Gluten Balls Fried In Chinese Stuffing


Today, we offer an exciting recipe: Stuffed Fried Gluten Balls. This dish may not be the most appealing in English, but rest assured, it’s lovely. That was the unanimous opinion of the family!

The balls also symbolically signify a family’s oneness and wholeness with their circular shape.


Chinese fried gluten balls (油面筋, yóu miànjīn) are delicate, golden balls of wheat gluten (the same stuff seitan is made out of) (the same thing seitan is made out of). Approximately 4-5 centimeters in diameter, they’re fried and crunchy. They have a smooth exterior but a brittle, crispy, and airy interior that is both crunchy and light. When cooked, they take on the flavor and texture of tofu skin without the tofu. You can either stir-fry them or braises them.

Because of their lightness, you may be surprised to find gluten balls at Chinese grocery stores.

If you plan to use them in a stir-fry, you must soak them first. But if like in this meal, they’re braised/stewed, there’s no pre-soaking required!


To translate, the dish’s name in Chinese is yóu miànjn si ru (fried flour balls filled with meat). A beef and mushroom filling is mixed together, then gently stuffed into the fried gluten balls before they are braised in an aromatic sauce.

On holidays, these were always a wonderful treat. Aside from the fact that it is rarely served in restaurants, it isn’t a meal that most people are familiar with. It’s a special dish because of the time and care that goes into making it at home.

This is all in addition to the fact that it is delicious. The umami taste of shiitake mushrooms and the richness of the pork filling combine to create an unforgettable flavor. This recipe was a hit with everyone who tried it, including Sarah’s boyfriend Justin, who declared it his new favorite.



  • 8 pcs. of fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. of ginger (minced)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • 250 g of ground pork
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. of dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of white pepper
  • 3 tbsp. of water


  • 1 package of gluten balls (about 12-15 balls)
  • 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil
  • 6 g of rock sugar
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 2 scallions (cut into large pieces)
  • 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp. of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. of dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of oyster sauce
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 1/2 cups of water



  1. Mushrooms should be finely chopped. Mince the ginger and separate the green and white parts of the scallions before chopping them finely.
  2. In a wok, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat. Make sure the shiitake mushrooms are caramelized by cooking them for around 4-5 minutes without stirring too much. You don’t want to dry out the mushrooms by overcooking them. Set aside and let cool fully.
  3. Ground pork, scallion whites, minced ginger, saoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper are all mixed in a large mixing bowl with a significant amount of chopped scallion greens in it. Mix everything and whip it for 5 minutes in one direction. The filling should form a smooth paste with no standing liquid as you mix it up, so add water 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. After 3 minutes of stirring in one direction, add the cooled shiitake mushrooms and continue for another 3 minutes.


  1. The middle of each gluten ball should be hollowed out by using a chopstick to produce a small hole. Using two chopsticks in a turning motion, increase the diameter of the opening to about 3/8″ in diameter and no more than 1/2″ in diameter. To make place for the filling, use chopsticks to dismantle the gluten ball’s interior “structure” while leaving it intact.
  2. Put a little filling into the gluten ball at a time until there is no more room left, making sure to maintain the gluten ball whole as you do so—stuff as many as you can. Having the time and attention to complete this phase is a must!
  3. You’ll have a lot of filling left over at this stage. Filling already inside gluten balls will have moistened and broken down the inner structure, allowing more filling to be added at this point. It’s time to do it all over again, but with more filling in each ball. Divide and use up the remaining filling. If not, you may use the extra filling to make a quick hamburger patty snack by frying it in a pan. Even if the gluten ball isn’t as round after cooking since it’s understuffed, there’s no harm done!
  4. Over low heat, warm one tablespoon of oil in a wok. Simmer for 1-2 minutes to soften and release the flavors of the ginger and scallions.
  5. Add the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, black soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1 star anise, and 2 /12 cups of water. Turn the heat to medium after the mixture has come to a boil.
  6. Stuffed gluten balls with the apertures facing down should be placed in the dish. A boil should be reached before the heat is reduced to medium-low. Simmer the gluten balls for 10 minutes, gently rotating them midway through the cooking time to achieve even cooking.
  7. After 10 minutes, flip the gluten balls over, so the openings face down. To minimize the sauce, increase the temperature on the stovetop. Turn off the heat when the sauce has thickened to a gravy consistency (approximately 3/4 cup of sauce should remain in the wok). Serve with the saved scallion greens as a garnish.
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