Jin Shofu, or wheat starch paste, has been used in Japan for over 1000 years and is still the adhesive of choice for conservators and artists there. Very strong even when diluted, jin shofu forms a more flexible adhesive layer than rice starch making it appropriate for many book and conservation applications.
Materials Needed; small non-ferrous cooking pot (stainless steel, enamel, glass) for stovetop cooking or a deep microwaveable bowl for microwave cooking, spoon for stirring and distilled water.
Stovetop Cooking; Mix 5 parts cool water (distilled is best) with 1 part (by volume) jin shofu in cooking pot. Stir constantly while bringing to a boil on high heat. When it begins to boil turn heat to medium and continue stirring. Cook until desired consistency is reached. This may take up to 30 minutes for larger batches. Allow the paste to rest for a few minutes before using. Prepared paste may be diluted with water if required.
Microwave Cooking; Mix 5 parts cool water with 1 part Jin Shofu in a deep bowl and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds. Remove and stir and repeat for a total time of 3-4 minutes or until desired consistency is acheived. Cooking time may vary on your microwave machine.
Storage & Straining; If you will be straining your paste in order to get the finest consistency decide how much you will be using right away and strain only that amount. The remainder will last longer if it has not been strained.
Prepared jin shofu will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Wiping the inside of the paste container with alcohol before filling will help to deter bacteria and extend the life of the paste, plus it also gives you the opportunity for a sneaky snifter before lunch!