It has been a while since I featured the step-by-step instructions on “how to make a smooth & springy fish paste”, and only recently have I found the time to make them again. With a few batches of fish paste stored in my freezer, I started browsing thru my collection of cookbooks to look for new fish paste recipes. Amongst them is a recipe I had tried that ended up with the most satifying results.
It was adapted from the Quick and Easy Hawkers’ Fair (简易上手大牌档菜) cookbook. The gluten balls are very tasty and goes well with chilly sauce. They are also a good choice for finger foods. The methods used are simple and easy-to-follow and the dish itself is healthy as the gluten balls are to be simmered instead of deep-frying.
If you want to have nice looking stuffed glutten balls, I would recommend you to follow a few more important steps that are not stated in the original recipe. These steps are highlighted in red for easy referencing.
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200g minced meat
100g fish paste (I used my homemade fish paste) – it can be substituted with minced prawn paste
2 tbsp dried Chinese shitake mushrooms – soaked & chopped
2 tbsp carrots – chopped
2 tbsp water chestnuts – chopped
2 tbsp spring onions (green part only) – chopped
½ tsp salt
Dash of sesame oil and pepper
1 tbsp oyster sauce
Dash of sugar, sesame oil and pepper
1) Put all filling ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir in one direction until very sticky. Keep in the fridge and marinate for at least 1 hour.
2) Stuff the prepared filling into the gluten balls. Heat up wok and pan-fry the balls under medium heat till the skin sticks tightly to the ball. Dish up and set aside.
3) Heat up 1 tbsp oil and sauté chopped garlic until fragrant. Add in stuffed gluten balls and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Turn the stuffed gluten balls occasionally so that they are cooked thoroughly. For better presentation, pan-fry slightly the balls again.
4) Dish up and serve with blanched vegetables.