I think this was actually the ingredient that inspired this MoFo theme. I picked them up in a Chinese supermarket years ago and they’ve been in my cupboard ever since. I occasionally get them out, have a look at them, browse the internet for ideas then throw them back in the cupboard and forget about them. I still wasn’t particularly inspired when I came to use them today but MoFo made me do it.
I decided that since they were such cute balls that I’d stuff them. All the ideas I saw on the internet were very meat heavy so I just winged it really. I fried some onion, garlic and ginger and then added chopped chestnut mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, about half of each. Then I added a pinch of 5 spice, a small glug of vegetarian oyster sauce and a bit of tofu and food processed the mixture so that there weren’t any big bits left.
I poked a hole in each of the balls and stuffed as much of the mixture as I could get in. These balls are seriously weird. They remind me a bit of the flying saucer sweets we used to get as children:
Then I braised the stuffed balls in some good strong broth I had leftover from seitan making, to which I added ginger and soy sauce. Once the balls were soft, which took no time at all, I added in some chopped pak choi and a bit of cornflour mixed with broth to thicken up the sauce a bit, and served it over rice.
This was a very unusual dish indeed. The balls were very mushy but in a comforting sort of way and the filling worked very well. Even where some of it had leaked out a bit it only served to flavour the sauce, so it didn’t matter. I wouldn’t buy these again but using them was quite interesting and the filling was tasty.
Have you used fried gluten balls? What did you think of them?