Friday, December 16, 2011

Yaki Gyoza (Japanese pan-fried dumplings)

Gyoza is originally a Chinese dish, called Jiaozi. But it later became very popular part of Japanese cuisine. These dumplings of ground meat, ginger, garlic and cabbage, are wrapped in a thin dough that can be cooked a number of different ways. This recipe is for Yaki (pan-fried) Gyoza. They are fantastic appetizers or side dish.
While there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to wrapping these little guys up, give it a shot. I think you'll be impressed with culinary skills once these babies hit the table!

Yaki Gyoza:
(recipe adapted from

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes about 30 dumplings

1 package round gyoza wrappers
vegetable oil or cooking spray
water for sealing and steaming

1/2 pound ground pork, chicken or turkey
1/2 cup minced cabbage
1 TBSP fresh grated ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp dashi granules, dissovled in 1 TBSP water, dry white wine, or sake
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Combine all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined (using your hands is the best way to do this!).

Place about 1 tsp of the filling on a wrapper.  Lightly fold in half. Using your fingers, press the seam on one end together. Make 4-5 small pleats along the front of the dumpling by folding 1/2 inch sections back on itself as you go. After each pleat, press together with wet fingers to seal. Be sure the edge is sealed completely.

Repeat until all your dumplings are filled and sealed.

In a non-stick skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. (A generous coating of cooking spray works great.) Working in batches, add dumplings to the skillet. Do not over fill the skillet (you don't want the dumplings to touch while cooking). Cover and cook until lightly brown on the bottom. Add a few tablespoons of water to the skillet. Immediately cover the skillet to capture the steam. Continue to cook until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are cooked through.

If you like crispier dumplings, like I do, you can flip the dumplings and brown the other side before adding the water.

Serve hot with Ponzu dipping sauce (combine in a small bowl: 1/4 cup Ponzu sauce and 1/2 tsp sesame oil).

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