Gyoza (Japanese Style Potstickers)
It's time for dumplings :D. Everyone who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for dumplings. For example, for my last birthday, my friends and I went to the best place in the Netherlands to get dim sum.. twice. No regrets. Honestly, I could probably go every week, although that would get quite expensive. A solution: make your own! This is my favourite dumpling recipe: my take on traditional Japanese gyoza, a potsticker style dumpling that is fried on the bottom and steamed on top. I've learned the recipe for these in Japan and I feel I have perfected the recipe a little bit more every time I made these since then. It is my go to recipe whenever I want to make dumplings and they never let me down.
These dumplings were a huge hit at the New Years potluck party we went to (I brought the gyoza and a big, big bowl of homemade guacamole) and they also were a big hit on Instagram. My most liked picture of 2016. So with Chinese New Year just around the corner, I thought it to be a good idea to share my gyoza recipe. Because everybody knows Chinese New Year is when you eat all the dumplings. Honestly, every day is a good day to eat all the dumplings, but moderation is a good virtue, right? And if you are having a party this weekend, they make a great party food. Even if you do not have any parties coming up, I make them just as easily for dinner if I have the time. They are not super hard to make, but the folding of all the individual gyoza will take some time of course. Although you can always skip the pleating completely and just fold and press them shut, that would save you some time, but I usually like a pleating, so I do it anyway.
Funny story, last time I made these, I was just done folding them and I walked away to another room for just a second, leaving a plate of gyoza on the kitchen counter. Suddenly, I hear a faint stump on the ground. A sound that very much resembles the sound Latte makes when she jumps off the kitchen counter and a few moments later I hear her grumbling at Mochi. A sound she only makes when she is protecting some yummy food item that she doesn't want him to steal away. Alarmed, I quickly rushed back to the living room and for sure, Latte was walking around proudly with a gyoza in her mouth, refusing to give it back and hiding under chairs so we couldn't take it away. She usually never steals our food (except for toast pieces with pate), so that is a clear indicator of how good these gyoza really are. She just had to have one apparently.
Gyoza (Japanese Style Potstickers)
Around 35 dumplings
- 1 packet gyoza wrappers (round, medium sized)
- 300 gr. mixed beef and pork mince
- 200 gr. chinese cabbage, thinly sliced strips, preferably from the top/leafy part of the cabbage
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
- 2 sticks of green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 4 tbps. soy sauce
- 6 drops of rayu (japanese sesame chili oil)
- Make the dumpling filling by combining all the ingredients above (apart from the wrappers of course) in a bowl.
- Set yourself up a wrapping station. What you need: your round gyoza wrappers, the bowl of filling with a teaspoon, a plate to place the folded gyoza on with a wet towel on top to ensure they don't dry out and a little bowl of water to wet the edges of the wrappers.
- There are many ways to fold gyoza, but I usually follow the next steps. Take one gyoza wrapper in your hand and wet the edges with a little bit of water. Take a heaped teaspoon worth of the dumpling mix and place it in the centre of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half like a taco shell and pinch the two halves together in the middle. Then start crimping up the sides from the middle to the edges. Start right of the middle, balance the gyoza in one hand and use your thumb and forefinger to make a pleat on the side of the wrapper closest to you. Keep the other side flat and pinch together. I usually make 2-3 pleats on either side of the middle (see the pictures). Pleating only one side, while keeping the other side flat will give you the crescent moon shape of gyoza. Squeeze out most of the air while crimping and ensure all the sides are closed before transferring the folded gyoza to a plate. Once it is on the plate, press down lightly, so you will get a nice flat bottom to brown of in the pan later. Continue folding until you run out of either wrappers or filling. Don't worry if your dumplings don't look great in the beginning, it takes a little practice. And as long as all the edges are closed they will taste amazing.
- To cook the dumplings, take a nice, wide-bottomed, non-stick pan that will fit a lid and add a tiny bit of sunflower oil on medium heat. Spread around the oil well by using some kitchen paper. When the pan is hot, add the gyoza with their flat side down and let them fry in the oil for a few minutes. When the bottoms start to brown, add 1/2 teaspoon of water to the centre of the pan (watch out because the oil might spat up a little) and immediately place the lid on top. This will create a steamer effect in your pan which will steam the tops and inside of the gyoza. Once all the water has evaporated and your gyoza start to look a little bit see through (after 2-3 min.) remove the lid and continue to fry off the bottoms of the gyoza for a minute or so until they feel crispy. Then remove the gyoza to a serving plate and keep warm until ready to serve. Continue these steps until all your gyoza are cooked.
- For the dipping sauce, mix together the soy sauce with the rayu. Serve the gyoza with the sauce as a (party) snack or add some rice and stir-fried vegetables for a nice dinner. Enjoy!
- For more tips on how to fold gyoza, I can advise going on youtube, for there are many many gyoza/dumpling folding video's available.
- Once the gyoza are folded, you can freeze them by placing them in containers for up to a month. To ensure they do not stick together I advise placing them on baking paper and don't let them touch. Or flash freeze them for an hour or two on a plate lined with baking paper (make sure the gyoza are not touching each other) and then transfer them to a container. Because they are already frozen on the outside by then, you can place the gyoza close and/or on top of each other without the risk of them sticking together. When you want to eat the gyoza, just remove the desired amount from the freezer and cook them as stated in step four. You can cook the gyoza from frozen, just keep in mind that the steamer effect will take a little bit longer.
- Rayu can be found in the Japanese section of most Asian supermarkets or tokos. If you are unable to find rayu, you can substitute by using 3-4 drops of sesame oil and half a chilli pepper sliced into thin rings.