Can you swoon over a dumpling? Yes – if it’s gyoza. Japan’s signature dumpling, gyoza is an import from China. Gyoza are crescent shaped dumplings, the classic version of which are filled with ground pork, cabbage, spring onions and garlic, and typically cooked gyoza yaki, a nifty frying-and-steaming technique that toasts the skin beautifully crispy on one side, while steaming it tender on the other side. Gyoza are usually dipped into a sauce of soya sauce, rice vinegar and rayu, or flavoured chilli oil. The dumplings come out crispy, juicy, aromatic, flavourful, heavenly and irresistible all at once, with a pleasing tang and bite from the dipping sauce. Yep, enough to make me swoon.
Classic Pork Gyoza
Classic Pork Gyoza
To make filling
- Cabbage, finely chopped: 2 cups
- Salt: 1 teaspoon (to taste)
- Spring onion, finely chopped: 1 - 2 sprigs
- Garlic, minced: 2 cloves
- Ginger, minced: 1 tablespoon
- Pork, minced: 500 grams
- Soya sauce: 2 teaspoons (to taste)
- Sesame oil: 4 tablespoons
- Black pepper, ground: 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt: 1/2 teaspoon (to taste)
- Sugar: 2 teaspoons
- Potato flour: 2 tablespoons (plus extra for dusting)
To wrap dumplings
- Gyoza skins: 50
- Potato flour: 1 tablespoon
- Warm water: 3 tablespoons
To make dipping sauce
- Soya sauce: 4 tablespoons
- Dark vinegar: 2 tablespoons
- Rayu: 1 tablespoon
- To prepare the filling, add the cabbage and salt to a large bowl and thoroughly mix together. Let the cabbage sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then, transfer the cabbage to a clean kitchen cloth, roll it up and wring out as much liquid from the cabbage as possible. Do this in batches if it’s easier. Add the wrung out cabbage, spring onion, garlic, ginger, pork, soya sauce, 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil, black pepper, salt, sugar and 2 tablespoons of the potato flour to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix them together, squeezing it through your fingers, so it turns into a sticky filling.
- To make the dumplings, prepare a tray by lightly dusting it with potato flour and mix 1 tablespoon of the potato flour with warm water in a small bowl. Place a gyoza skin in the palm of one hand with the floured side down. Dip a finger in the potato flour-water mixture and wet the entire edge of the skin. Add about 1 tablespoon of the filling to the center of the skin and fold and pinch the skin together. Place the completed gyoza on the tray, fold side up. Repeat until you have used up all the filling.
- To prepare the dipping sauce, combine the soya sauce, vinegar and rayu. Adjust to your own taste and then set aside.
- To cook the gyoza, preheat a non-stick pan over high heat for about 5 minutes. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, making sure the entire surface is coated. Begin adding the gyozas, one at a time, in neat rows with the seam side up. Once all the gyoza are added, fry them for about 10 seconds. Not quickly pour in ½ cup of water over the gyoza and cover the pan tightly. Cover over high heat for about 4 minutes, until there is little or no water remaining. Uncover the pan and cook the gyozas for 1 minute more. Then drizzle the remaining sesame oil over the gyozas and cook for an additional 1 minute, for about a total cooking time of 6 minutes.
- Transfer the gyozas to a serving plate, and serve hot with the dipping sauce on the side.
- Chop everything with a knife and do not use a food processor which will turn all the ingredients into mush, not the texture you want.
- Buy Japanese gyoza skins at Japanese markets, they are round in shape and thinner than their Chinese counterparts. They are usually sold frozen; defrost on the counter to room temperature to use.
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Published December 30th, 2020 10:09 PM