The father of all gyoza
Gyoza is very popular casual dish in Japan. Iki iki Gyoza (イキイキ ギョーザ）restaurant in Utsunomiya, Tochigi prefecture in Japan has 70 different gyoza on the menu - asparagus, spinach, squash, corn, walnuts, green pepper, green onion, kimchee, shrimp, celery, natto, cheese, fruits, chocolate, miso, mochi, goya, okra, curry, sausage, chicken, plum with shiso, yogurt, wasabi, garlic, egg, spring vegetable, mushroom, liver, crab, beans, salmon, scallop, cod roe and more (I just couldn’t remember all 70 of them). Wow! That will take me forever to decide except for the chocolate gyoza. I myself have several gyoza recipes and it is easy to improvise and make your own. I made the Originator (元祖） gyoza for this post, very basic one. If you master this recipe, you are free to add something or change to make your original. but just don’t get carried away. I don’t think just wrapping something in a gyoza skin makes it a gyoza. I just like the simpleness of flavor that this gyoza brings, no fuss, no frills. I really hope you agree.
Make home made gyoza skin
Skip this process,if you are using store bought gyoza skin. I usually do. Though time consuming, homemade ones have a nostalgic flavor that I like.
- All purpose flour 300g (If you have high gluten flour use 180g of this with 120g of regular flour)
- Very hot water 175 ml
- Put flour in medium bowl
- Pour very hot water at once into bowl, stir quickly with a wooden spoon
- With hand, quickly try make into a ball- it’s still dry and crumbly at this stage.
- Sprinkle a little bit of flour and put dough on it and push the dough with your palm 5 to 6 times- do this as fast as possible.
- Tear the dough up into small pieces so that dough won’t start to cook. Let cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Gather the small pieces into one ball again then knead dough pushing with your palm the folding the dough toward you for 5 to 6 times, turn the dough quarter turn each time.
- Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough by using your palm to push away and fold toward you for 8 to 10 times.
- Wrap your dough with plastic wrap and let rest for another 30 minutes.
- Cut dough in a half and keep half in wrap until ready. Roll the dough by hand and make a 15 inch snake (remember Garry Larsen comic? This is an easy creation.)
- Cut snake in 15 pieces (15g is ideal weight- if you have a scale, weigh it. So that you have sense of how much to cut each piece)
- Turn the cut side up then push down with your palm to flatten.
- Put all pieces in the plastic bag so that they wont’ dry out. Do the same process for other half of dough.
- Using the wooden dowel or rolling pin, stretch each round of dough to about 4 inch round. The center is bit thicker than the outer edge.
Filling- Japanese call this an（あん）
- Ground pork 200g
- Cabbage leaf 180g minced
- Nira (Garlic green onion)60g minced
- Long green onion about 4 inches minced- I used white part
- Ginger 15g minced
- Garlic 2-3 cloves grated
- Green onion oil (ねぎ油）* or regular oil 2 tablespoons
- Soy sauce 2 tablespoons
- Sake 2 tablespoons
- Sugar 1 tablespoon
- Sesame oil 1 tablespoon
- Salt 1 teaspoon
- White pepper 1/2 teaspoon
- In the bowl, put ground pork, long green onion, ginger and garlic and mix well
- Put all the seasonings in and knead for 2 to 3 minutes
- Add the cabbage and nira and mix lightly
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour
- Hold the gyoza skin in your palm and place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center
- Fold in half and gather just the top, folding into pleats, starting at one end and working your way to the other
- Pinch the sides together to seal
- Heat the frying pan over medium high heat
- Put sesame oil in a small bowl
- Dip the gyoza in the sesame oil
- Place upright in pan
- Cook until the bottoms are browned
- Add 1/4 cup of water, cover with a lid and steam until the water evaporates
- Remove lid and cook until bottom is crispy
* Green onion oil (optional)
- Lard 250 g
- Long green onion (green parts only) 2 to 3 cut into 3 inch lengths
- Onion 1/2 of a medium size
- Ginger skin 30 g
There are many kinds of sauces that you can use with gyoza. Even store bought, ready made ones. Here are a few of the ones I like.
Balsamic vinegar, noodle dipping sauce (straight) and parsley
You can cook gyoza in different ways as well. Steamed, fried, deep fried and boiled are other options. I like them all. I have had many “gyoza parties” where everyone brings their favorites and we get to try various kinds. Let me know what your favorite is.