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I live in New York but I grew up in Kyoto Japan, so any time I eat Japanese food it’s like taking a mini trip home. I love eating lots of greens but I also love the satisfaction of a hearty dish, especially when it pairs really well with a drink! Gyoza is all that and is also a great side dish to enjoy together with friends or family because there is something very festive about dumplings- but you can also store them in the freezer pre-cooked and take out and cook however much you want when you are at home dining solo. Perfect with Japanese beers like Kirin and Sapporo, or any light beer.
The great thing about Gyoza is that you can modify the filling to your preference or mood. For example you can modify the protein part and try it with shrimp or chicken or even switch it out with a vegetarian product. You also can try adding other ingredients like shitake mushrooms or chopped vermicelli noodles for texture.
Although the idea of dumplings is originally from China where countless different types are eaten regularly, “Gyoza” in Japanese terms generally means pan-seared dumplings with a light skin. The recipe I have here is what the ingredients look like in standard home-made Japanese gyoza. If you are near a Japanese super market you can get the pre-made circle gyoza skin in a pack -likewise with any Chinese grocery store, although the skin will be a bit thicker. If you don’t have access to these, you can make your own dumpling skin with some cake flour, hot water, and cornstarch.
30 gyozas, about 5-6 servings
ground pork 150g
chives -chopped, ⅓ cup
cabbage -chopped, ¼ head
grated ginger -1tbs
grated garlic -1 clove
sesame oil -1 tbs
cooking sake -1 tbs
soy sauce -1tbs
oyster sauce -1tbs
pinch of salt, ground white pepper
4 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs vinegar
½ tsp hot sesame oil
FILLING: Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and knead everything together until it starts to feel pretty sticky, about 5 minutes. Set aside in room tempature.
WRAP: Holding the skin flat on your palm, place some filling in the center and apply some water along half of the rim of the skin to use as a glue as you close the edges. Pinch and make a small fold on the top layer 3-4 times along the edges for each dumpling as you fold it into a half circle.
PAN-FRY: This is a lot of dumplings so I usually only fry half at a time. Heat large pan on high, pour 2tbs sesame oil and line up 15 gyoza in the pan, pinched-side up. Pour in about a 100ml of hot water over the gyoza. Place lid on pan and cook on high for about 5 minutes until the water is gone. Open and pour some extra sesame oil in along the edges of the pan and fry until there is a crispy and golden on the bottom.
Serve and eat with the dipping sauce (and an ice cold glass of beer!)