April showers bring May flowers…and spring brings #leeksonfleek. Yep, it’s another round of seasonal challenges from my favorite Instagrammers and I’m contributing this recipe for Gyoza (Japanese Potstickers).
Back when I was in Manila, about 75% of the time that I ate at Japanese restaurants, I would order a plate of gyoza with my meal. It was familiar (a crescent shaped siomai!) and “safe to eat” option.
What is gyoza?
Gyoza are pan fried Japanese dumplings that make for a delicious appetizer or a quick meal. These are filled with ground meat (usually pork) and minced vegetables and wrapped in a thin wheat wrapper.
Gyoza was originally a Chinese dish called ‘jiǎo zi’ but has been widely embraced by the Japanese that it has become a popular side dish in izakayas, ramen stands, and supermarkets. Interestingly, gyoza is similar to the Korean mandu, as well.
There are 4 types of gyoza depending on the method of cooking. I’m sharing a recipe for yaki gyoza (pan fried gyoza) today.
Yaki gyoza is cooked in 3 easy steps: fry-steam-fry. Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan and fry the gyoza until the bottoms turn golden brown. The 2nd step involves adding just enough to steam cook the top portion of the gyoza. It is then left to fry in the remaining oil after the water evaporates.
Most gyoza recipes use chives or scallions but for this challenge, I decided to use Japanese leeks instead (negi). I used both the white and green portions of the leeks.
Since I hurt my arm, I actually used a food processor to finely mince the cabbages, garlic, ginger, and leeks. I roughly chopped them up and tossed them into the food processor to finish up.
I bought some wrappers too, but if you want to try making your own gyoza wrappers, here is a good recipe for it.
To prevent the finished gyoza from sticking to the surface, sprinkle some flour over a plate or a baking sheet.
Gyoza making tips!
I’m quite happy with how the crimps came out – I worked real slow because of my arm. Here are some tips to have an easier time sealing the gyoza filling:
- Work with less filling for each dumpling. – The wrappers are small, and too much filling means a harder time to stick the edges together. The wrapper that I bought recommended a teaspoonful of filling.
- Generously wet the edges of the wrapper with water.
- Do a simple pleat, or just stick the edges together. You can also buy the dumpling sealer from Daiso. – Don’t be so hung up with the pleats; it’s the taste that counts. ?
Want to cook gyoza for later? Stick the sheet of dumplings in the freezer, uncovered. Transfer them to a ziploc bag after an hour or so, when they’re completely frozen. To cook the frozen gyoza, follow the steps but add more water during steaming.
They are best eaten as soon as they’re cooked though. Serve them with some soy sauce and rice vinegar. Itadakimasu!
gyoza (japanese potstickers)
- 125 grams ground pork
- 75 grams cabbage very finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 50 grams leek finely chopped
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsps soy sauce
- 2 tbsps flour
- 24 pieces gyoza wrapper
- 2 tbsps oil
- 1/4 cup water
For the dipping sauce:
- 2 tbsps rice vinegar
- 2 tbsps soy sauce
- 1 tsp chili oil optional
- In a small bowl, combine the cabbage and salt. Set aside for a few minutes. After some time, drain the excess water from the cabbage.
- Add the pork, garlic, leek, ginger, pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce to the cabbage. Mix thoroughly.
- Sprinkle the flour on top of a flat surface.
- Wet the edges of the wrapper with water. Take a little more than 1 tsp of the mixture and put it in the center of a gyoza wrapper.
- Seal the mixture by crimping the sides of the gyoza wrapper. Set aside on the floured surface while making the rest of the gyoza.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Arrange the gyoza on the pan, about 12 of them. Slightly overlap each gyoza.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, or until the bottom of the gyoza is golden brown.
- Add the 1/3 cup of water and cover the frying pan. Cook until the water evaporates and the gyoza top turns translucent.
You can also add chives or scallions to the leeks.
Gyoza Recipe – How to Make and Fill Gyoza
Gyoza is a type of stuffed dumpling that can be steamed, boiled, or pan-fried. Gyoza wrappers are made from a simple dough of flour and water, with a pinch of salt. Depending on your preference, you can use different flours. You can either roll the dough out by hand, or use a small dumpling press. Once made, you can add any filling of your choice.
Start by moistening the dumpling wrapper with water. Next, fill it with a teaspoon of the filling. Fold the edges over the filling, pinching together with a fork to seal and press it together. If you want, you can pleat the wrapper from the center or the edge. When finished, seal it with a piece of plastic wrap and serve. Gyoza can be served immediately, or left overnight.
To make the perfect Gyoza filling, start with a high-quality pork mince. Ground turkey, chicken, or minced fresh shrimp can also be used. Make sure to chop the meat very finely, so it cooks faster in the gyoza. Then, add the vegetables, and stir gently until the filling is evenly distributed. Repeat this process until the desired filling is reached. Then, fill the gyoza and enjoy!
To prepare the dumpling skins, take a few minutes to soak them in warm water. Once they have soaked for at least a few hours, remove them from the refrigerator to allow the filling to cool. You can freeze the dumplings in aluminium foil for up to two weeks. This will prevent them from sticking and losing flavour. You can also wrap the dumplings in aluminium foil and wrap them up in an airtight container.
This easy gyoza lattice recipe can be adapted to work with store-bought gyoza or homemade gyoza. Heat one Tbsp neutral-flavored oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, remove from the heat and cool with a damp cloth. Whisk the flour mixture one more time. Pour the batter into the pan and cook on medium-low heat. The gyoza should be ready when the lattice reaches the desired level of doneness.
Using a cast-iron skillet allows the oil to spread evenly over the gyoza, and it also transfers the heat evenly. When preparing gyoza, make sure there is some gap between each dumpling. You can also use a potato starch-water mixture to make a crispy lattice. Once gyoza are ready, remove them from the skillet and allow them to cool completely.
To freeze gyoza, you must first prepare them. You can freeze them before cooking them, but this will lose the crispy bottoms and the quality of gyoza. To freeze gyoza, you should steam them and then place them on a non-stick baking sheet. Do not overlap them. Keep the sheet flat until frozen. If you’re freezing gyoza for longer than one day, freeze them in individual portions.
Make the dipping sauce first. You can prepare the dipping sauce ahead of time, and then store it separately in the freezer. You should also check the ingredients to see if they freeze well. Gyoza is a delicate food, and they fall apart or change texture easily. Using a freezer bag to store them makes the process a bit easier. If you’re going to freeze them, ensure that they’re freezer-safe, and then freeze the rest of the mixture.