soy sauce
- 1tbsp sesame oil
- 1tbsp olive oil
for the broth:
- 2500ml vegetable stock (or use 2-3 organic vegetable stock cubes dissolved in 2500ml water to make the stock)
- 1tsp salt
- 3 slices ginger
- 1 red or green chilli sliced
做法 Method :
3.) 在碗中約畧搓揉，便可以倒到工作檯或木板上再搓 3 分鐘，然後讓其靜置 10 分鐘。
1.) In a large bowl stir and mix together all the dry ingredients. Meanwhile, place the broth on the hob over a medium heat and bring it to the boil, leave on a simmer.
2.) Add all the liquid ingredients in a measuring jug, whisk together; pour it over the flour mix, Stir with a rubber spatula until the entire mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Now it's time to knead!
3.) Knead the dough in the bowl for a minute or two, transfer it onto the work surface and continue to knead for 3 more minutes, then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
4.) 之後再搓 2 分鐘， 盡量推拉按扯成長方形。
5.) 切成 8 段形狀均等的長條。
6.) 放進湯裡，用中大火滾開後，蓋著用小火慢煮 30 分鐘。
4.) Then knead for another 2 minutes, try to stretch, press, push and pull the dough into a rectangular shape.
5.) Cut into 8 long cutlets.
6.) Put the gluten cutlets in the broth, bring the broth back to the simmer over a medium heat, covered and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.
7.) Stir occasionally to prevent the gluten cutlets stick to the bottom of the pan. When cooked, they will float on top of the broth and doubled in size.
8.) Remove from heat, cool in the broth, then lift the wheat-meat up and drain.
9.) Once completely cooled, place the wheat-meat cutlets in sandwich bag or wrapped in cling film, put in the freezer to store. Defrost when needed and use it like meat.
10.) 麵筋切薄片後用少許調味料如鹽、糖、生抽 (醬油)、太白粉、油等拌勻。
11.) 中火熱平底不沾鍋下油 1 大匙，把麵筋片排䦕，先煎香一面，反轉也煎香另一面後，盛起。
10.) Slice the meat thinly, put in a small bowl and add a little salt, sugar, soy sauce, corn flour and oil to season, mix well together.
11.) Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil, put the sliced wheat-meat in a single layer in the pan and pan-fry one side until golden, then turn over and pan-fry the other side till golden too.
12.) 時菜用薑絲椒絲、少許鹽、糖炒至半熟時，加入麵筋片，贊酒和下 1 大匙素蠔油，少許麻油；兜炒一回入味，埋薄芡後，便可以盛盤。
12.) Sauté some fresh vegetables with julienned ginger and chillis, add a bit of salt and sugar, cook till the vegetables just become soft, put the wheat-meat back in the pan; splash in a little wine, with 1tbsp veggie oyster sauce, a dash of sesame oil; stir fry until everything is well combined, thicken the sauce with a little corn flour and water mixture, then serve.
- This is the most basic and simple way of cooking gluten. I think this recipe of having the 1:1 ratio of gluten flour + chickpea flour = water, measured using the same 250ml measuring jug is the most ideal. And of course if you prefer the gluten meat to be more tender, you can add more water. If you would like them to be more chewy, then add less water.
- Once you've mastered your own perfect wheat-meat recipe, and are happy with the texture, then you can try adding different herbs, spices, sauces, seasonings or food colouring etc.
- Wheat protein/gluten flour/vital wheat gluten flour; nutritional yeast flakes; chickpea flour/ gram flour/besan flour, all these can all be purchased from some of the high street health food shops; some supermarkets; or online websites for whole foods.
- 這是最基本和簡單的烹煮麵筋做法。這個食譜的麵筋粉 + 鷹嘴粉 = 水的比例是 1 : 1，用同一個 250ml 的量杯量粉和量水。我覺得這個比例搓出來的麵筋口感適中。如果你想麵筋較軟的話，可以多加水。想要更多嚼勁的話，可減少水。
- 麵筋粉 (wheat protein / gluten flour / vital wheat gluten flour) ，營養酵母片 (nutritional yeast flakes) 和鷹嘴豆粉 (chickpea flour / gram flour / besan flour) 都可以在售賣健康食品的店舖或網上專售 whole foods 的網站購買。