gyoza or pot stickers is a Japanese dumpling, filled with meat and some vegetables — and wrapped in a thin dough. Originally from China, where they are known as jiaozi, gyoza are now a very popular dish in Japan.
When I worked as an apprentice chef at a Japanese restaurant, I found folding the gyoza took a bit of time to learn. Watching the Japanese chefs made it look easy, but when I tried mine looked out of shape and not pretty to say the least After a while, I got the hang of it and was churning out the gyoza just as fast as the Japanese chefs did.
Watch this video that shows how to wrap gyoza:
There are many different recipes for gyoza, but I have found simple ingredients are always the best.
Here is a nice simple ingredients list and recipe from food.com:
1 (30 sheet) package gyoza wrapper
2⁄3lb ground pork
1 bunch of green onions or 1 bunch of garlic chives, known in Japanese as nira
1 inch fresh ginger root, ground
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
Shred the cabbage and cut the nira (green onions) fine.
Combine the cabbage, nira, pork, ground fresh ginger root, garlic and seasonings. Mix well by hand.
Put 1 tablespoons of the mixture on a gyoza wrapper. Wet the edge of wrapper with water using your finger. Pinch the edges firmly and crimp together to seal.
Grease the skillet with vegetable oil and arrange gyoza in a single layer in the pan. Cook well over low heat.
When bottom of goyza become slightly brown, add 1/4 cup of water.
Cover, cook for a couple minutes.
Serve with your favorite gyoza sauce.
How you cook your gyoza depends on your own preference. However, there are really just three ways to cook gyoza:
Yaki gyoza (pan fried)
Yaki gyoza is the most popular way to cook. (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
Yaki gyoza is the most popular way to cook. (Image via Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
Yaki gyoza is the most common way to cook it and my favorite. The bottom turns-out crispy and the top is steamed. This is the way we cooked it at the restaurant I worked at. Start by heating-up the frying pan, dipping one of the gyoza in oil and rubbing in the oil along a line and then place the rest of your gyoza on the oil. Pour enough water in the pan until it covers 1/4 of the way up the gyoza. Place a lid on the pan and then let it boil until most of water has gone. With the lid still on, tip the rest of the water out and put the pan back on the cooktop. Drizzle oil on the gyoza and fry until the bottom is nice and crispy on the medium-heat setting. Serve bottom side up.
Sui gyoza is boiled and served in a light broth. (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
Sui gyoza is boiled and served in a light broth. (Image via Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
This way of cooking gyoza is not so common and is usually served in a light broth. These are mainly served at Chinese restaurants and specialized gyoza shops. Usually the gyoza is just boiled in water until cooked.
Age gyoza is a nice, crispy, deep fried gyoza. (Image: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
Age gyoza is a nice, crispy and deep-fried gyoza. (Image via Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain)
Age gyoza are deep fried and nice and crispy. They are not so common and usually served in Chinese restaurants and specialized gyoza shops.
To prepare gyoza you need the perfect sauce. Just as the recipe is simple, it is best to keep the sauce simple too.
This is sauce I use for my gyoza:
3 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar
10 drops sesame oil/chili oil
Combine all ingredients and mix very well.
So have a go at making gyoza, once you do you will become addicted, just like I am.