Fu, wheat gluten



Wheat gluten (fu)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season:
***** Category: Humanity


Fu ふ (麩) wheat gluten, prepared into
various foods
often added to soups. It contains a lot of starch to keep a hungry stomac quiet for a while.
Eaten in exchange for meat, especially in the vegetarian temple food. It is also low of calories and low in fat and easy to digest. So it is given to children and the elderly.
It contains little Lysin and is best eaten toghther with fish or meat to intake all the necessary amino acids for the human body.

When wheat flour is mixed with 80% water and washed out, the gluten starchy part can be separated. The resulting powder is mixed with a bit of "mochi flour もち粉" . So the crunchiness is similar to rice-flour mochi.
Wheat gluten also contains a lot of glutamin acid グルタミン酸, which is good for the brain.
FU came to Japan more than 1200 years ago.

hattai はったい another name for FU
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sweets from Higo are made from hattai flour はったい粉


Distribution of various FU types

source : www.yamashiroya.co.jp


Wheat gluten, also called seitan, wheat meat, gluten meat, or simply gluten, is a food made from the gluten of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.
Wheat gluten, although not as well known, is an alternative to soybean-based meat substitutes such as tofu.
In Asia, it is commonly found on the menus of restaurants catering primarily to Buddhist customers who do not eat meat.

Because it was first popularized in western nations during the second half of the 20th century through its promotion by proponents of the macrobiotic diet, seitan (the name by which it is known in macrobiotic circles) is also the name by which wheat gluten is best known in most English-speaking nations.

There are two main forms of fu,
the raw nama-fu, and the dry yaki-fu:

Raw (nama-fu 生麩):
Solid gluten is mixed with glutinous rice flour and millet and steamed in large blocks. It may be shaped and colored in a variety of ways, using ingredients such as mugwort. Popular shapes include autumn-colored maple leaves, bunnies, and other generally "cute" forms. Such shapes and colors enhance the attractiveness of the cooked product since steamed gluten has an unappealing grey tone. Nama-fu is an important ingredient in Shōjin-ryōri, the Buddhist vegetarian cuisine of Japan. It may also be used as an ingredient in wagashi, Japanese confectionery.
Fu-manjū (麩まんじゅう)
is a type of manju made from nama-fu. Solid gluten is sweetened and filled with various sweet fillings such as red bean paste. They are then wrapped in leaves and steamed in a manner similar to that used to prepare Chinese zongzi.

Dry baked (yaki-fu 焼き麩 or sukiyaki-fu):
The gluten is leavened with baking powder and baked into long bread-like sticks. It is often sold in cut form, as hard dry discs resembling croutons or bread rusk. Yaki-fu is typically added to miso soup and sukiyaki, where it absorbs some of the broth and acquires a fine texture that is lighter and fluffier than its Chinese equivalent. It is the most commonly available type of fu in Japanese supermarkets.
In Japan, seasoned "gluten meat" (i.e. seitan, as cooked in the macrobiotic manner) is not well known or widely available, despite the macrobiotic diet's Japanese origins. When used, the terms for this food are rendered in katakana as グルテンミート (Romanized "gurutenmīto," from the English "gluten meat"), or, rarely, セイタン ("seitan"). Outside macrobiotic circles, these terms are virtually unknown in Japan, and they do not typically appear in Japanese dictionaries.
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Various Japanese FU preparations

namafu 生麩 "raw fu"
dumplings can also be colored
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Kyoo namafu 京生麩(きょうなまふ) raw fu from Kyoto
It usually colored. also called FU SASHIMI.
Cut in various patterns, like stars or leaves
green with yomogi, yellow, pink and white.
Tasts almost like mochi, sometimes a little bit of mochiko rice flour is mixed with it.
This has been prepared since the Kamakura period as a type of temple food, brought back from the monks who studied Zen in China. Since monks did not eat meat, they used this as a source of protein. Many temples in Kyoto have their own special forms and blends for FU products.
In Central Kyoto is a speciel FU ROAD, Fuyachoo-doori 麩屋町通(ふやちょうどおり)where many FU shops are located.
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sasamaki namafu manjuu 笹巻き 生麩まんじゅう
raw fu dumplings, where the fu dough is wrapped around anko sweat beans paste and the whole wrapped in sasagras leaves
sasamaki anpu 笹巻あんぷ
also called fu manjuu 麩まんじゅう.

namafu no dengaku 生麩田楽(なまふでんがく)
square pieces on a skewer, grilled over charcoal and with a paste of sweet dengaku miso and a drop of yuzu citron juice
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namafu no sashimi 生麩の刺身 as sashimi in different colors
with yuzu, yomogi mugwort, kurumi walnuts and konbu
This is a salty preparation that can be enjoyed with soysauce and wasabi to dip it.
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namafu no suteeki 生麩のステーキ stead of fu
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namafu no agedashi 生麩の揚げ出し deep fried with dashi
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fu manjuu 麩饅頭 / (麩まんじゅう)dumplings made of gluten
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yakifu 焼き麩,, baked fu also called
"ring fu", kurumafu 車麩, because it is wrapped around bamboo poles when left drying
fu croutons, bread-like fu pieces

This type is made in many parts of Japan. The dough is placed around a pole and slightly baked until firm, then the next layer of dough is placed around and baked again until it is about one to five centimeters thick. It is sold as sticks or cut like fu croutons.

CLICK for more shonai fu Baked in sheets, itafu 板麩 it is also called
Shoonaifu 庄内麩
It can be flavored with spices and even cheeze.

chikuwafu 竹輪麩 formed like chikuwa (bamboo rolls)
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tamafu 玉麩 baked in round balls
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hanafu 花麩 baked, formed like blossoms
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kanze fu 観世麩 with red and green seaweed spirals
..... uzufu (うず麩) "whirl FU"
Edo kanzefu 江戸観世麩
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kurumafu no sugomori 車麩の巣ごもり Gluten in a birds nest
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fu no furai 麩のフライ, 車麩のフライ fried round of fu
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kyuuri to fu no sunomono きゅうりと麩の酢の物

sudarebu すだれ麩 FU "like bamboo curtains "
made in Kaga, of a long rectangular form. It is used for Jibuni.
Made from wheat gluten and a bit of mochiko rice flour. It is dry and should be watered and then squeezed firmly before use. One sheet is about 5.5 cm wide and 24 cm long, it has a thickness of about 1 cm.
Kagafu 加賀麩.
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Also in green, colored with yomogi
yomogi sudarebu よもぎすだれ麩
„FU wie Bambusvorhänge“

suimono fu 吸い物麩 baked, small pieces for a clear soup
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aburafu, abura fu 油麩 fried gluten croutons
aburafu-irini shime 油麩入り煮しめ with fat-fu あぶらふ(油麩)
frieed gluten in vegetable oil. Speciality from Tome town
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from Miyagi prefecture

awafu 粟麩(あわふ) millet-fu
makes it look white
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gomafu, atari gomafu 当りごま麩(あたりごまふ) with sesame
white ground sesame mixed with wheat gluten.
This can also be mixed with yuzu or black sesame is used.
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kabochafu 南瓜麩(かぼちゃふ) wheat gluten mixed with pumpkin
makes it look yellow.
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matsutakefu まつたけ麩 baked, formed like matsutake mushrooms
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餅麩(もちふ)gluten mixed with mochi rice flour
made into formed pieces, like flowers or momiji leaves
... umefu 梅麩 like plum blossoms
... sakurafu 桜麩 like cherry blossoms

sansho, misanshofu 実山椒麩(みさんしょふ)
mixed with fruit of mountain pepper.
Mountain pepper from Arima 有馬 is best for this.
eaten as sashimi
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norifu 海苔麩 mixed with seaweeds

Ogurafu 小倉麩 mixed with azuki red beans

Riku agefu 利久揚げ麩 from the temple Daitokuji in Kyoto.

temarifu 手毬麩 in the form of a temari ball

wasabifu わさび麩(わさびふ)wehat gluten mixed with wasabi
makes a green color. Just a little bit of a hot taste, eaten with soy sauce.
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yomogifu よもぎ麩(よもぎふ) wheat gluten mixed with yomogi
makes a green color
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yuzu, kodai namafu yuzu 古代生麩 柚子(こだいなまふ ゆず)
mixed with yuzu juice


fusuma ふすま (麩) wheat bran
the same Cinese character FU is used.
The leftovers when polishing wheat grains (bran) is given to the farm animals.
also called
mugi kasu 麦かす, karako からこ (empty children),
momiji もみじ (red leaves) because of their color.
The poor people used to cook these and give them their children instead of rice, which they could not affort. It looked almost as red as "sekihan" rice with red beans, so the poor children were made fun of by their peers. Especially eaten in wartimes.
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seitan せいたん wheat bran
komenuka 米ぬか rice bran


funori ふのり 麩糊 glue made of wheat starch fusuma
shoofunori 正麩糊(しょうふのり)
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Worldwide use

namafu ... rohes Weizengluten, oft mit Reismehl (mochiko) vermischt.
yakifu ... gebackenes Fu, Fu-Croutons
sudarefu ... "Fu wie ein Bambusvorhang"

Things found on the way

denbu 田麩 minced food preparations

tara denbu 鱈田夫(たらでんぶ, 鱈田麩) minced flavored cod
kigo for all spring

A preparation of boiled and then mashed fish, flavored with sugar, soy sauce and mirin. For consumption, this mix is added to sushi or norimaki sushi.


Related words

Ishikawa prefecture
The Kaga Cuisine and FU




facebook said...

is a traditional food made by rolling wheat gluten on a long stick, baking over an open fire and repeating the process three times.
In ancient times, Kuruma-fu was served in Zen vegetarian cuisine. Buddhist monks were forbidden from eating meat and fish, so they invented various good-tasting dishes to take their place as part of their training.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

hina no zen kyoo no goshiki fu irodori ni

food for the Hina dolls
the Fu of Kyoto
in five colors

岩田つねゑ Iwada Tsune
more about the Five Golors

goshiki 五色と伝説 Legends about the five ritual colors