Gyoza (makes 300)
Chives - 3 bunches, chopped (don't use the white part)
Cabbage - 1 whole, shredded or chopped very fine
Ground pork - about 750 g
Chuka no moto (a kind of Chinese bouillon - I'm sure other kinds would work too) - about 1 tsp
Sake - about 2-3 TB
Sesame oil - 2-3 TB
Sesame seeds - 1/8 cup
Fresh Ginger - 2-3 inches, grated
Garlic - 4-5 cloves, minced
Pinch of Sugar
Salt - 1-2 TB
White Pepper - 1 TB
Soy sauce - 2-4 TB
3" rice paper wraps - 300
Corn starch or potato starch
Salt the shredded cabbage in a bowl and let sit until juices start to release.
Pour oil and sake over meat in a large bowl. Knead with hands until it isn't sticky and color lightens slightly. The oil is meant to keep the meat together like a dough, so use enough for that purpose.
Add chives to meat. Squeeze water out of cabbage and add to meat. Knead with hands.
Add soy sauce, a little more oil (to balance the extra liquid), sesame seeds, white pepper, salt, pinch of sugar, bouillon, garlic, and ginger. Knead with hands.
The best ginger is fresh from Miwako's garden, of course.
Cover a large tray with saran wrap and sprinkle with corn starch or potato starch to prevent sticking. Sprinkle starch on a clean counter top as well.
Separate rice paper wraps and lay on counter top. Get a small bowl of water. Spoon 1 TB of filling onto the middle of each wrapper.
Dip finger in water and line half of the edge of the wrapper with water to create a "glue" for the wrapper to stick to itself. Fold wrapper over meat to create a taco shape. Use fingers to make 3-4 pleats in the wrapper. Pinch ends together. Repeat 300 times. :) Cover uncooked gyoza and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them.
To cook: A large hot plate is ideal, but a frying pan works just as well. Drizzle canola oil onto the pan and heat on med-high. Arrange gyoza on pan and cover. Cook until the bottoms of the gyoza begin to slightly brown (about 2 min). Pour enough water over gyoza to cover the bottom of the pan and cover again (optional: you can add a little corn starch to the water to make the bottoms a little crispier!). Steam for about 2-3 minutes. This step is important, as this is when the meat gets cooked! Check the bottoms of the gyoza. If they aren't browned to perfection, cook a little longer uncovered. The idea is for the bottoms to be crispy and the tops to be softly steamed. You can also drizzle a little sesame oil over the tops of the gyoza if you're really going for decadence. :) Remove from pan.
The best way to eat gyoza is hot out of the pan! Try mixing a little soysauce or ponzu with red pepper oil, crushed red peppers and sesame seeds for a good dipping sauce. Add a little bowl of rice for a drip catcher, and a cold beer to wash it down. I think this would be great for Monday night football . . . you know, if I were into that or whatever.