Like Okonomiyaki, Gyoza is another Japanese dish that has become extremely popular outside of Japan. You can find it at probably every Japanese restaurant, take-away store, or sushi store; Brisbane even has a chain of restaurants that are completely dedicated to Gyoza.
But there’s no need to pay $8-$10 for a measly 5 pieces of gyoza because I’m going to show you how you can make it at home yourself!
Gyoza, which I think are called ‘potstickers’ in English-speaking countries, are dumplings filled with ground meat (most often pork) and vegetables that are wrapped in a very thin piece of rolled dough. The most common type of gyoza is ‘yaki-gyoza’, which is the pan-fried crispy gyoza that you find at Japanese restaurants. Other varieties include ‘sui-gyoza’, which is boiled; and ‘age-gyoza’, which is the deep-fried type. They all usually consist of the same fillings: ground pork, spring onions, cabbage, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sake, and sesame oil; but there are a few variations, such as prawn, and even some super creative ones like dessert gyoza filled with Nutella!
The type of gyoza I am showing you how to make is the ‘yaki-gyoza’ kind. The secret to getting the delicious juicy inside and outer crispyness of restaurant-style gyoza is to cook the dumplings in a mixture of water and cornstarch. Pour the mixture over the gyoza and cover the pan with a lid to allow the gyoza to steam a little and become juicy in the inside. Remove the lid and once the water has evaporated, the cornstarch will leave a thin crispy layer on the bottom of the gyoza. When all the gyoza’s are connected by the thin layer of starch, it is called ‘hantesuki gyoza’, meaning ‘gyoza with wings’, how cute!
The easiest way to make the gyoza is with pre-made, store-bought wrappers. However, if you want to have a bit more fun and make them from scratch then what you’ll need is: 70 g of plain flour, 150 g of baker’s flour, 3/4 cup of water, and 2 tsp of sesame oil. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon then add all the sesame oil and add a little bit of water at a time while continuing to mix. Once all the water has been mixed in, use your hands to knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes. When the surface of the dough is smooth and soft, roll it into a ball and place it in a bowl. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle some flour onto a cooking bench and roll out the dough as thin as you possible can (it might be easier to cut it into small chunks first then roll these out). Then use a steel egg ring or a plastic container lid (anything about 10cm in diameter) and cut out circles in the dough. Then follow the regular gyoza cooking instructions with your own homemade dough!
If you’re just going to use store-bought wrappers then all you need to do is just put about a tablespoon amount of the filling into the wrapper then fold it close while crimping it. This is the tricky part. After putting the filling into the centre of the wrapper, dab your finger in a little water and line one side of the wrapper with some water to act as glue. Then fold the other half over (the side without water) and with your thumb and forefinger sort of pinch the wrapper and press it into the other side. Alternatively, you can buy gyoza makers from Japanese stores like Daiso that you can use to fold and seal the gyoza wrappers, or you could do just do what my grandma does and fold one side onto the other without the crimped effect (I’m not sure if she doesn’t know how to or just can’t be bothered). I know it can be really difficult to do it yourself but the more you practice the easier it will get. And the time and effort is all worth it in the end when you get to eat the delicious gyoza that you made yourself!
- 250 g pork mince
- 1 cup of shredded cabbage
- 1 cup of spring onion
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp ginger juice
- 1 tsp salt
- A pinch of pepper
- 30 sheets of store-bought gyoza wrappers
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup of water
- Mix the pork mince, shredded cabbage, spring onion, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, ginger juice, and salt and pepper together in a bowl.
- Spoon about a tablespoon amount of the mixture into the centre of a gyoza wrapper and fold it while pinching the sides together to close the gyoza. Repeat this step till all the filling is gone.
- Heat some oil in a fry pan over medium heat and place the gyoza in the pan and let it cook.
- Mix the corn starch and water together and once the gyoza is slightly browned on the bottom, pour the corn starch and water mixture into the pan.
- Put a lid on the pan to steam the gyoza for about 5 minutes.
- Take the lid off and let the water evaporate so the cornstarch mixture can form a crispy lattice.
- Turn off the heat and serve the gyoza on a plate with the bottom up.