Grilled raw wheat gluten flavored with sesame is crunchy on first bite and then chewy.
“The joy of cooking also lies in making good use of ingredients you tend to overlook,” says Kimio Tomura, owner of a Japanese restaurant. Called “fu” in Japanese, wheat gluten is sold raw or baked dry. Since fu itself is tasteless, the sesame sauce should be rich in flavor. The remaining sesame sauce may be kept in the fridge and used to accompany grilled eggplant for instance. Serves four.
1 bar (200 grams) raw wheat gluten (nama-fu)
Oil for deep frying
For sesame sauce (easy-to-make amount):
120 grams white sesame paste (nerigoma)
50 cc dashi stock
1 1/3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
Place white sesame paste in mortar or bowl and mix with stock poured in two or three parts. Add sugar all at once and mix. Add soy sauce to taste. It should have clear salty-sweet taste. Adjust with stock if sauce is too thick. Cool in fridge to get the right thickness.
Cut raw gluten in 8 pieces that are 2-cm thick.
Heat cooking oil over medium heat to 170 C, deep-fry gluten for about a minute. Move around pieces with chopsticks so they do not stick to bottom. Turn sides. Remove when edges start to color.
Line up gluten on aluminum foil and grill in fish roaster or oven toaster. Turn sides when they turn golden. Heat until surface is crispy.
Remove from roaster, thickly spread sesame sauce on gluten. Return to roaster and heat until sauce turns brown.