Gyoza are traditional Japanese dumplings, filled with pork, shrimp, vegetables, that are steamed and then pan-fried to create a crisp, brown, caramelised and salty base that is their unique redeeming feature.
These delicious dumplings have made to jump and now feature in non-non-Japanese menus as well. Some restaurants now specialise in Gyoza and offer a huge variety of fillings, tastes and sauces.
Gyoza are fabulous for a snack, lunch or as an entrée for a main meal. The good news is that you can easily at home as the Gyoza skins (wrappers) or round gow gee wrappers are widely available from Asian food markets or from the Asian section of major supermarket outlets. Gyoza dumplings do take time to fold and seal properly, which is the key to stopping moisture leaking inside when the Gyoza are cooked.
The other tip is to combine meat with interesting vegetables to add texture and avoid them being too dominated by meat. You can even add cheese, herbs and spices that go far beyond the Traditional Japanese ingredients. This article provides a recipe and secret tips for perfect homemade Gyoza.
For the Gyoza Dumplings:
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of black pepper
250g (9 oz) minced pork
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 pack Gyoza wrappers, or round gow gee
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons light, good quality soy sauce
1 tablespoon spring onion greens, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, finely chopped or grated
150g (4 oz) wong bok or savoy cabbage or other similar vegetable
1 tablespoon grape seed oil, rice bran oil, or peanut oil (for frying)
For the Dipping Sauce:
1-2 drops of sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Make the dip by simply combining the ingredients and set aside. Stream the cabbage, or boil in salted water for about 60 seconds, until just cooked. Then drain and briefly rinse the cabbage under cold running water, shake and pat dry on a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture. Then finely chop the cabbage. Using a small bowl and a wooden spoon or your hands (preferred) add the sesame oil, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, spring onions and pork and mix well. Lay out the wrappers flat onto a clean bench or and chopping board. Dip a finger in water and wet the outer rim of each wrapper. This is important top ensure the wrappers are properly sealed.
Place about 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of each wrapper and raise the edges to join at the top. Fold and pleat the top, pressing firmly to make a tight seal.
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok and fry the Gyoza in small batches until the bases are golden brown. This generally requires about 60-90 seconds. Next, return all the Gyoza to the pan and run about 150ml (2/3 cup) of hot water down the side of the pan. Then cover and steam the Gyoza over low heat until the water in the pan is incorporated into the dumplings. This generally takes about 5-7 minutes. Uncover, and increase the pan temperature. Fry the Gyoza to for 1-2 minutes to create the crisp and brown base of the dumplings which is their unique feature. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.