Originally adapted from Chinese jiaozi dumplings, gyoza have become one of Japan’s favourite foods. In fact, jiaozi, gyoza and gow gee are the Mandarin, Japanese and Cantonese pronunciations of the exact same word. The main difference between the Japanese version and its Chinese predecessors is that where the Chinese favour a juicy, springy filling, the emphasis of the Japanese dish is on a fine, crispy skin. This simple gyoza recipe makes about 50 dumplings.
250g Chinese cabbage
1 tsp salt
500g fatty pork mince
6 spring onions, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp vegetable oil, for brushing
1 tbsp potato flour, or cornflour
1 tsp sesame oil
soy sauce, to serve
rice vinegar, to serve
chilli oil, to serve
Hot water gyoza skins
2 cups plain flour
- For the gyoza skins, combine 1 cup of boiling water with the plain flour and mix well. Knead for about 5 minutes, dusting with just a little more flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and firm. Cover with cling film and rest for 30 minutes.
- For the gyoza filling, finely shred the cabbage and mix with the salt. Transfer to a strainer and allow to strain for 15 minutes. Squeeze out any excess moisture and mix the salted cabbage with the pork mince, spring onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sake. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- On a floured board, roll the dough into a long sausage about 1 cm in diameter. Cut into 1cm rounds, press down with the palm of your hand and with a small rolling pin roll the dough into thin, round skins about 7 cm diameter. Alternatively, you could use commercial dumpling wrappers.
- Place about a teaspoon of filling into the centre of the gyoza skin and fold the skin in half, crimping one edge to form the gyoza. Repeat for the remaining filling and skins. You can freeze the gyoza at this stage if you prefer.
- Make a mixture of 2 tsp of potato flour (or cornflour) per cup of water. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and brush with an even layer of oil. Place the gyoza into the pan, nestling them together to fill the base of the pan with the gyoza just touching. Fry for about 1 minute until lightly browned on the bottom. Mix 2 tsp potato flour or cornflour into 1 cup of water and pour around the gyoza. Cover the pan with a lid open just a crack and steam for 7 minutes then uncover the pan until water is fully evaporated and you can hear the gyoza frying instead of boiling. Sprinkle over the sesame oil and cook for a further minute then remove the pan from the heat. Invert a serving plate over the pan, ensuring the plate completely covers the pan, then flip the pan and plate over, so that gyoza are on the plate. Serve with soy sauce, rice vinegar and chilli oil for dipping.
If you don’t want the theatre of making the “skirt” to hold the gyoza in place, you can just fry-steam as many gyoza as you like, using plain water instead of the flour slurry.