steamed, fried or a bit of both
These gorgeous Japanese dumplings will always be one of my favourite ways to pass an afternoon! They’re perfect for sharing, in fact every close friend, flatmate or family member has tried my gyoza at some point!
You can make all kinds of variations on the filling! I’ve made a vegan version twice using shitake mushrooms in place of meat, but the recipe needs tweaking!
I also use gyoza skins from my local Chinese supermarket – I don’t have the time, but I also couldn’t make them so perfectly thin and round. This isn’t really a rustic dish – gyoza are pretty and neat, so by all means make you’re own pastry but they may be less refined.
Unlike Chinese dumplings, the gyoza are thin, so the contents steam well. But this also means I would avoid boiling them or the pastry may tear. Sometimes I just put them in with my rice in the rich cooker!
But my favourite way to make them is as yaki-gyoza – fried on the bottom and steamed on top!
500g pork mince
5 large cabbage leaves (I’ve used savoy, sweetheart, white – they’re all fine! One time I even used cauliflower leaves haha)
1/2 brown onion
4 spring onions
2cm piece of ginger
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp potato starch
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
2 tbsp light soy sauce (as in light colour, not low salt)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (plus extra for frying)
2 tsp soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
1. In a large mixing bowl add the meat, starch, wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. Mix well – I find the best method is just to get stuck in with your hands and squish it through your fingers. Let it marinate in the fridge for an hour or longer.
2. Finely chop the cabbage, both onions, ginger and garlic and mix it thoroughly into the meat.
3. Make the gyoza! With a wet finger, trace a one about 1/2cm wide around the edge of 1/2 a gyoza skin (i.e. draw a semi-circle). Place about 1 tsp of filling in the middle, and flatten it down with the back of a spoon. Crimp the gyoza by raising a hoop of gyoza skin with one thumb and pressing it down with the other. It takes practice so just keep at it. You want to get the pattern on the left of this photo:
Or have a look on YouTube for tutorials.
BONUS: I make these in batches of 50, so I usually have enough to freeze for a quick weeknight meal or emergency side-dish. So freeze them laid out on a plate or platter not touching for 1 hr, and afterwards you can pack them tightly into tupperware and freeze them. Just remember to cook them from frozen or defrost them laid out not touching or they’ll stick together.
3. Drizzle sesame oil into a flat bottomed frying pan, just enough that you have to swirl it to fully coat the pan. When it’s hot, add the gyoza flat side down and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour a couple of tbsps of water over the gyoza and quickly put a lid on the pan. When the water has completely evaporated, remove the lid. Check to see if the base is golden brown, if not keep cooking a wee bit longer. Serve brown side up!
4. You can serve with anything you like, but I make a dipping sauce of 2 parts black vinegar (weirdly, Worcestershire sauce is a decent substitute haha), 1 part light soy sauce and a few squirts of sriracha.