The perfect gyoza is golden brown and crisp on one side and juicy on the inside. In Japan you can find them being served at specialty shops, izakaya, ramen shops, grocery stores or even at festivals. They originated in China where they are called Jiaozi.
The key characteristic of gyoza lies on its cooking method, which involves both pan-frying and steaming (like a Chinese pot sticker). They are first fried in a hot pan until crisp and brown on the bottom, then a small amount of water is added, the pan is covered to quickly steam them. This technique gives gyoza the best mix of textures: crisp bottoms, tender soft tops that encase the juicy filling. One of the distinctive differences is that gyoza usually come in a smaller size with thinner skin making them crisper, the filling is finer in texture and perfumed with garlic.
Serves 40 – 45
Preparation 25 minutes
Cooking 20 minutes
1 ½ cups green cabbage, very finely chopped (approx. 50g or 3 leaves)
½ teaspoon salt
500g pork mince (fatty is good)
1 bunch garlic chives, finely chopped (makes about 1 cup)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
40 – 45 round wonton (gyoza) wrappers (24 per packet)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or other cooking oil) + 1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or mirin
Fes drops chili oil (Rayu is Japanese chili oil) optional
- Combine cabbage and salt in a small bowl, then set aside for 20 minutes for cabbage to wilt slightly. Squeeze out any excess water from the cabbage and place it in a medium bowl. Add remaining filling ingredients: pork, garlic chives, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and soy sauce. Mix well using your hands.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper (or sprinkle with cornflour).
- Place 1 gyoza wrapper on the palm of your left hand (or right hand if you are left-handed). Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of the gyoza wrapper.
- Place 1 slightly heaped teaspoon of filling on the wrapper. Fold wrapper over and use your right hand assisted by your left hand thumb and forefinger in a rolling motion to create 4 pleats. Press to seal and place on the tray. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Do not overfill gyoza
- Combine oils, heat half in a large frying pan which has a lid, over medium high heat.
- Place about 12 gyoza in rows, slightly overlapping each other. Cook until the underside is crisp and golden, then pour 1/3 cup of water around the gyoza and place the lid on. Cook until the water has completely evaporated, approx. 3 minutes (so the golden underside is not wet and soggy) and the wrapper is translucent on top.
- Use an egg flip to transfer onto a plate upside down i.e. golden side up. Serve with combined sauce ingredients.
Lyndey’s Note: some traditional recipes put cornflour in the pork mince but I prefer to leave it out. Garlic chives can be replaced with ordinary chives + 2 extra cloves chopped garlic. Some people put in green onions, sake and even shiitake mushrooms but I find this mixture simple and lovely.
Gyoza wrappers (or Gow Gee) can be found at Tokyo Mart at Northbridge and some Coles and Woolworths in the cold cabinet next to the noodles.