Gyoza

This delicious snack is a staple appetizer at every Japanese restaurant, and can be found in the frozen-food section of your neighbourhood supermarket… but it’s just as easy to make them from scratch at home. In fact, if you’re having company over, I suggest bringing the party into the kitchen and having everyone lend a hand to make these. They cook in no time, and the taste and texture of fresh-made gyoza is incomparable.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s easy to change up the fillings to your taste. My recipe below has a classic garlic and pork filling, but this is just as delicious with some ginger, or switched up with shrimp or all-veggies. No matter what you choose to do, have fun with it, and enjoy!

Ingredients

• 1 pack round dumpling wrappers

• Water for sealing

• 500 g Napa cabbage, finely sliced

• 500 g lean ground pork

• 4–5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely minced

• 3 stalks green onions, finely minced

• 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

• 1 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 tbsp sesame oil

• 1 egg white

• 1 tsp corn starch

• 4 tsp vegetable oil

• Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Bring a saucepan half full of water to a boil. Add all the Napa cabbage and blanche, just until the water comes back to a boil.

2. Drain the napa in a colander and immerse into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

3. Gather the Napa in your hands and squeeze out the excess water, measuring and shredding about 1 cup.

4. Combine all the gyoza ingredients, including the mushrooms and cabbage, and mix thoroughly. This filling can be efrigerated for the next day or even frozen.

5. Fill the centre of each wrapper with about 1 teaspoon of filling. Place one wrapper with filling in one hand. After dipping a finger in a water bowl, wet the top half of the circumference of the wrapper and fold over the meat, creating a half moon shape. You can press the edges together flat, or create pleats to fold over each other for a more elevated look.

6. Heat a large non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add about a tablespoon or two of oil and fry gyoza until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes, making sure they do not stick or touch.

7. Turn each gyoza over, then add 2–3 tablespoons of water. As soon as you do this, cover the pan with a lid so the gyoza steam for 2–3 minutes.

8. Remove the lid once the water has evaporated and turn the gyoza again, letting the bottoms crisp up for another few minutes.

9. Serve hot, with dipping sauce – I personally enjoy a sauce made with equal parts soy and lemon juice and a dash of chili oil.

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