Japanese Gyoza DumplingsGyoza is a Japanese dumpling meal which is easy to make in your own home, I know because we have made a few batches of them now, and collected a few useful tips along the way which I would like to share. They are fun for the family to make together, extraordinarily delicious, and inexpensive on the budget. We have been smitten with them ever since friends in Perth cooked them for us for dinner one evening, and now we can't get enough of them. They are a very famous food in Japan, either for dinner or for eating out, but actually originated from China. The Japanese people discovered the art of making dumplings when they invaded China in the late 1930's and brought the idea back to Japan, or so the story goes. The Japanese dumpling is usually fried and then steamed, or as our friends cooked them, steamed and then fried. That is a personal choice, and we actually prefer them just steamed which is much faster, as when you are cooking them for the family or friends you will find yourself cooking more and more of them as they disappear before your eyes. I don't have a photo of any fried gyoza that we prepared, as they were gone before we could say itadakimasu, which is traditionally said in Japan before eating or receiving food.
We were talking about making Japanese Dumplings, and Mr. HRK who likes using different tools and cooking utensils in the kitchen as well as in his shed, went on a shopping mission with Shannon when she was home, and returned with a Dumpling Shape Maker from the House Kitchen shop. It has taken a little bit of practice to perfect the process, but it seals up the dumplings with the perfect shape, and crimps the dough edges perfectly. It is also versatile, as ravioli, pies, fruit pies, mini pizza bites and calzones can be made with it.
Shaping the Dumplings
We discovered that the Dumpling Maker works best if the cutting edge at the back is brought toward you first and the front piece is moved into the back piece, which then work together to cut the wonton wrapper perfectly, allowing the unwanted edge of the wrapper to be pulled off neatly. So a teaspoon of the prepared pork mince filling is placed in the middle of the square wonton wrapper, which is already positioned in the Dumpling Maker. The back and front pieces are brought together to cut and seal the wrapper. I didn't see the need to use water or egg white to seal the edges however if you are making them yourself without the help of a Dumpling Maker it is probably necessary for a good seal. We now have a team approach. I make the Pork Mince Filling and the sauces, and Mr. HRK shapes and cuts the dumplings. We then share steaming them in the basket over boiling water, and voila they are ready to eat.
|Gyoza Dumpling Shape Maker. Waiting to be steamed.|
Pork Mince Gyoza Filling RecipeIngredients:
500g pork mince
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
4 cm piece of fresh ginger root, finely grated
2 green onions finely chopped, or chopped chives
Finely chopped Coriander leaf and root if you like the taste. (The jury is out on whether or not to use coriander in Japanese dumplings. I love it but the Japanese purists probably don't use it. It's a personal preference.)
Some recipes also add finely chopped cabbage. We didn't in this recipe and didn't miss it at all.
1 packet of wonton wrappers (40)
If the weather is humid, it is best to cover the dumplings with glad wrap on a tray and keep in the fridg, or they can even be frozen for later.
Otherwise they can be prepared and left to stand on the kitchen bench on a well aired tray, for an hour or so before cooking.
We used a traditional Chinese cane steaming basket, lightly sprayed with cooking oil and cooked the dumplings a layer at a time ensuring they didn't come in contact with each other as they can get sticky. One side can then be fried before serving.
Serve as soon as possible after cooking.
|Cooked gyozas ready for serving|
It is nice to serve a few different dipping sauces with the gyoza. The following one is a favourite that I used last time. We also served a small dish of Ponzu Sauce, which is a unique Japanese sauce combining the delicate flavours of citrus, vinegar, soy sauce and mirin, which was a foodie gift from friends. It offered a nice contrast to the following sauce. Ideas for yoghurt based sauces are below.
Gyoza Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup low salt soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chilli flakes (optional depending on your guests preference)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl and leave to sit for 15 minutes before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 week. This recipe is based on one I found by Rebecca Friedman.
Our friends, Jamie and Lisa who first cooked these for us also gave me the following ideas for sauces. The yoghurt sauce is delicious.
Yoghurt based dipping sauce, allowing for a fusion of flavours:
Yoghurt marbled with crushed garlic and possibly pesto, or any flavours that compliment the creaminess of the Yoghurt, such as Harissa or your favourite dips. It's fun to experiment with what you have on hand.
A combination of Kecap Manus and Sweet Chilli Sauce, an easy option for a sauce if you are short on time is a favourite of Jamie and Lisas and was also really delicious.
|Another edition. Lots and lots of gyozas for the family which will disappear very quickly|