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Meat Glue Isn’t Scary, It’s AMAZING! – Transglutaminase Molecular Gastronomy

Transglutaminase Molecular Gastronomy

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Transglutaminase Molecular Gastronomy

Meat glue tends to get a bit of a bad rap, and if you were to believe the mommy blogs it’s the scariest of the food additives. Meat glue, whose proper name is transglutaminase is a natural enzyme isolated from one of several species of bacteria. Its job is to stick any proteins together that contain glutamine or lysine amino acids. That’s not to say bacteria are the only source as YOU are full of the enzyme as well and your body uses it to hold different proteins together.

In the culinary world, meat glue has an enormous number of uses and today we explore 3 simple recipes that highlight some of these. However it’s also very useful in a laboratory setting which will be the topic of a future video.

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Transglutaminase Molecular Gastronomy

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I find grocery stores kind of funny if you walked down any aisle and pick a random item off the shelf what are the chances that it or its components have been given a different less literal name for the sake of the consumer like soy milk when you call it soy milk it sounds appealing but call it soy juice and you almost start it to gag a little even though it’s the same product but if you go a bit deeper and look at individual ingredients so many things have been given simpler or shorter names because manufacturers know the humans are f and fright easily so it’s easier to call something e three eight five and not calcium sodium ethylene d tetra ace if you’ve been on the internet for longer than four seconds you’ve probably seen tons of money blogs for doubt by some ingredient they found when chances are it was a natural product whose name they didn’t recognize or something that’s been tested to be ridiculously safe but it sounds scary so it must be bad it’s the chemical versus natural debate which is someone familiar with biology and chemistry always makes me laugh anytime somebody says that natural is better i just point the uranium poison ivy and bears are also natural but we happily kill you just the same case and the point of this video meet glue as soon as you say meat you immediately feel weird like what kind of monster would glue meet together and the headlines you see go by certainly make it seem sinister but let’s take a closer look at this marvel of modern cuisine and see why it’s actually amazing and nothing to be afraid of and something you interact with all the time first off what even is meat glue well it’s not actually really a blue at all not the traditional sense you might think of it’s actually an enzyme called trans that can connect different proteins together so long as they contain some glut mean or l amino acids which a lot of proteins especially those in muscle tissue do to that end you’re actually full of trans and it’s one of many enzymes that your body uses to connect its various tissues together and while you can get animal drive trans a’s for culinary use most often we use a natural bacteria that happened to produce trans we grow the bacteria in massive bio reactors and then extract and purify the enzyme for use in the kitchen much like producing wine beer but instead of alcohol we get an enzyme as our product this enzyme is usually diluted in the carrier like kc or milk protein as the enzyme is incredibly potent and you only need a tiny bit now you might be worried that if you eat it you’ll glue your insides together but fear not like most enzymes heat it up and it turns off permanently and it gets destroyed by your stomach acid more importantly it takes a while to work even though it’s potent so for the demos you’ll see today i had to leave the samples for twelve to twenty four hours for the gluing to happen fully but while handling the stuff it is important to not read the powder in as it’s still in its active state and you wouldn’t want it in your lungs but again once it’s cooked it’s harmless so much so that manufacturers don’t need to declare its use in most cases as it’s not considered a filler or additive as it’s destroyed in the final cooking process after it’s done its job speaking of which what sort of things is him is used in well kind of everything anytime you want to hold proteins together and give them a more appealing look the classic example is holding lower quality parts of beef together to form pseudo steaks this has caused a bit of anger by consumers because you occasionally are sold something as if it was something else since the final product does look and taste like a higher quality steak other times it’s less severe and they just use it to kind of pretty up cuts of meat to make them look more perfect or make steaks out of things that don’t normally come in fillet form like chicken or fish other examples include imitation crab meat smoke meats fish balls and some sausages especially if you want to minimize filler like bread breadcrumbs but for me the most exciting uses of trans in the culinary world come from outside of the grocery store because you can use it to stick different unrelated proteins together chefs have really put it through its paces sc with chicken skin bacon wraps steaks noodles made of shrimp sheets of radish and so much more today i’ll be taking you through three similar recipes of my own creation that are absolutely delicious and also a lot of fun this is my first time using meat glue and i had an absolute blast i’m essentially using this as an excuse to get used to using it that once our spider silk project is further underway i can use it to help make strong fibers but that’s for another day for today i’ll be using a brain of trans him called moo glue which worked really well and was very easy to use i tried to vary the recipes by ingredients techniques and textures to show off the versatility of meat glue but know that this really only scratches the surface so without further ado let’s jump right in first up what i’m calling dragon eggs there a hollow shell of meat with an egg yolk in the center that is cooked by the method and then bro for a bit of color the end result is a perfectly cooked medium rare shell with a soft boiled yolk in the middle to make them we start with the outer shell from my first round of these i used a mixture of steak pork loin and bacon but in my second round i used pure pork loin both work equally well so you can customize this with whatever meats and ratio of them you’d like and don’t feel like you need to stick to terrestrial sources fish and seafood if food work just as well whatever the case we need to reduce the particle size so that the final shell is smooth but we don’t want paste think half centimeter or smaller pieces so start chopping and mixing the meat until it’s a nice even consistency that when gently pressed flat gives a smooth sheet with no obvious chunks once everything was processed we can see this with salt and pepper and then we add the moo glue for i cook like a grandma so my measurements tend to be a gl of this and a splash of that i added a bit less than a tablespoon of the move glue for every two hundred fifty grams or so of the meat you can adjust this for your particular meat mix quickly you need the shelves to be done and how firm you want them to be more glue makes the process happen faster and makes the mix firmer i found that going a little heavy here help things hold together once that’s mixed in we can start making the shells i’m using some silicon half sphere molds and a bowl of tin foil with some rice in it to form a small amount of meat dough into the half shelves the important thing here is that there’s no holes and the rim is as flat as you can get it so the two halves will stick together properly also make sure the shell is approximately an even thickness once everything’s formed cover this with plastic wrap and pop these into the fridge overnight to set while those are setting let’s prep the other two recipes the simpler the two starts with some chicken breast and thick cut bacon here we just lay some bacon pieces give them a light coating of the move blue and lay an equally sized piece of chicken on top these are also covered in plastic wrap and put in the fridge to set for the final recipe i started with some pork loin which is cleaned to remove any silver skin the pork loin is then coarse diced and small amounts of the time are added to a blender to form a smooth paste once the paste is formed this gonna again me seasoned with salt and pepper and then add some glue before mixing thoroughly this time i wanted to see how well these protein mixtures can hold the shape i picked up some of these little piggy molds and some owl molds the molds filled with the pork loin and then again covered put in the fridge to set the next day starts with the dragon eggs as they require a second gluing and incubation before we can cook them first we crack several eggs into a bowl careful not to break any of the yolks carefully pick out a yolk and all the connected egg white should just fall right off with a gentle pinch the yolk can then be placed into one of the half shelves repeat until half of your shells are filled to make a glue to attach the halves together i mix the generous amount of move glue into a little bit of egg white until it made a thin paste this can then be carefully applied to the un shell halves before dropping them onto the other halves carefully make sure the edges are in good contact or the bond will fail before these make it to the cooking step once that’s done recover them and place them back in the fridge while that’s going we can check on the other two dishes first up the chicken and bacon these worked extremely well and you have to pull pretty firmly to actually make them come back apart i chose to just fry these up in a cast and skillet it with a bit of salt pepper and ensemble which is a chili garlic paste and a bit of fish sauce for the molded pork i’ve got to admit i was super impressed with how well these took the shape of the mold there are obvious imperfections due to my technique but there are some here that held the detail amazingly well for these i chose to go with a hr s marinade made from five spice turmeric paprika salt pepper and bit of h and sauce for the pig i let them marinate for a few hours of course my camera died so here’s the same basic idea with some of the extra chicken and bacon strips after marinating i just baked these and the pig lost most of their shape i assume the cooking process makes everything swell and distort but they were delicious all the same they had sort of the texture of a chicken mc magnetic but much better and native pork i assume you could make chicken nuggets pretty easily this way finally back to the dragon eggs after they had time to set they were d molded but at this stage i lost a bunch of them about half didn’t glue properly and the two halves either fully came apart or there was a hole them on the second time i tried this one of three felt like it was actually stuck together properly at this stage so yeah the process definitely needs a better of refinement but with everything ready we can finally cook these to make the movie marinade i first peeled quarter two shallots cut the ends of two sp of lemon grass and peel the knob of ginger these were all added to a blender along with bit of water some pickled garlic two beef boo cubes black pepper and the equivalent of the juice of two to three lines once very smooth this mixture could be transferred to a large ziploc bag to which we add the un dragon eggs carefully to actually cook these i set up my instant pot on ultra mode which allows me to set the temperature and time i cook these at a hundred and thirty six fahrenheit for two and a half hours but you might wanna to leave them a little bit longer as i loaded the bag i also took a moment to remove as much of the air as possible to make sure this sinks and is exposed to the water fully to finish these off i chose the ones that survived this whole ordeal and put them on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and bro them for two to three minutes just to get a little bit of color on the outside these are already fully cooked though one last note is it can be a little tricky to get that perfect soft boiled center of the two times i tried this the first round must have cooked a little better or the shell was a little thinner so the yolk was actually properly soft boiled but the second time it was still a little bit runny and that’s all there is to it really off camera to accompany did dragon eggs i made some rice noodles that are coated with the leftover marinade overall the three items came together into a delicious plate that i think really highlights some of the many cool things you can do with trans so next time when you hear about meat don’t be freaked out instead consider all the cool possibilities i’ve put some links to a few interesting papers and some other videos here on youtube that show off other recipes including a course on molecular gas astronomy where i first heard about trans and its amazing culinary uses and that’s where i’ll end this episode as always a huge thank you to my amazing patrons and channel members who make these videos possible and if you’d like to see these projects long before they end up in videos be sure to head over to my other social media pages especially instagram that’s all for now and i’ll see you next week

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