Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sweet & Sour Gluten Puffs

Seitan or wheat gluten is a very popular vegetarian meat substitute that has been eaten in Asian countries for generations. There are so many varieties of preparation for this 'meaty' texture of seitan or wheat gluten and my all time favourite is the sweet & sour gluten puffs. I am a super fan of anything with sweet & sour and this sure will lift up my appetite easily at anytime. So, here's what I did with my recently made gluten puffs.  

Bring a pot of water to boil then add in the fried gluten puffs and immediately off the heat. Let them soaked into hot water for about 15 minutes or till softened then discharge the water. Rinse soaked puffs with cold tap water (with running water) till puffs has actually cooling down. Squeeze out the excess water from the puffs then set aside to drain dry. Later then, I packed some up into a few different bags for storage purposes. These can be kept in the freezer for at least one month or stored in broth and kept in the refrigerator for at least one week.

I am drooling already ! haha.....

Ingredients :
15 pcs  homemade gluten puffs
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite size
1  tomato, cut into bite size
2 slices  pineapple, cut into bite size
1 red chili, cut small (I used bird eyes chilies)
1 cup  tomato sauce (ketcup)
1/2 cup  water mixed with 2 tspn tapioca starch
1-1/2 TB  sugar (or to your taste)
1/2 TB   vinegar

Method :
(1)  preheat frying pan with enough cooking oil, saute bell pepper & pineapple till slightly cooked then add in gluten puffs and continue cooking for another few more minutes.
(2)  now, add in chili, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar & water mixture, let to boil over medium heat till thickened.
(3) finally, off the heat & stir in tomato to mix well then serve.

The seitan or gluten puff is very chewy, dense & yummy but a little thick compare to the store-bought ones. Doesn't it look so much alike to those tofu puffs? Hopefully, I'll be able to try some other versions of  seitan as well. Probably.... soon ! >o<   Hope you guys will love it too ! Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homemade Gluten Puffs @ Wheat Gluten Food

Gluten is the strong, sticky, stretchy protein that is form when wheat flour & water mix together. Wheat Gluten or seitan food (麵筋 'mien jin' in Mandarin) is very popular among the vegetarian & non vegetarian all over in Asia, as it can be used in many way of cooking. The Chinese has been using the hydrated wheat gluten or seitan as meat substitute ingredients for more than hundreds of years. However, wheat gluten is not suitable to those whom has digestion problem as you may suffer hours of bloating. I have learnt making this gluten puffs from my neighbour for the very first time when I was 14 and this is my 2nd attempt after 31 years. haha.... Can you believe that ! I was told that by adding in boiling water into flour will helps to generate better wheat gluten. Then later days, I was told to add in salt as well for better result. Anyway, I tried it my way this time and here's what happened.

Ingredients :
1 kg   bread flour / high protein flour
600ml   warm water or hot water
2 TB  salt

*if possible get a packet of wheat gluten flour instead of using bread flour for better result.

Method :  Combine flour together with salt then stir in water to form a soft & smooth dough. Then cover dough & let to rest for 5-8 hours.

The dough became soft & elastic after 5 hours of fermentation. However, it still best to work on the flour the night before and let to rest overnight.

Finally, I started washing the dough after 5 hours of fermentation. The dough must be handle with care. Gently squeeze & knead the dough in a big pot of  water. Try to hold & keep them into one piece at all times. Discharge the milky or starchy water away and repeatedly changing the water for about 8-10 times. Or till the wheat starch has totally melts into water.

This is how the wheat gluten dough looks after changing the water for the 5th time. You can clearly seen the gluten formed. Nicely form into one piece.

Oh wow.... at last, the wheat gluten has turned out perfectly. Make sure the wheat gluten is nicely drained before cutting them.

I then keep the wheat gluten refrigerated for about 2 hours before cutting.

Finally, fry the wheat gluten till golden brown over low heat. Flip the puffs on & off gradually. Make sure they're all nicely expand.

Ta...da..... here's my 100% homemade gluten puffs. Absolutely gorgeous. Aren't they ?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Festive Season Fruit Cake

Can you imagine Christmas is just about 5-6 weeks away ! Can't really express my feelings. Wow.... I'm getting excited though I'm not celebrating it. Just feeling excited like I used to even since I was a kid. In my memories, Christmas is something really special cause its very near to Chinese New Year. You know what I mean ! haha.... The continuously festive mood.just blow me away but this year my family is not celebrating the Chinese New Year cause according to the Chinese custom, it is forbidden to celebrate anything within a year after my father in law passing. However, we will still go home to have our New Year eve dinner like every year. So, just to lift up the festive spirit I baked myself a festive fruit cake. Oh yeah, this is just so delicious. I wrapped them into few small portions then keep frozen, where I can enjoy anytime I want.

I didn't add in the candied cherries as my family didn't like it at all especially the smell of it. However, I replaced some other dried fruits instead such like apricot & cranberries.

Ingredients :
250gm butter, softened
250gm  brown sugar
4 eggs
1 TB  ground mixed spice (I used five spice powder)
300gm   all purpose flour

250gm  dried apricot, chopped
250gm  raisins
250gm  sultanas
250gm  dried cranberries, chopped
5 TB  brandy

*extra 4 TB  brandy (for final topping)

Method :
(1) soaked ingredients (B) over night.
(2) beat butter & sugar till fluffy pale then whisk in eggs one at a time till everything well combined
(3) now, fold in flour & mixed spice and mix well.
(4) next, stir in ingredients (B) and blended well then pour batter to a 7" baking tray lined with parchment paper.
(5) finally, bake at preheated oven 175'C for about an hour or till tester came out clean and pour in the extra brandy liquor immediately.

* chocolate ganache : 200gm chocolate (chopped) melted into 60ml  hot heavy cream

Lastly, I covered the cake with an extra touch of chocolate ganache.... just playing greedy. haha..... Hope you guys are having a great time during the weekend & enjoy your early Christmas shopping. >o<
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