Among the most ubiquitous foods in Japan, gyoza is a beloved comfort food for people of all ages. An adaptation of Chinese dumplings, Japanese gyoza are characterized by a thin outer wrapper and a finely minced filling. They are sold in a variety of establishments including grocery stores, ramen restaurants, specialty shops, izakaya, and street vendor markets. Fun to make, easy to find, and a treat to devour, it’s no wonder that these delightful potstickers are so popular.
In order to achieve the contrasting textures that gyoza is known for, the cooking method for this recipe includes both pan-frying and steaming. First, we pan-fry the gyoza until golden-brown on the bottom, then add water and cover with a lid to steam. This step ensures that the filling is cooked all the way through. Next, we remove the lid and continue cooking until all the remaining water has evaporated. In the end, the outside of the gyoza will be crispy, while the inside will be hot and juicy.
Though folding gyoza may seem difficult at first, it is easy to get the hang of it after one or two tries. Take a look at the pictures below for a visual guide on how to form waves in the wrapper. If you have children in the house, making gyoza together is a great hands-on activity for the whole family!
Whether enjoyed as an appetizer or main meal, gyoza is best served steaming hot with a traditional dipping sauce made of soy sauce and rice vinegar. If you’re a fan of spice, try adding a bit of chili oil to the mix.
Servings: Makes 40 gyoza
- ½ cabbage
- ½ onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 200g minced pork
- 1 egg
- 40 gyoza wrappers
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 50 ml water
For the dipping sauce:
- Equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar
To make the filling:
- Finely chop the cabbage, onion, carrot and garlic.
- In a bowl, mix soy sauce, sesame oil and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix the finely chopped vegetables, pork, egg and sauce using your hands.
How to wrap the gyoza
- Take a spoonful of the raw filling and place it in the center of the gyoza wrap.
- Dip a finger in the water and slightly moisten one edge of the wrap (this will help to keep the gyoza closed during the cooking process).
- With the help of both your hands fold the wrapping over the filling. Starting from the middle or from one of the two apices, create folds similar to waves, pressing lightly with your fingers in order to close it.
How to cook the gyoza
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pot and, when hot, place the gyoza flat side down. Continue cooking until it has reached a golden color.
- Add 50 ml of water and cover with a lid.
- Let the gyoza cook for 4 minutes and then remove the lid.
- Continue cooking until the remaining water has evaporated and until they get crispy again (around 2 minutes)
- Serve hot with the dipping sauce on the side.
Recipes courtesy of Eleonora Badellino. You can find her at @everydayobento
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.
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