Gyōza – Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings

Gyōza – Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings

Gyōza - Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings

Gyōza – Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings

The Japanese word gyōza (ギョーザ, ギョウザ) was derived from the reading of 餃子 in the Shandong Chinese dialect (giaozi) and is written using the same Chinese characters pronounced with Japanese sounds. The selection of characters indicates that the word is of non-Japanese origin.

The most prominent differences between Japanese-style gyōza and Chinese-style jiaozi are the rich garlic flavour, which is less noticeable in the Chinese version, the light seasoning of Japanese gyōza with salt and soy sauce, and the fact that gyōza wrappers are much thinner. Of course, jiaozi vary greatly across regions within China, so these differences are not always substantial. Gyōza are usually served with soy-based tare sauce seasoned with rice vinegar and/or rāyu (chilli oil in English, làyóu (辣油) in China). The most common recipe is a mixture of minced pork, cabbage, and nira (Chinese chives), and sesame oil, and/or garlic, and/or ginger, which is then wrapped into thinly rolled dough skins. In essence, gyōza are similar in shape to pierogi.

Gyōza can be found in supermarkets and restaurants throughout Japan. Pan-fried gyōza are sold as a side dish in many ramen and Chinese restaurants.

The most popular preparation method is the pan-fried style called yaki-gyōza  (焼き餃子), in which the dumpling is first fried on one flat side, creating a crispy skin. Then, water is added and the pan sealed with a lid, until the upper part of the gyōza is steamed. Other popular methods include boiled sui-gyōza  (水餃子) and deep fried age-gyōza  (揚げ餃子).

Store bought frozen dumplings are often prepared at home by first placing them in a pot of water which is brought to a boil, and then transferring them to a pan with oil to fry the skin.

Gyōza – Japanese Pan-Fried Dumplings
Ingredients
For the gyoza wrappers
  • 300 g flour, plus extra for rolling
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 200 ml boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
For the chicken or pork filling
  • 500 g pork or chicken mince
  • 1 head pak choi, very finely shredded
  • 2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped spring onion (green part only)
  • ½ teaspoon ground chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • pinch sugar
For the crab and prawn filling
  • 1 dressed crab (dark and white meat)
  • 200 g cooked, peeled prawns, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ lemon, zest only, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped spring onion (green part only)
  • 2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled, grated
For the dipping sauce
  • splash soy sauce
  • splash lime juice
  • splash chilli oil
Instructions
  1. For the gyoza wrappers, sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt.
  2. Stir in the boiling water using a knife or a pair of chopsticks until the mixture comes together as a dough. (You many not need to use all of the water.)
  3. Roll the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and set aside to rest for one hour.
  4. Meanwhile, for the chicken or pork filling, mix all of the chicken or pork filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well combined (the ingredients will form a gloopy paste). Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill in the fridge until needed.
  5. For the crab and prawn filling, mix all of the crab and prawn filling ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until well combined (the ingredients will form a gloopy paste). Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chill in the fridge until needed.
  6. For the gyoza skin,turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for five minutes until smooth and elastic. (You can use the dough hook attachment of a food processor for this.)
  7. Cut the dough into three equally sized pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll out one of the balls onto a lightly floured work surface, stretching and turning the dough as you go, until the gyoza dough is as thin as possible.
  8. Using a 10 cm biscuit cutter, cut discs from the gyoza dough and stack them on top of each other, dusting the top of each with a little flour before adding the next one. Repeat the rolling and cutting process until all of the dough has been used.
  9. To assemble the dumplings, hold a gyoza skin in the palm of your hand and add one teaspoon of the filling mixture. Wet the edges with a little water using your fingertip and seal the dumpling, pinching along the edges to create a pleated fan effect (the end result should resemble a mini Cornish pasty). Repeat the process until all of the filling mixture and gyoza wrappers have been used up, setting each dumpling aside on a plate dusted with flour.
  10. To cook the dumplings, heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan with a lid over a high heat. Arrange the gyoza in the pan, in batches if necessary, leaving space between each one, and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden-brown. Take care as they will burn quickly.
  11. Add 100 ml of water to the pan, cover with the lid and steam the dumplings for a further two minutes.
  12. Give the pan a shake to release the gyoza from the bottom of the pan and continue to cook for a further two minutes with the lid off, until the filling is completely cooked through.
  13. Meanwhile, for the dipping sauce, mix all of the dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, to taste. Set aside.
  14. When the gyoza are cooked through, drizzle the sesame oil around the edges of the frying pan and shake the pan.
  15. Serve the gyoza immediately with the dipping sauce.

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