Gyoza Galore: The Art of Japanese Dumplings
Japanese gyoza, akin to Chinese dumplings but with thinner skins and finer meat, exuding delicacy!
- YOU’LL NEED:
1 pound napa cabbage (approximately 5 cups, roughly chopped into large pieces)
8 ounces ground pork (70% to 80% lean)
1 clove garlic (smashed)
1 1/2 teaspoons of finely minced fresh ginger.
1 scallion (chopped)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (plus more for pan-frying)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
Store-bought gyoza wrappers
- FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon sugar
- To begin, blanch the napa cabbage in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain it in a colander and rinse it with cold water. Squeeze out any excess water from the cabbage using your hands.
- In a food processor, combine the blanched cabbage, ground pork, smashed garlic, minced ginger, chopped scallion, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Pulse the mixture until the filling is well-mixed.
- Get ready by placing sheet pans or cookie sheets lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. To assemble the gyoza, place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the outer edges of the wrapper with your finger dipped in a bowl of water. Fold them in half or pleat them as shown in the photos, ensuring they are securely sealed.
- Warm a tablespoon of cooking oil in a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the gyoza and fry until the bottoms become crispy and golden, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Once the gyoza are fried, pour 1 tablespoon of water into the hot pan and immediately cover it to steam the dumplings. Allow the gyoza to steam until the water evaporates (about 2 minutes), then remove the cover and continue cooking until the bottoms of the gyoza become crispy again.
- Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and serve it alongside the crispy gyoza!
I acquired the art of dumpling-making from my grandmother, a skill that took years to perfect. I started at a tender age, and it was a while before my clumsy five-year-old hands could master the entire process. We made various dumplings, from Bao to Japanese Gyoza Dumplings.
Now, my sister and I are skilled at assembling dumplings. When it’s time to prepare a batch, my grandmother relaxes, flips through InStyle magazine, and enjoys hot water, knowing that years of patient teaching have paid off.
We’ve shared numerous dumpling recipes on this blog, from the classic pork and chive dumplings to vegetable dumplings and even unconventional buffalo chicken dumplings. Today, however, we delve into the Japanese version of these delectable pan-fried creations—Japanese Gyoza Dumplings.
Japanese Gyoza differs from Shanghai pork dumplings in a few ways:
The dumpling wrapper is of a slightly thinner consistency.
The filling often carries a distinctive ginger flavor.
Meat and vegetable fillings are often finely ground.
My dad fondly recalls his business trips to Japan, where he would treat his coworkers to plates of these delightful dumplings paired with plenty of Sapporo draft beer.