food 4 tots

Stuffed gluten balls (酿面筋卜)

gluten, stuffing, Chinese, kid, toddler, food for tots

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. Among them is a recipe I had tried that ended up with the most satisfying 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 gluten balls, I would recommend you to follow a few more important steps that are highlighted in red for easy referencing.


gluten, stuffing, Chinese, kid, toddler, food for tots

12 gluten balls – soaked, blanched over hot water and rinsed (Note: Be careful not to break the balls)
1 tbsp oilgluten, stuffing, Chinese, kid, toddler, food for tots
1 tbsp chopped garlic
Some vegetables (broccoli or choy sum, blanched)

Filling ingredients:
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
300ml water

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.

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  1. Dora says:

    B’cos of the gluten skin, they look like vegetarian meat balls. Looking inside, they look like ngo hiang instead. 😉

  2. Rasa Malaysia says:

    I love everything stuffed, especially with fish and shrimp paste. Yum. BTW, when are you going to guest write for me ar? Hehe.

  3. mycookinghut says:

    where can I get gluten balls?

  4. Food For Tots says:

    Dora: Maybe if u add some five spices powder to my recipe, it will taste like ngo hiang (singapore version). Hehehe!

    Rasa Malaysia: Tks a lot for your invite! It is a great honour for me to be your guest writer. If you think your readers can accept my “Food For Tots” recipe, pls provide me the details at 😉

    Lee Mei (Mycookinghuts): I bought mine from a stall at the wet market selling all the dried goods. It is also available at the Chinese vegetarian shop. Actually you can make your own gluten balls. My MIL knows how to do it. Hopefully I can get the recipe from her when she visits us this weekend and share with everyone in my upcoming post. 😉

  5. Pam says:

    I’ve never had these before – they look hearty and tasty.

  6. Bits of Life 'n' Taste says:

    Hi Chef! This is incredible… simple yet healthy… what’s more yummy!

  7. Katie says:

    Yum yum! Those look so tasty – I love the cute shape.

  8. Allie says:

    I am drooling now… Yet to have my breakfast ler…

  9. Little Corner of Mine says:

    Looks delicious and beautifully presented. I love gluten balls but never buy it before. I have to find it at the vegetarian canned section of the Asian supermarket right?

  10. Selba says:

    Yummy… I like gluten balls… and with it stuffed, that’s a bonus 🙂

  11. worldwindows says:

    The fish paste is tough work. Seen how my mother did it. Fortunately available in the market and even in “Yeong Liu’ noodle stalls.

  12. pigpigscorner says:

    Yummmmy!!! They look gorgeous! The stuffing sounds really delicious.

  13. Food For Tots says:

    Pam & Katie: These gluten balls are quite similar to the western sausage u eat. Just diff in term of its shape and ingredients.;)

    BOLNT: What r u still waiting? Try it out now! Hehehe!

    Allie: I would be glad to share them with u but they are not for breakfast. 😉

    Little Corner of Mine: Tks for your compliment. I am not sure but u can give it a try. In KL, we bought them from a vegetarian shop.

    Selba: Oh, it is ur favourite? That's great.

    Worldwindows: I personally prefer homemade fish paste as it is less salty and no MSG. The texture is better than those sold outside. No actually a tough work. Just need some skills and practice.

    Pigpigscorner:Tks. Give it a try.

  14. New Kid on the Blog says:

    Noticed from your blogroll,… you’re also Pioneer Woman’s fan. Then you should check out The Dutch Girl Cooking too…. They are good!

  15. Food For Tots says:

    NKOTB: U mean Kayotic Kitchen? Tks for such a good recommendation. I think the shots are simply GORGEOUS! I have another one to share with you too – click here.

  16. Big Boys Oven says:

    looks so delicious, hmmmmmm yummmy, have to get my mum to make some!

  17. lisasicooking says:

    Interesting. This is new to me, but it looks delicious!

  18. Beachlover says:

    look interesting and delicious..My mon teach me how to make spring fish paste like ‘don’t do this and that” but since I can get ready make fish paste I forget what she teach!lol!

  19. Food For Tots says:

    Big Boys Oven: I guess your mom’s stuffed gluten balls must be 2 thumbs up. Care to share some with me? Hehehe?

    Lisa is cooking: Agreed. It is not a common dish for westerner.

    Beachlover: Maybe u can try my MIL’s method. Click here.

  20. tigerfish says:

    I like the fillings but I have not ventured into gluten balls though.

  21. pigpigscorner says:

    I have something waiting for you at my blog =)

  22. Food For Tots says:

    Tigerfish: What r u waiting for? Fast fast give it a try!

    Pigpigscorner: Tks for the wonderful award. I really appreciated it. 😉

  23. food-4tots says:

    Tks for dropping and hope you will like it. 😉

  24. James says:

    mmm.. this is looking delicious but this id totally new item for me. I must try. Thanks for recipe.

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