Wheat Gluten or called miÃ n jÄ«n in Chinese (traditional : éºµç‹, simplified : é¢ç‹, literally “noodle/dough tendon”; also spelled mien chin or mien ching) is one of my favourite “vegetarian” ingredients. My mum was taught how to make wheat gluten (we call it mee kun in hokkien or meen kan in cantonese) by a neighbour in Kuching many years back. It is not as easy to get this in the market compared to tofu-based products and it is usually associated with vegetarian dishes. I will come up with a vegetarian recipe in the next post.
Upon discovering the simplicity of making the wheat gluten, I realised how much profit the manufacturers would be making. All you need is flour to knead into a dough, water to wash the dough and oil to fry the gluten. I must encourage you to make this on your own because it is absolutely easy, not to mention healthy as you are making it from your own kitchen. Moreover, it is quite an experience to make it for the first time as you will be amazed (just like me) on how the dough transforms into a rubbery texture (gluten) after washing it in running water.
This is the recipe for Wheat Dough or Mien Chin
- 500 grammes of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Oil for deep frying
Place flour into a suitable bowl for kneading. Add salt. Gradually add water as you knead the flour into a dough and let it stand for 2 hours covered by a piece of moist cloth.
With the dough resting in a bowl, place bowl in kitchen sink and turn on the tap. Allow water from tap (medium flow) to run into the bowl and start kneading dough in the running water. Yes, keep kneading and washing the dough. The water will turn milky as the starch will be washed away but keep kneading. The dough will eventually shrink to about 20% its original size and it will feel rubbery. Keep kneading till the water becomes clear. Remove and drain.
Heat oil in wok. Pinch a piece of washed dough (it’s like rubber) about 2cm x 2cm and fry it till it puffs up and turns golden brown. Manage the heat from the stove so that the oil does not over heat. Dish up and place on kitchen napkins to absorb excess oil.
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