Friday, September 4, 2009


Miwako came over last weekend to teach us the lovely art of gyoza-making. The following recipe is what I derived from the magic her hands produced. Keep in mind she used no measurements, so this is all by-guess-and-by-golly. We made enough stuffing for 300 gyoza - 150 for her family, and 150 for the 4 of us (over two meals - we aren't THAT American . . . ), so the amounts listed here should be cut down unless you're feeding a smallish army. Gyoza isn't the most fat-free of foods (almost a kilo of ground pork?!?!), but Miwako's homemade filling is LOADS healthier than store bought because it uses sesame oil instead of lard. My next mission is to make a vegetarian version. Janelle suggested sauteed diced mushrooms as a meat replacement. One of my adult students said there's a kind of tofu that works well as a meat substitute - I forget the name, but it's cut into cubes, dried, and then frozen. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated! And now, without further ado . . .

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.


Katie said...

Thanks for posting this! We will DEFINITELY be trying these (sans pork) in the near future!

Anonymous said...

Miwako is such a good cook, too -0- I was totally blown away by her dishes....So, yeah - Sans Pork. Thanks, Suz.

UnGkHe Nakat`s said...

It's Seems Delicious...