Wheat Gluten

Chinese, Vegetable August 27th, 2007

mien chin

Wheat Gluten or called miàn jÄ«n in Chinese (traditional : 麵筋, simplified : 面筋, 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.

mee kun

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
  • Water
  • 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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  1. 1
    August 29th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    not tedious ka? my aunt used to make for me but not anymore as she’s oredi in her 80s haha. so easy leh. hmmm… maybe i should try but i hate deep frying 🙁

  2. 2
    August 29th, 2007 at 9:55 am

    it sounds so easy~! Hmm, but the kneading part is a bit tiring..isn’t? Hehe…it does sounds very fun leh~! Cause this “meen gan” is my favourite! I almost eat them all everytime my mom cooks mix vegetarian dish~ Thanks for sharing pablo pabla 😉

  3. 4
    August 29th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    It is the same thing as the one used to make fake meat in the vegetarian dishes?

  4. 5
    August 29th, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    babe_kl : Not tedious at all. It’s just like kneading dough for bread or pan mee. And though it sounds like deep frying, the meen kan actually floats at the surface just like frying keropok! 😀

    cookies_cream : It is really easy. If you try it out, you will know what I mean. It’s almost a waste if you don’t even attempt it!

    Johan : Hello Johan! Yes, it is the base for some of those fake meat in vegetarian dishes.

  5. 6
    August 30th, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    The second pix looks like mashy “brain” :O
    You even made your own gluten!

  6. 7
    August 30th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    tigerfish : LOL! Yeah, when I was lining it up for a photoshoot, I found that it really looked like a brain. But I had to because I want to show all of you how it looks like in rubbery form.

  7. 8
    September 26th, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I found out about your blog from http://www.masak-masak.blogspot.com and I really enjoy your home cooked meals recipe.
    I am interested to learn the method to make the Mien Chin since I am a novice at cooking. Can I ask you what type of flour that you used to make the mien chien?
    -Tepung Gandum
    -Tepung sahaja
    -Tepung Jagung
    -Tepung Serbaguna
    Hope you will assist as I got confused by flour because there is just so many types.

  8. 9
    September 27th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Lily : Hi! I used normal tepung gandum (plain flour). You can try high-fibre plain flour as well.

  9. 10
    October 31st, 2007 at 3:13 am

    What kind of Flour shall I use? Multi-purpose, bread flour or Gluten flour?

  10. 11
    October 31st, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    mj : I actually use normal plain flour. I think multi-purpose flour would do just fine. Give it a try. It’s so simple you’ll be shocked how simple it is!

  11. 12
    June 10th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for such a good cooking site.
    My aunty always wanted to try this out. Before any action take place, would really appreciate if you can provide a bit more info like:
    How long to knead the flour before it stands for 2 hours?
    When fry the washed dough, is the dough still wet and make the oil splash?
    Roughly how many pieces you can get out of 500g of flour?

  12. 13
    June 10th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Yappee : It is hard for me to say how long you should knead the dough. Basically, just knead it till it is smooth and slightly springy. The oil will not splash because the wheat gluten is not watery. It is rubbery in texture. The number of pieces you get depends on how big a piece you tear to fry. You should be able to get at least 20 to 30 pieces.

  13. 14
    January 14th, 2009 at 2:18 am

    I close the tap when there’s sufficient water, and i would knead and knead as under running water, i lose hold of the dough.. haha.. Is it better to rinse it under running water.. it seems like my dough get very small. And it yield less than 20. The taste different from what i ate, so i cook it again, adding water and abit dark soya sauce and some corn mixture.. Wah.. it get flaten and like what i normally eat.. Thanks for the recipes! keke.. Do you have other like mock duck and so on.

  14. 15
    January 18th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    hi..thanks for this recipe…but i would like to know, whether v can make ‘vital wheat gluten’, from this..i mean the flour type, which we get from market?

  15. 16
    September 3rd, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I have made this and the of course the higher the gluten content of the flour the more ‘dough’ you will have left for frying. Bread flour is the best because it it has a very high gluten (protien) content. : )

  16. 17
    January 21st, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Is there anywhere you can just buy vital wheat gluten? This is a helpful recipe but wastes a lot of good flour. I’ve looked in every health and vegetarian shop I can think of in KL but no luck. Please help anyone!

  17. 18
    June 15th, 2012 at 4:54 am

    May I know how to u eat this? I mean with rice or noodle or is this a snack? Can this be stewed?


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